Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A brief review of Star Trek

I never did post a followup saying what I thought of the new Star Trek film I was all keyed up to see, and I thought, with the DVD release imminent, now was a good time.

In short: it was awesome. It was everything I expected, and more. I'm not a Trekkie (or Trekker if you prefer) by any stretch of the imagination, but I quite enjoyed ST:TNG in its day, and do own them all on DVD. I also watched a fair bit of the original series Saturday mornings on CBC when I was growing up.

On to the film itself...

The opening scene was the perfect birth scene for Kirk, born in the chaotic, adrenaline-filled rush of a space battle. It perfectly encapsulates everything the world has come to know and love about James T. Kirk. It also explains the adrenaline-junkie aspects of Chris Pine's portrayal, which I thought was a nice touch.

From that opening scene, the film never lets up, going from strength to strength. Seeing everyone as young cadets was great--we get the sense of them attending Starfleet without having to sit through any clumsy exposition. We get a nice sense of Kirk as a ladies man as well, and Kirk romancing a green lady was just icing on the cake (for fans of both the original series and fans of green ladies).

I will definitely be in line for the sequel if it goes ahead. There was talk about that before this first film was released, but I haven't heard much more.

A couple of minor quibbles. I know Anton Yelchin while born in Russia, doesn't speak with a Russian accent, but I think he should have gone for a more natural-sounding Russian-person-speaking-English accent than trying so hard for comedy. Chekov's accent was only rarely played for laughs in the original series. I also thought that while John Cho was good, he lacked the feeling of calm capability that George Takei projected as Sulu. That being said, all the characters were fresh-faced cadets in this film, so perhaps the gravitas is something we'll have the pleasure of seeing develop if more films are made.

Oh, and I only thought once about Sylar while watching Zachary Quinto do his stuff as Spock, which is a testament to how good of an actor Quinto is, and how much he made the role his, while still keeping faith with Leonard Nimoy's portrayal.

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