Setting the Universe to rights in a few easy steps…

A Review of the new Star Trek film. Its the Enterprise crew Jim, but not as we know them.

First of all, I loved it. I thought it took everything that was great about The Original Series, stripped away all the crap and the cheesiness and the awful acting, and made something fresh, original, and different.

Its the Enterprise crew Jim, but not as we know them.

*****OMG SPOILERZ. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.*****

What I liked:

First of all, I was impressed beyond belief with the storyline. This is alternate reality Trek, a different version of the Trek galaxy. Parallel universes existing alonside each other because of changing events and different decisions, both ongoing and real (as real as fiction can ever get anyway, you know what I mean), but never touching or influencing each other. Like turning right at a junction or turning left, and the different path taken because of that one decision. It’ll shut up the purists who moan, (Insert whiny voice here) ‘But the ship’s nacelles are a different shape, the Bridge looks different, the uniforms and guns are different, Kirk’s father lived to a ripe old age, whah whah whah.’ (End whiny voice). WHO CARES?! The writers needed a way to establish this alternate reality Trek from the well-established storyline, timeline and canon of already established Trek. Destroying Vulcan and having Spock and Uhura in a relationship was an inspired way of doing this, and I am mightily impressed with the foresight and the vision of this idea. It is canon, but it is new canon, set apart from the already existing storylines and timelines. Its explains any discontinuities and allows the writers to go in a totally new idea with any future films without disrupting the future timeline of The Next Genereation era of crews. Genius. I am one impressed and surprised watcher.

Kirk: I liked the guy. I’m a fan of Shatner, but no fan of Kirk’s. I like him in the films, but I think he’s a dickhead in the TV show. Chris Pine did a great job. He has all the swagger and cockiness of the old Kirk whilst bringing his own personality to the role. Now, I admire a healthy amount of arrogance and cocky grins from my captains. Janeway is my favourite captain, and she has an air of arrogance around her on occasion, shoots more than a couple cocksure grins at her crew or her enemies throughout Voyager’s seasons, she has confidence in her own abilities, and those of her crew and ship. As this confidence is founded on real, genuine capability and a true skill at what she does, I admire this quality in her. Its better than having capable but intrinsically dull person such as Picard in the chair or a straight-up fool in the form of Sisko. Its when confidence is unjustified it pisses me off. Pine’s Kirk exhibits this confidence through most of the movie. The two characters KNOW that they are VERY GOOD at their jobs. And it shows.

Spock: Wow. I was impressed with this guy above everyone else. Its like watching the old spock with a different face. He even looks a lot like a younger Leonord Nimoy. The ears, make-up and eyebrows help, but he did a stellar job mimicking the old Spock’s body movements and voice intonations, whilst at the same time distinguishing himself from the original character.

Scotty: I love Simon Pegg, and he was very good here. He’s a funny guy in real life, and something of a comical presence in the movie. Not comical in the sense of ‘to be mocked’, but instead ‘to create humour and have some great laugh-out-loud lines.’ Nice one Pegg, keep making movies lad. And he’s British. Winner! My only complaint is this: He wasn’t in the movie for long enough! He was introduced way too late for my liking. Still, I guess a director can’t introduce all the characters of an ensemble cast at once with only two hours to work with, and hopefully there’s more movies coming!

McCoy: Karl Urban, I am a convert. I didn’t think he would pull this off at all, but by god, Urban was excellent as Bones. The accent was spot on, as was the galaxy-weariness and the cynical but still caring nature of McCoy. Sir, I tip my hat to you. Bravo, Mr. Urban. He’s a big fella, and you may have noticed that the good and sadly late DeForest Kelly was not the most-well built fellow, but Urban slipped into Bones’ blue uniform like he belonged in there.

Uhura: This lady was a cool customer, and brought something extra to the role. She fleshed it out more, which I liked. The bond between her and Spock felt real and caring, the scene between them in the turbolift was wonderful and well done, and she was introduced in the bar scene as a woman who could handle herself. Hope to see more of her in future movies , though. There’s a lot of potenital there.

Nero was a great bad guy, not insane or a megalomaniac, just enraged and cold. He had an air of real menance about him, and he, his crew and his very imprssive and unique looking ship brought a very real danger to the film.

The ships and weapons had a real sense of raw power behind them. There was a kinetic feel, no doubt helped by the volume and vibrations in the cinema. When the ships jumped to warp, it was like a gun going off, a real sense of speed and motion was created. This is present and correct in the TV shows, but it is different.

The in-jokes. Spock’s eyebrow, Chekov’s speech impediment, Scotty’s ‘I’m givng her all she’s got!’, many many more I can’t quite recall. (I’ll update this upon watching the movie again!) And the Red Shirt! Very well done. The second I saw the guy in the red spacesuit during the space drop scene, I thought: ‘He’s a dead man.’ Now, I have moral objections with the whole Red Shirt thing from old Trek, but this guy was a victim of his own undoing, and, I admit, I found it a nice reference. The people sat behind me and my Dad in the cinema confimred that it was just the right amont of knowing references, I overheard what they were saying as we watched the credits roll, as the woman, a non fan, said to the man, a fan:

Woman: Are you a long time Star Trek fan then?

MAn: Yes, for years now.

Woman: Where there alot of in-jokes?

Man: Yeah, all the way through the film.

Woman: I guessed I missed them because I’m not a fan.

Man: They’re there for the longtime fans like me, but there weren’t too many of them.

Woman: I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I wouldn’t know unless you pointed them out to me.

So, just the right amount. Nice.

Also: The soundtrack was fantastic. I’ve bought it from Play.com, should be here soon. ANd they got a Mind Meld into the movie. That’s always a good thing!

What I didn’t like:

Kirk get his ass kicked a few too many times for my liking. I know its a dangerous job, but its not good to see the main character getting being beaten down on once every thirty minutes. Come on, he’s a tough guy, he knows how to fight.

Kirk gets promoted at the end. To Captain. Um, excuse me? The guys barely out of the Academy, and you guys are putting him in command of the flagship? Sure, he had proved himself, but that does not make him a fit leader at this point of his life. He’s earned the right to sit on the Bridge, certainly. NOT to sit in that chair. No way, sorry. Still, the film needs to show CAPTAIN Kirk I guess, for all the audiences out there, I understand that. But…come on. No military worth their salt would put a twenty-three year old, still fresh out of the Academy and only once tested so far in a command position of that magnitude. Would you put Wesley friggin’ Crusher in command? Thought not. Well, when he’s not busy saving the crew of the USS Idiot-Enterprise-D from another calamity already, anyway. Sweet Zombie Jesus, I’d take my chances with the aliens. 😉

I’ll finish later, got to go out for a bit.

Voyager out.

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