Trek. Just one more time. 🙂
I went to see Star Trek Friday night and, as I mentioned in my comment in my post prior to this one, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, they’ve taken some liberties (with the original timeline)and, most significantly, with the interactions between two characters in particular, but I did not have a problem with that.
Although I do not want to date myself, I am a Trekkie (yes, that’s Trekkie, not Trekker :D) from waaaaaay back. And I was more than a bit skeptical about this re-visioning, not only of Trek but of the original cast.
But what director J.J. Abrams and the scriptwriters, Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, did was look at the source material, capture the essence of what made Kirk, Spock, et al, who they were, translate into a 21st century sensibility and let it ride.
Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock did not try to duplicate what William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, respectively, did with those characters, but I think they did a fantastic job capturing the essence of Kirk and Spock.
Honestly, I didn’t have a problem with any of this new cast’s portrayals of the original characters. The young actor playing Chekov, Anton Yelchin, is really cute with his decidedly Russian accent. John Cho as Sulu gets to show off some derring-do and has a really funny moment. Zoe Saldana is beautiful and intelligent as Uhuru and holds her own against Pine’s bar-prowling Kirk, Simon Pegg is great as Scotty and Karl Urban (whom I have to admit I had the hardest time accepting as McCoy, C’mon, Eomer of The Lord of the Rings as Bones!) pulls off a funny yet surprisingly accurate portrayal of our good doctor.
Bruce Greenwood is one of those actors I can seriously listen to read the phone book. He plays Captain Pike, the man who was captain of the Enterprise before Kirk. I’ve yet to see Greenwood mishandle any role he’s given and he doesn’t disappoint with this one. Winona Ryder and Ben Cross play Spock’s parents, Sarek and Miranda, and they do what they have to do with their roles.
And, yes, Leonard Nimoy is in it and, I have to say, there’s a scene between him and Pike as the young Kirk that put a lump in this die-hard Trekkie’s throat. *gulp*
The movie looks great special-effects wise and, coming in at 2 hours and six minutes, and after having to sit, since Lord of the Rings, through a number of bloated movies that ran for more than two hours, it was quite refreshing to watch a movie that wasn’t bloated in the least.
Like its cast, Star Trek is lean and energetic.
And hot! Oh, yes, this is the hottest, sexiest Star Trek crew in quite some time. The hotness quotient is off the scale on this one! I can not but imagine that those who write slash fiction (fan fiction that details the emotional and sexual relationship between male characters in a movie, television series or book) are already burning up their laptops imagining heated scenarios between Pine as Kirk and Quinto as Spock.
I’m sure some of you don’t approve of either fan fiction or slash fiction but it’s out there and it ain’t going anywhere, that’s for sure. It was the original Star Trek series, interestingly enough, that launched slash fiction. The word “slash” coming from the slash mark in K/S, which designated a piece of fan fiction as one that dealt with the emotional and physical relationship between Kirk and Spock.
Actually, if you want to read up on this, I recommend Camille Bacon-Smith’s Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth It’s a study of the world-wide community of fans of Trek but can also be read as an examination of any fandom, whether it revolves around Star Wars, the Twilight Series or Harry Potter.
Another one to check out is Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture by Henry Jenkins, which is quite excellent. It goes into more detail about fan and slash fiction.
(Please, just bear with me when I get like this. I have a life-long fascination with narrative and storytelling in all its incarnations, and can’t help but get a little carried away when it comes to the topic.)
Anywho, I’m sure there are some Trek purists who are already heating up the Star Trek forums nit-picking this and that and moaning and groaning about some such other. Since I don’t plan to hang out at those forums, I’ll just leave them to their sport.
But, in light of that, just a caveat. If you do see the movie, trust me, don’t think too hard about the plot. It might give you a headache.
Which reminds me to say something about Eric Bana, as Nero, the Romulan villain of our story. I’m a fan of Bana and I think he’s a great actor. So I don’t blame him if his character is probably the weakest one in the movie. It’s not his fault.
Lately, IMHO, there has been a marked lack of truly great movie villains. Heath Ledger’s Joker is probably one of the more memorable ones of the last decade. I have my theories about this which, as I love to say, I hope to address in a future post. 🙂
So yeah, don’t think too hard about the plot. Just look at as a storytelling device whose sole purpose is to bring together our intrepid crew and load yourself up with a big bucket of hot, artery-clogging buttered popcorn, the candy and soft-drink of your choice, take the kiddies, take Grandma, take your significant other, (there’s something for everyone in this movie!) and, as the young, hot and sexy Jim Kirk says to the delightfully-irascible-but-you-know-he’s-never-going-to-leave-Kirk’s side, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, buckle up and enjoy the ride. 😀