Monday, October 3, 2016

Sci Fi Top 100, #80: "Star Trek" (2009)

Movie Stats:
Released 2009 (USA)
American & German, in English
Director - J.J. Abrams
Stars - Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and many more

Plot Summary:
In a reboot of the 1960s television series of the same name, meet the crew of the Federation starship USS Enterprise as they come together for their first mission. Pine stars as James T. Kirk, Quinto as Spock, and Saldana as Nyota Uhura.

Lots of violence; gore; minor blue language; heavily implied sexy times.

Bad Stuff:
It relies too heavily on coincidence. [SPOILERS] For example, the ship’s doctor is killed during the Enterprise’s first brush with the Romulans, paving the way for Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban) to immediately be promoted. Or, Kirk just happens to be marooned on the same planet as Future Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg), who respectively have the information & skills he needs. [SPOILERS] It’s all a bit too convenient.

I have some serious questions about the plot. [SPOILERS] Such as: if Future Romulus is under threat from a supernova, why wouldn’t they - to be on the safe side - evacuate the planet instead of saying, “oh, ok, cool” when Future Spock said he could save them? Also, WTF is red matter? It’s never explained. [SPOILERS]

I could see how it wouldn’t have as big of an impact for someone who wasn’t a fan of the show. Half the joy of it is in the callbacks to the original characters/actors.

Good Stuff:
It’s so much fun! The pace is good - pretty much full throttle from start to finish. There’s no time to get bored. There’s tons of action. And the aforementioned callbacks are delightful. When I saw this in the theater, the whole audience dissolved into laughter at Pavel Chekov’s (Anton Yelchin) introduction, when he said, “Wiktor. Wiktor.” Those callbacks are sprinkled throughout.

The casting is fantastic. Spot on. Personal favorite performances are Saldana, Quinto, Urban, and Yelchin. Urban in particular knocks it out of the park in terms of facial expressions, delivery, and mannerisms. I feel like he really studied the old footage of DeForest Kelley (the original “Bones”).

Love the soundtrack.

Great special effects.

The Verdict:
Honestly, I have a lot of problems with the movie, but I can’t seem to make myself care about them. I don’t exactly watch action movies for their flawless plots. I watch them for the entertainment value, and this one certainly has it in spades. It’s a thrill ride all the way through, and I love the homage it pays to the original series. It feels like a loving tribute. I liked it when I saw it in the theater, and I’ve liked it every time I’ve seen it since then.

I give it 4 stars.


Patricia said...

I have barely dabbled in the Star Trek universe (that movie with the whales, and I've watched maybe one or two episodes of the original series). But I adored this film, even if I didn't catch most of the references. It is just so fun! (Also: Chris Hemsworth in a great tiny role). I love the chemistry between Pine and Quinto and this was also my introduction to Anton Yelchin.

I'm impressed this scored so high, being a newer-type film. Are there any other Star Trek films on the list.

balyien said...

Chris Hemsworth's scene always makes me cry, no matter how many times I see this film.

I've begun to wonder if Quinto is one of those actors who simply has great chemistry with everyone. I thought he and Karl Urban were great together in the most recent Star Trek film, and I seem to recall him vibing with everyone when he was on Heroes.

"Wrath of Khan" (Star Trek II) is also on the list. I've actually never seen it all the way through before.