Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Star Trek (2009)

Watching a new Star Trek movie and knowing that frothing masses of people holding plastic tricorders milled around cinemas worldwide in their pyjamas waiting for the midnight showing while I just wandered in on a whim with no knowledge of what the movie was all about makes me feel a little bit as if I'm missing the point of something grand. A little bit. Mostly I feel like a better person for it as I drop change in their tin cup then go about with my cushy life.

But anyway, enough with comparing Star Trek fans to bums, on with the review. As hinted above I knew next to nothing about the movie before watching it; the crew was all new, it was a 'reboot' and that guy from Heroes was in it. Speaking of the cast, we have Chris Pine replacing Shatner as Kirk (not do-able, but he tried), the above mentioned Heroes guy - Zachary Quinto - as Spock (who did a pretty good job) aaaand Simon Pegg as Scotty. Standing in as generic bad guy is Eric Bana playing Nero, an angry Romulan with a mining ship more powerful than the death star. Kirk's father was played by an Australian actor once seen in Home and Away. This amused me very much since the last time I saw him was on an advertisement for said soap opera - wearing board shorts and staring seriously at the horizon in true soap opera fashion. Either he was considering cosmic issues you and I could not possibly understand, or he really needed to shit and couldn't remember where the toilets were.

Star Trek cast posing for a shot at the after party
Star Trek cast posing for a shot at the after party
I'm not going to bother with the other cast or characters because either I don't know the actor, don't know much about the character, or the character they played was relatively minor. Suffice to say that I was happy with the performances and nothing stood out as crap acting from the Martin Lawrence school of 'oh god what is he doing??!'.

Basically the plot is this (STOP READING NOW if you're one of those whiney 'no spoilers' idiots). A small ship captained by Kirk's father is blown up by a larger ship captained by Darth Vader but someone central to the overall plot is rescued by being shoved in an escape pod. Later, the young and rebellious man - let's call him Luke though his real name is Jim - joins Starfleet and is mentored by an older guy. Then along comes Vader...no wait I should consult my notes...Nero actually, and Nero uses his mighty death star to destroy a planet (the Vulcan home planet - that might be important to know). Did I mention that Nero is from the future? Well he is and by coming to the past, pursuing an old Spock by the way, he creates an alternate trouser of time thereby justifying and explaining this reboot of the Star Trek universe. Neat idea. I'll leave out the reasons for all of this just in case you missed the spoiler warning and are busy composing a bile filled comment about how I ruined your day. Before you do please allow me the courtesy of  saying fuck you and let's move on.

In the end the plucky crew fly their banged-up ship to the rescue and everything is good again.

So down to it. What I really enjoyed was seeing how the various crew members met and what brought Kirk to Captain-ship at such a young age. The story was okay and the SFX quite good so if you're looking for some enjoyable sci-fi, regardless of whether you even know what a tricorder is, check out Star Trek.

On a side note - I'm normally a really hard marker and difficult to please but lately I've seen some bloody entertaining new releases and Star Trek is one of them. Therefore, so people don't think I'm a soft reviewer, I won't be reviewing any of those great movies for a while - if ever. Instead you can look forward to such greats as Lifeforce, Rise of the Reeker and the new Punisher movie.

8.5/10: The new Star Trek really did go to the final frontier, entertaining me. Damn you Abrams.

Disclaimer: While writing this I came across a cool video demonstrating the similarities between A New Hope and this Star Trek movie. I unashamedly borrowed some concepts from that video for this review. As payment I offer this screenie from the movie Lifeforce.


A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...
Raptors Take
I like 'em Star Trek movie a lota. Beam me up! 9/10

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