Madness at the Movies: Star Trek (Paul’s Take)

Chris Pine plays James T. Krik in Star Trek
Chris Pine plays James T. Krik in Star Trek

The most disappointing aspect for me about seeing Star Trek last night in DIGITAL IMAX was that there was literally not a single person in costume.  I don’t know if it’s fear of ridicule, or just the fact that no one does that anymore, but hell, people dressed up to see The Dark Knight, and I’d venture to say that Batman fans don’t hold a candle to Trek ones in their fanaticism.  I was really hoping to see folks dressed up – I enjoy looking at the elaborate costumes.  I even brought a camera so that I could take pictures and post them on the site.  Oh well.

Sorry, to the subject at hand.  Star Trek is f*cking awesome.  It’s, without a doubt, the most action-packed Star Trek movie you’ve ever seen and will not only please long time fans, but create totally new ones.  It’s fast paced, vibrant, well acted and written.  In fact, non-die hard Trek fans will find nothing wrong with it.  Which is to say that I did – there are some aspects of it I downright hated.  Still, the film is THAT good that you’ll look past your nitpicks and enjoy it for what it is – a reinvigoration to the franchise that actually takes into account what happened before.

Avoiding spoilers?  Well, don’t read after the jump, where I jump into MINOR SPOILER territory.  I’ll let you know right now I gave it a 9 out of 10 – it’s a fantastic film and one that NEEDS to be seen in the theater (if you can catch it in it’s short IMAX run, catch it then – wow).  For the rest of you, let’s see what I say after the jump!

My nitpicks are few, but there are some things that bugged me, and bugged me big time.  There is a Spock romance subplot that didn’t sit well with me – not because Spock isn’t deserving of romance, but just the way it was handled seemed a bit out of left field for me.  In addition, there is a huge catastrophic event that takes place in this film that literally changes everything in the Trek Universe – I mean, sure, this is an alternate universe, but it makes me sad that, in this universe, some of the characters I’ve come to know and love won’t even be BORN because of this event.  I guess the original universe will live on in comics, but it’s not the same, you know?

Anyway, the acting is superb almost all around.  The weakest links in the chain are Anton Yelchin as Chekov and John Cho as Sulu.  Yelchin’s performance, oddly, is probably pretty close to Walter Koenig’s, but it felt forces.  John Cho as Sulu just seemed…there.  I mean, not that George Takei is the greatest actor in the world, but he had some charisma that wouldn’t allow him to fade into the scenery.  John Cho, who normally has that, just didn’t here.  The standout performance, amongst all the great performances, was Karl Urban as Leonard “Bones” McCoy.  He’s absolutely perfect for the role, and makes me forget that Gary Sinise was originally chosen for it.

I'm totally remodeling my house to look like the bridge.
I'm totally remodeling my house to look like the bridge.

This is a Star Trek film that could not have been made ten years ago – heck, even five years ago.  It’s a very modern Trek film – the camera rarely stays still, even in quiet moments (of which there are few).  The special effects are big, loud, and fantastic.  There is no glaringly bad CGI that rips you out of the film.  The action is intense and spectacular.  This is the perfect summer blockbuster and, probably, one of the best Trek films ever made.  It’s certainly the prettiest.  The Enterprise is so nice to look at, it almost hurts your eyes.  I dare say that this Enterprise may have the best looking bridge I’ve seen on any Enterprise.  It’s bright and shiny and feels futuristic.

I’m a little sad about the way the backstory is portrayed in the movie – Spock Prime’s (that what they call him in the credits) connection with Nero is given such a small amount of screen time, that it hardly seems like a valid enough backstory for as angry as Nero is.  Nero serves his purpose as the story’s villain, but he’s not very memorable, in the long run.  If anything, reading the Star Trek: Countdown prequel series (you can buy it below) will make you appreciate the movie infinitely more.  Nero is much more fleshed out, as is his connection to Spock.  I really wish that book had been filmed as a prequel to this movie.  It does nothing but enhance this story tenfold.

I really don’t have a lot bad to say about Trek – the long time fans will have some qualms about it, as I did, but ultimately, the film will be so good you can forgive it.  Oddly enough, it reminds me of a prediction I made to Aron back in 2007 about The Dark Knight – “The Dark Knight will not be the true-to-the-comics Batman movie everyone has always wanted, but everyone will love it anyway because it’ll just be that good.”  Star Trek is true also – it’s not true to the mythos and, in fact, it negates them (while at the same time oddly trying to preserve them so as not to offend), but the film is THAT good that you won’t care.

Star Trek is in theaters now!

Paul's Awesomeness Score - 9Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 9 out of 10!

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