Monday, May 11, 2009
Film Review: Star Trek
While in New York City, I caught the new Star Trek flick.
It was pretty good.
I had avoided trailers for the film, so only little bits and pieces had been spoiled for me beforehand. I had a general idea of the "look" of the film, but didn't know who was in it aside from Heroes' Zachary Quinto as Spock, Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg as Scotty and some new guy as Kirk.
The new guy, Chris Pine, was a home run as Kirk. He was charming and had the right amount of balls (no, not "two") mixed with brains.
Scotty was fine, though not used much, so it was hard to care.
Anton Yelchin (Chekhov) was a bright spot. Karl Urban was a surprise choice as Bones, but did a fine job. John Cho (Sulu) was ok. Zoe Saldana (Uhura) was more than wallpaper, which was good - and bad. But I won't blow that here.
I didn't know Eric Bana was in it. In fact, I didn't even recognize him. I knew I knew the actor, but I couldn't put my finger on who it was. I quite like him normally, but in this he was just another weak Star Trek villain. The story wasn't really about the good guys and bad guys - it was an origins story, basically. In that regard, it did a decent job.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Bruce Greenwood - he's a solid actor and did well as Christopher Pike.
The primary disappointment was the one area I thought this movie was safest - Spock. Zachary Quinto was a more than capable Spock, but the writers completely dropped the ball. I hated what they did to Spock. Because of the basic premise of the film (which I won't blow here) the writers had carte blanche when it came to Kirk and, to a certain extent, plot. But it does not really explain why this film's Spock is so different from the "original" Spock. In my opinion, the writers lost sight of what makes Spock so appealing - his cool exterior. By making him more "human" they've lost the detachment and perspective a character like that can offer and have made any "emotion" emanating from him seem like no big deal. Spock was, in many regards, the most emotionally developed character in the film. That sucked.
The other big letdown was the music. If you are going to go in a different direction from the long-established tune, make it worth it. The music was hardly noticeable and certainly not memorable.
The plot and premise? Well... It was hardly original. We've seen this sort of thing before. But the good thing is that it gives the writers carte blanche going forward - which I assume was the point. There were a few too many leaps in logic for my taste (pardon the pun). For example, the "substance" which plays a pivotal role? Come on....
The worst scene made me think of "there's always a bigger fish." (if you get that reference...)
Overall, I quite liked this film. It looked great. It could have been better, but it could have been a heckuva lot worse.