Newest Review: ... trek series. Basically this films starts off at the birth of Jim Kirk (one of the main captains of the startrek enterprise). SPOILER ... more
Boldly going where no Star Trek has gone before
Star Trek XI (DVD)
Member Name: TheChocolateLady
Star Trek XI (DVD)
Advantages: Has everything an action, sci-fi, Trek movie should have
Disadvantages: Not all the actors match the originals, but who cares?
The 2009 movie Star Trek has such a complex story, that to even attempt to summarise it would take far too long, and would be terribly boring. Instead, let's just say that this movie is basically about how those famous characters from the original TV show Star Trek, came to become the crew from the USS Enterprise. Yes, I'm talking about Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, Uhura, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Chekov and Sulu. There they are, as young men and women just starting out - which is just what a reboot of the Star Trek franchise should be. And what a voyage it is! Sure, some purists are upset that over 40 years of Star Trek history have been rewritten here, but the question is, was this movie meant for just the trekkers/trekkies out there, or was it meant to appeal to a whole new generation? Personally, I'm for the latter, and certainly for them, there's nothing here that doesn't appeal.
First of all, we have lots of great action scenes, which give us both real, hand-to-hand physical fights as well as the mandatory futuristic dog-fights in space. All this was done so splendidly that the audience will have just enough 'edge of your seat' moments to keep them from feeling cheated. Then we have all those great aliens with truly fantastic make-up effects that never cease to amaze us, or keep us wondering which ones are actually done by hand and which are the CGI ones. Let's not forget all the amazing scenery and sets they've got here - not the least of which include the various interesting planets and most importantly, the starships, beautifully done both for the internal and external views.
However, being someone who watched the original series on TV as a kid, I'm sure there are things that were gained by having that background. For instance, one thing that is notably well done here was how they matched almost all these young actors' looks to the original cast. In particular, Zachary Quinto's portrayal of the young Spock was completely believable. And since Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) makes an appearance here as a future Spock, this was particularly impressive. The only person who didn't actually look quite enough like his predecessor was our lead - Chris Pine, who played the young James Tiberius Kirk. Still, everyone else was pretty close to looking like younger versions of their 1960s counterparts.
But none of this would have helped this film if the script wasn't up to par, and this is what many of the more traditional watchers have objected to. The basic concept here, according to IMDb, is that the writers used a time-travel ruse that caused a parallel universe to exist. With this, we have the history that the TV series and first franchise one timeline, while the creators of this reboot can come up with a whole new set of stories that follows these new, completely different pasts. This gives this franchise the opportunity to truly innovate and therefore stand apart from the previous ones. Even so, this could have been a step too far, since we're still using the same characters we know and love from the 60s. Thankfully, the writers did their homework well, and included as much of the personalities and characteristics of the original cast's characters to help them not only look like them, but act like them as well.
The only place where this didn't come through was, once again, with Chris Pine. William Shatner (the original Captain Kirk) has a very distinctive pattern to his speech. He has a way of putting in odd pauses and unusual emphasis into his lines where others might not, and then speeds up other parts of the lines. However, Pine apparently made a conscious decision not to attempt to imitate Shatner's line delivery, so that he would not make the part look like a parody, and this was actually a good idea. More amazing was how they got Eric Bana to not look or act at all like Eric Bana with nothing more than some facial tattoos was nothing short of miraculous. With all this, one can surmise that both the acting and the direction here were done with such balance and careful thought so that the old mixed in with the new to keep it all feeling fresh, while still holding on to some traditions.
Finally, and probably the most important element that worked here, was how a very complex story line was made to feel very understandable and included just the right amount of humour, with some added sex. Again, the faithful trekkers/trekkies have expressed anger about this. They would do well to remember that there was always something in the TV series that one could laugh about, and not one of the 90 episodes didn't include at least one double-entendre or hint at some slightly steamy innuendo. This just means that the script is what made this movie really shine.
All told, this is one all-round fun film that has something for everyone. From the most elaborate parts of the production down to the smallest lift of Spock's winged eyebrows, it all comes together with the perfect combination of finesse and wow-factor. In fact, I enjoyed this so much, it gets my full five stars out of five, and I highly recommend it.
Davida Chazan © August, 2010
Available new from Amazon - on DVD for £4.99 (1 disk) and £8.99 (2 disks) or through their marketplace from £2.48
Classification - 12
Runtime - 122 minutes
Summary: The Star Trek reboot movie of 2009 is simply fun!