Star Trek (2009)
I’ve got to say, I’m reviewing Star Trek just as a movie fan, not a Star Trek fan. This is a big distinction seeing as the movie actually wipes out the cannon of at least the original TV show and many people were understandably perturbed about that. But, fan rage aside, this is a downright good movie. It’s a good action movie, a good sci-fi movie, and it’s really funny to boot. I can’t speak for fans of the franchise but as a movie buff, I was highly satisfied.
First off, the plot is actually kind of ingenious. Reboots are notoriously hard to pull off; appeasing a rabid fan base with solid storyline and then delivering with a quality product is difficult at best. This Star Trek introduces vengeful time-traveling aliens (that sounds terrible, but it works in the movie) who unwittingly throw off course of events that led us to the original genesis of the 1960s TV show. By writing a story that circumvents Star Trek’s hefty cannon while still recognizing and respecting it, the screenwriters had the capability to create a completely new story. It’s brilliant really. And yes, unfortunately, they created a world in which the entirety of Trek lore is erased (sorry mega fans), but it’s also respected and used very poignantly as a beautiful version of what could have been.
Second, just the technical aspects of this movie are killer. I’m sure few people were ever as upset as I was over the sound editing Oscar than I was when this movie failed to bring home the hardware (curse you, The Hurt Locker). The use (and avoidance) and sound and score is amazing. Falling thousands of feet all you hear is Kirk’s breathing. Jumping from the surreal stillness of warp speed you’re propelled head first into a mighty space battle. The visuals are fantastic too. I love future Spock’s gyro ship. The pristine cleanliness of the new Enterprise is breathtaking.
Third, and definitely not last, the cast. The cast does such a stellar job that you love each of them. The screenplay puts quirky moments in there for each of them without being campy or corny. Yes, Sulu left the parking break off and Chekov can’t make the “vee” sound. Chuckle and then get to the plot. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto do great work. These characters are part of not just a niche of fans’ but whole generations’ culture. Both (but especially Quinto) bring a realness to the characters that’s gotten lost in cons and merchandise. They’re not afraid of the relative youth they bring to characters but use that and imbue them with it. A lot of the fun of the movie is seeing Kirk and Spock in their prime, measuring, testing, and trusting each other.
For a neophyte to the Trek universe, this movie is just a blast. It’s a great action movie, complete with well-earned pathos, which is hard in any action movie let alone one set in space with forty years of expectation behind it. But I think it goes beyond it’s genre and it’s just a really good movie, green girls and all.
- It kills me to say this about a Trek movie but I’m just following protocol, please don’t kill me, but “The Force is strong with this one”