New Star Trek kicks the ass of every other Star Trek
by Danny Gallagher, posted May 8th 2009 10:02AM
I'm not the kind of person who normally resorts to pumping something full of hype, but if you are reading this and haven't seen the new big-screen adaptation of Star Trek, you need to be tied to something heavy so that "certain" people can know your whereabouts at all times.
J.J. Abrams' new vision of TV's original Star Trek has everything you expect from a summer movie flick that costs $150 million to make and $8.25 a ticket: laughs, big explosions, smokin' hot alien babes who spend the majority of their screen time in skimpy underwear.
However, it has accomplished something far greater than just being a great summer epic. It manages to appeal to an audience even wider than rabid Trekkies who still refuse to wash the hand they shook DeForest Kelley's hand with back in 1975. It also breathes new life into a sci-fi series whose bones were picked clean by the studio vultures long ago.
It's got a complex plot, but not one that takes the mind of a genetic physicist to understand and appreciate. A rogue Romulan, Nero (played by Eric Bana), pulls a Terminator and ventures to the past to exact revenge for the destruction of his home planet, and the Enterprise gets in his cross hairs. Of course, this isn't your Daddy's Enterprise. This is a crew of fresh faced cadets learning the ropes and each others' limits to defeat an enemy thirsty for blood.
Every level works to some degree, but casting deserves some major kudos. The cast doesn't merely imitate the original characters from the TV series. They build on them. They have fun with them, and the script gives them a lot of good material to work with. It's deeply emotional, particularly with the young Spock, played brilliantly by Heroes' Zachary Quinto who walks a very fine edge as a cold and calculating Vulcan wrestling with the power of human emotion. If the first few minutes alone don't give you a lump in your throat, check the color of your blood to make sure it's not green.
It's action packed from beginning to end. The new James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine, bounces around the screen and gets into some over-the-top fights. There are big explosions, loud fights and giant climactic battles that assault the senses and throw fire in your eyes. The IMAX version could be considered a Class B misdemeanor in some of the wussier states.
But most surprisingly of all, it's damn funny. There are the in-jokes that just about every pop culture junkie knows. A red shirt will die. Bones, played by Keith Karl Urban, will exclaim that "he's a doctor, not an [insert random profession here]" (I was pulling for "secret shopper"). Scotty, played by Spaced's Simon Pegg, will complain that he's "giving her all she's got." Even if the scriptwriters eliminated every joke that relates to Star Trek, its own sense of humor could run on its own two engines.
And the funniest part is, this is all coming from someone who never really liked Star Trek all that much in the first place. Don't bother with the comments. I know I'm evil.