Posted on: May 9th, 2009 REVIEW: Star Trek (Richard’s Take)
There was a period of time where I firmly believed that my favorite Star Trek film would be now and forever First Contact and until this evening that was the case. I went into the theater with no grand expectation, but rather a tense feeling of hesitation. How badly were they going to screw this up? Would these actors fill the huge vacant shoes of their predecessors? Will this be just another summer popcorn flick?
I had heard rumblings about the story, and reasons for the notable differences, it was apparent to me that J.J Abrams was playing with fire, and if he was not careful he may get burned severally, I would even go as far to say he would have trying to find work if Star Trek failed. It is with that sentiment that I make this statement, Abrams is to directing and storytelling what Captain Kirk is to the Enterprise, they both have taken gambles, and had them pay great dividends in success.
Abrams and his talented team of writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) managed to take a huge risk, by reinventing the Star Trek canon, and pull it off brilliantly and without much incident.
Moving onto the film itself, all I can say is WOW! The film was captivating, with enough nods to the original series to warrant the changes justifiable. Abrams accomplishes what he set out to do with this film, making a Star Trek film for everyone, while avoiding offending the current fan base. This is the first Every Man Star Trek. Even my non fan brother in-law who went with me, thoroughly enjoyed, even going as far to say he would see a sequel.
There were only two of issues I had with Star Trek. First and foremost, of all the actors cast in the crew of the Enterprise, John Cho was the only actor that seemed out of place and miscast, granted emulating George Takei would be a hard task, especially his deep signature voice. Cho comes across as mousy and quiet, perhaps after a few more films he will get it down.
And the second lies with the main antagonist, Nero. With a little more back story and character depth he would been more interesting, as I never really connected with him or his rational. Having said that, I don’t think anyone went to see this film for Eric Bana’s Nero, so this is a minor detail and could be easily overlooked.
There is plenty of good to go around. The actors seem to fill these iconic roles with ease and confidence, making the original actors an after thought. Christopher Pine as Kirk was probably the best portrayed, an impulsive, charismatic ladies man willing to go the length needed to get the job done. This is followed very closely by Zachary Quinto’s Spock who channels his cold and emotionless portrayal of Sylar from Heroes into Spock, and it works very well.
Star Trek’s first leading lady, Uhura (Zoe Saldenna), did not miss a beat, as she is still the sex symbol she was back in the 1960’s, she is even a little sexier this time around. Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov at times came off as annoying and grating, however, in the original he was just that, other than the curly hair, Yelchin managed to surprise me. Karl Urban was very reminiscent of Bones, everything about him was the late DeForrest Kelly, he never missed a beat with the character.
And finally, my favorite Star Trek character, Montgomery Scott, was the best part of the cast (outside Pine and Quinto), though he does not show up until half way through, in classic Simon Pegg style, he manages to steal the show. He truly felt like he was Scotty, there was nothing wrong here at all.
The story, albeit it tad predictable in spots, was still well rounded enough to warrant it pretty well written. There is a feeling of hard work and research that went into this film, it truly felt inspired and really well done. The franchise is now headed in the right direction with its new timeline to work with and a new young crew to work with. Good things are in store down the road, just keep fresh and original, with Abrams on board.
2 Responses to “REVIEW: Star Trek (Richard’s Take)”
May 9th, 2009 at 2:02 pm
Most excellent review, sir. Being more of a casual fan of the franchise, I found myself blown away by how Abrams managed to pull this off. On its own, outside of the Star Trek stigma, this film is a terrific summer blockbuster. It’s got action, humour, great special effects and, above all, it’s actually a smart and well written flick. I honestly believe JJ Abrams is going to do for Star Trek what Christopher Nolan did (and is doing) for Batman. Yay!
Richard Christensen Says:
May 13th, 2009 at 2:23 pm
Thanks Tyler, I actaully left the thater jaw dropped and shocked that Abrams pulled it off as well. I second the Nolan comparision as well Now if only some this would transpire with T4, all will be right in the world, but sadly, I don’t think so.