After much anticipation, Is the new Star Trek movie actually any good?
YOU BET YOUR ARSE IT IS! My main reservation was whether or not I could buy Zachary Quinto’s portrayalof Spock and not just see a brooding Sylar. I’m happy to report after a few moments into the film all such thoughts vanished from my mind. In fact, I think it was a masterstroke in casting. To be honest the whole reimagining of the franchise was a breath of fresh air. Here’s a quick account of the Characters :-
Spock – Undoubtedly Spock stole the show. This must have been a very welcome diversion for Quinto in allowing him to showcase his acting ability in a vessel other than Sylar. Great emphasis was placed on Spock’s struggle to accept his maternal human half. In fact the plot hangs on it! The portrayal of this icon of the Sci-Fi world feels like it has been handled with the reverence it deserves.
Kirk – The carousing womaniser comes to the fore here in Chris Pines performance. Even though Kirk is one of the main leads it felt to me as though he was somewhat carried along with the sequence of events rather than dynamically leading it. I loved the kobayashi maru scene! It was a real treat to actually see what happened.
Bones – I was so taken aback with Bone’s first appearance on the shuttlecraft that it made me realise just how strong a performance Deforest Kelly originally made in this character. To say that Karl Urban nailed Bones is an massive understatement. You just can’t help liking the irascible doctor. “I haven’t seen a reaction like this since I was in med school!”
Uhura – Zoe Saldana brought equal measures of Class and Glamour to the role, but it’s such a glaring shame that the depiction is pretty much the customary Hollywood piece of skirt for the guys to fight over. In fact the three other major female depictions were also rather shameful stereotypes, being Mother, Wife and Girlfriend. I expected more.
Scotty – Although I really quite like Simon Pegg I was worried about this casting as he just doesn’t have the same feel to him as Jimmy Doohan did originally. He came across a little too whimsical for my liking, and what the hell was that little creature friend of his?? Pegg’s Scotty seem to have been shoe-horned in as the comic relief which is a shame (and I have to say – Canadian born Doohan did a much better Scottish accent than Pegg!).
Chekov – Lets all laugh at his funny accent. Anton Yelchin played the part with aplomb. I liked the way he made the ship-wide broadcast without flinching, giving it an air of ‘meh, it’s what I do’. It would be nice to see a little more of him in terms of character development in the next movie.
Sulu – The charismatic John Cho was every bit as dashing as George Takei. Leaping into action at an instant. The gaff with disengaging the inertia breaks brought a mild vulnerability to Sulu that was endearing. I’d Like to see a lot more of Cho’s Sulu.
The Romulan villains of the piece didn’t look very Romulan, at first I thought this was a nod to the original series Romulans who were just painted reddish with a moustache slapped on, but then I remembered that these are Future Romulans. Maybe they don’t talk about it to outsiders either
Other notes to point out was the excellent use of lighting in the film, with lots of lights pointing straight at the camera lens for flare. Also the score was really quite good, there was a particular scene where a battle is being waged in space which is normally accompanied by phaser fire, blasts and explosions sound effects etc (conveniently forgetting about vacuums and sound…) however at this point the sound dies out somewhat and is replaced by a piece of classical music. The effect is rather beautiful and very ‘Adult’ in comparison to the former, without being pretentious or cloying.
If you can please please please watch it in Imax, it truly is an awesome experience. Star Trek + Imax = one very good day indeed )
J.J. Abrams really does seem to have melded (haha – actually you do know that there no such word… it’s just slipped into common parlance as an amalgamation of the words Melt and Weld, I digress…) a film for the avid fans and the general movie going public into one cohesive tasty wholesome sci-fi flavoured package.
Quite simply I think Gene Roddenberry would have very been proud indeed.