As I mentioned before, I am in no way a trekkie, but a friend is taking steps to change that, and I was up for the new Star Trek film as soon as I heard they were making it. The fact that I’m a big Zac Quinto fan may have had something to do with it, and the early trailers seemed to promise a good old fashioned SciFi flick. So…did I survive my first big screen Trek experience?
Hell Yes! I LOVED it! I was expecting the film to be good, I wasn’t expecting it to be awesome!
First of all, let me take back everything I said about Chris Pine. He’s great in the role of Kirk, starting out on a motorbike with a definite James Dean air and never taking himself too seriously (not unlike Shatner). Hollywood can’t resist Daddy issues, and our hero has them in spades, but that overused plot devise aside, the new Kirk definitely fits the bill.
Quinto is also great as Spock, although I couldn’t help staring at his eyebrows just a little bit. But then as Quinto himself has said in an interview:
“My brows are a big part of the character I played already and a big part of the character I play now…they’re a big part of my face!”
Simon Pegg makes a brilliant Scotty, adding more laughs to a film which is genuinely funny throughout, but an unexpected favourite of mine was Chekov. His comedy accent might be a bit much, but he’s so cute and naive I’m more than willing to let him off. Great work by Anton Yelchin, although I do hope he doesn’t really talk like that. I also liked having Karl Urban back on screen (known to many of us as Eomer in LOTR) as the sarcastic McCoy. The budding relationships between Spock, Kirk and “Bones” are the real plot of this film, and while there’s nothing groundbreaking in how its portrayed, the writing is very good.
As for the story, the time travel aspect lost me for a while and sent images of Doc Brown whizzing through my head at 88 miles an hour (particularly when they started talking about paradoxes) but setting the film in an alternate reality is a nifty way of getting round any continuity errors. Abrams gets the film just right: there’s enough references to the back catalogue to keep the hard core trekkies happy, but if this is your first trip into the Star Trek universe you don’t feel like you’re missing a ton of information.
The fight scenes are well choreographed and shot, especially the one on the drill, proving beyond a doubt that we’ve moved on from the clunky special effects that once made Star Trek so infamous. In fact the whole look of the film is pretty stunning, especially on the giant Empire cinema screen, and the score (Michael Giacchino) has some great choral moments that caught my ear.
So, am I converted? Well, this looks like the begining of a beautiful franchise, and if this is the future of Star Trek then sign me up for the next convention!