Star Trek Review

I’m not saying J.J. Abrams should get an academy award for directing this movie, but if there was a catagory for “Pulling off the seemingly impossible with a crappy script” He should get one.

The “impossible”:  Totally revamp a beloved (and I mean disturbingly beloved) science fiction franchise, introduce new actors into iconic character roles,  and make the movie accesable to a new generation while satiating fans so they don’t threaten to kill you with their Klingon ba’tleth’s.

The”crappy”:  Dear God this script sucks in many ways.  This could have been the cheesiest Star Trek movie. (and given the suckiness of the TNG “movies” that’s saying something)   Cliched dialogue, a villian who is so stupidly obsessed that you wonder why anyone would follow him in the first place, and SERIOUS improbabilities could have made this groan out loud bad. (seriously, Pike promotes the graduating cadet Kirk to first officer because He really likes him?  What there isn’t a rank structure you have to move up?  Kirk just happens to run into a cave that just happens to have a defining character in the movie?  There just happens to be a ton of a major plot device (that is in itself improbable)when a smaller amount would just make sense?)  Add to that some “camp” that could have just been aweful not funny.

But J.J. it appears has done the impossible through pacing and great actor selection.  He makes us want to believe.  He makes us love the characters in a fresh way because we want to love the characters.  In fact I can almost hear J.J. saying that to the actors, “Don’t try to be Shatner or Nimoy, be yourself in these characters and trust that people will love the characters not you.”  And the characters work.  Quinto works as Sylar/Spock.  Pine works as Kirk.  Urban works a little to hard at McCoy. (maybe he’s a fan but by the end of the movie it looks like He made it His own)  And boy does Pegg work as Scotty.   That was probably the saddest thing about the movie.  That it spent so much time on characters that have never been that interesting, (Uhura, Sulu, and Checkov) and so little on the one “character” that was the most flamboyant “character” in the T.V. show.  I loved Scotty’s, “I just did the impossible and I can’t believe you act like it’s no big deal” attitude.  J.J. then wisely paces the movie so that you don’t have alot of time to think about what just happened, you’re too concerned with what’s coming up next.  He also makes sure that the reason you want to know what happens next is that it involves the characters primarily.  All the while throwing out nods and winks to fans of the show. (Kirk fooling around with an Orion, a “red” away team member dying, a direct “Wrath of Khan” torture scene, as well as characters spouting their iconic lines throughout)  That these “winks” seem to happen naturally and are delivered naturally is perhaps one of the greatest feats of the film. (you could tell who was a fan or not by when they were laughing)  Abram’s also has the sense to keep the film on an even keel.  There are laugh out loud comedic moments that are tempered by scenes of deadly seriousness.  The comedy keeps the movie from being dry and boring and the seriousness keeps the comedy from decending into parody.

Ultimately perhaps only a T.V. director could have made this film.  J.J. know’s how to sell a pilot, and that’s really what this is.  In a pilot you’re selling the concept and the characters, the story and the plot are secondary in that it just has to work in the universe.  And surprisingly this movie works in the Star Trek universe as a whole. (only in the “what if the alteration of the time line WASN’T corrected” line of thinking)  Ultimately this movie is a “pilot” and perhaps J.J.’s greatest triumph is that you leave the theater wanting to see the next episode.

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One Response to “Star Trek Review”

  1. jaymallow Says:

    If I had to give a negative comment about the pacing it would be the “young Kirk/Spock” scenes. Kirks a rebel cause his dad died. Spock’s conflicted because he’s half human. We get it. (another “the audience is stupid” trend in Hollywood) Acutally McCoy’s two sentance introduction made more sense.

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