Friday, May 8, 2009

Boldly going....where I haven't been in a while

Hey everybody, sorry for the incredibly long delay.  Shortly after switching hosting sites school really kicked into high gear, and unfortunately the blog became a casualty.  I'll be working at a firm full time this summer.  So hopefully I'll have a bit more spare time, as I missed doing this.  Anyway, on to the first review in a while.

As always I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Last night was the day many geeks had been waiting for, the return of Star Trek to theatres.  First, let me preface this, I have been a Trekkie (not "Trekker," only people who are afraid of their geekiness use that term) for most of my life.  I was privileged enough to tour the Next Generation set several times, as a family friend worked for the show's costume department.  So, this review may be biased, so take it for what it's worth.

The prologue to this movie is unquestionably the best in Trek history.  The effects are fantastic, and the action doesn't let up until the movie's title appears on the screen.  What really stood out about the prologue though is the incredibly written dialogue between George and Winona Kirk.  This scene is one of the best written and emotionally moving scene since Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan.

::MINOR SPOILER::  The time travel basis of the plot was another brilliant choice.  The problem you usually run into with prequels is that you know that the characters are never really in danger.  You've seen what happens later, they obviously survive.  With this movie you are constantly left feeling that tragedy could befall any of these characters, and it does.  Wow, it sure does.

I won't spill the beans as to the tragedy, but I loved it.  It was an incredible twist that really sent the message that in this new Trek, anything goes.  However, I have a feeling that the "Comic Book Guy" Trekkies out there are going to be up in arms about this.  It really is a big change, and I think will fly better with non-fans and casual Trekkies like myself, as opposed to the types who attend conventions every year.

Much of the success of this film should be credited to the cast.  The actors captured the spirit of the characters without simply imitating the former actors.  Karl Urban really stands out in my mind.  He was the perfect McCoy.  He nailed the voice, the anger, even the mannerisms.  Chris Pine also hit a home run with the new version of Kirk.  This Kirk isn't the one we grew up with, he had a much more troubled youth, and it showed.  Pine captured the cockiness that Kirk had, but there was a different edge to it.  He was still the captain, but a little rougher around the edges.  I wouldn't be shocked if this movie ends up making a big star out of Pine.

My only gripe with the movie was the villain.  Don't get me wrong, Nero was effective, and Eric Bana did a fine job portraying him.  My complaint was that he was pretty much a bald, tattooed, pointy eared version of Khan.  Sure he didn't control his emotions as well as Khan, but the revenge driven bad guy has been done before, and done too well to be tried again.

That gripe is particularly minor, however, as the movie as a whole was nearly perfect.  This ranks up there with Khan, First Contact, and The Undiscovered Country, as one of the best, if not the best, Trek movies of all time.  If you like Trek, see this movie now.  If you don't like Trek...still see this movie now.  It is that good.

Rating:  5 out of 5