Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek: They're Giving It All She's Got, Captain!

So how do you make a Star Trek film that both appeals to die-hard Star Trek fans, and to the general public who, by and large, think die-hard Star Trek fans are the biggest losers in the galaxy?

Sounds like an impossible task to me; the motion picture industry's version of the Kobayashi Maru.

JJ Abrams, though, is a director who doesn't believe in a no-win situation. And by tackling this problem head-on with a solid and universally satisfying screenplay, he fed the hungry Trekkies the story they've always wanted to see. But he also managed to inject universal appeal into a series that had become so solid a niche' that you were almost afraid to go see any of these films without dressing like a Klingon anymore.

AND- more importantly, he left the door wide open for endless sequels, without having to comb through the hundreds of books and scripts that preceded him over the past 40 years to make sure it complies with the overly-convoluted storylines.

In other words, JJ Abrams is a frickin' genius. And Star Trek is one of the best pieces of entertaining movie-making made in the last 5 years.

I really have only one complaint. Kirk didn't act like Kirk. I mean, half the fun of this movie for a Star Trek fan is to watch your favorite characters make their debut on screen, and meet each other for the first time. When McCoy comes on screen for the first time, the actor portrayed him so accurately that you knew who it was as soon as you heard his voice, before you even saw him. Same for Scotty, and for Spock, and Sulu-- but Kirk? This guy didn't act one bit like Kirk. In fact, in interviews before the film came out, he said that he used Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones character as his inspiration. Which would have been great if this were a movie about the young Indiana Jones. But it's not. Was it too much to ask for a good Kirk portrayal?

I guess so.

But it doesn't ruin the film. And if you pay close attention to the movie, you can find a logical reason for Kirk to not act like the old Kirk we all knew and loved. But I won't give away any plot elements. Just go see it.

I give this an enthusiastic 8 out of 10 and recommend to everyone out there.


Carrie Ann said...

I was happy to have seen it. It was a satisfyingly action-packed. I knew I was going to like it when the actual title of the movie came up in a very dramatic music-swelling Ben Hur sort of way. I thought, "Now THAT'S a movie title... this is going to be good."

April said...

I just might have to go see it. Thanks for your review!