Thursday, May 07, 2009

Going Where Others "Have Gone Before" (A Star Trek Review)

I had a chance to watch the all-new Star Trek tonight and am proud to say that this movie is one of the best big screen adaptations of the original TV series (from the '60's).

Yes, I realize there were movies made with the original cast, (duh), but to me they all seemed a bit out of "phase" with the dynamics of the original show (Wrath of Khan not withstanding). Maybe it was Kirk's hair weave or those constrictive uniforms, but they just didn't seem to capture the same magic. The interactions seems to be a parody of what was created on the small screen.

This totally new cast of old favorites does an excellent job of recapturing the original character dynamics and interaction which made the original series go beyond being just another sci-fi tv show. The real trick for the cast was for them to play these iconic characters, (Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty et al), without digressing into merely doing impressions of the original actors.

I feel Kirk (Chris Pine) was played with the mandatory reckless abandon, (but seems to get punched out way to much), Spock (Zack Quinto) was sufficiently serious while wrestling with his human emotions, McCoy (Carl Urban) was a wonderful incarnation of a young angry person who will one day be known affectionately as bones and Scotty (Simon Pegg) captured that playful genius that you can't help but love. The majority of the rest of the standard crew are all accounted for, except Nurse Chapel....who is only mentioned by name, but not seen. I was pleasantly surprised to see Eric Bana playing the Romulan, Nero!

You will find the writers of the story used this time traveling saga to create an environment where they don't have to rewatch the entire 40+ year history of the franchise when creating future story lines. It is a brilliantly crafted piece of writing that effectively frees them from stepping on any trekkie's toes in the future if they veer from continuity.

The special effects were wonderful and the two-plus hours zoomed by so fast, I was wanting more...always a good sign. Just for good measure there is the mandatory appearance by an original Star Trek hand....but you're just going to have to see it for yourself, I won't spoil it for you here!

Star Trek, definitely rates a solid A and after this weekend's box office I would guess it won't be too long till the sequel is announced. This movie should be suitable for most children above 10, but there is a smattering of curse words...all used for humorous effect.

R.J. Luedke

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