I saw the new Star Trek film last week. I’m not well versed in the Star Trek mythos. My fondest memories of it is watching the original series in the afternoons one summer during high school. I don’t know why I started watching it, there probably wasn’t anything better on tv, but it sucked me in. I loved how camp it was and yet how important some of the messages were.
In between episodes they’d run interviews with the cast, and they would reveal what it was like to work on and how amazing it was during those years, when the whole world was in turmoil and this show was trying to find meaning in it all.
Over the years I’ve tried watching various re-incarnations, but I always felt like they’d missed the whole point. In fact, I feel like most science-fiction these days miss the point. Now it’s all about spectacle but there was a time when science-fiction was about gaining perspective on issues that plague us now. It allowed writers to present us with a story that was familiar but so far removed from our daily knowledge that it didn’t offend our sensibilities but let us think outside of the box. I think that’s missing these days.
But, I’m getting side tracked. My point is, I haven’t followed with the more modern Trek tv shows, and I haven’t seen any of the films except Star Trek Nemesis (which was weird). So, in many ways I’d hoped this was the first Star Trek film I’d really get. And, I sort of did. I knew the characters well enough to love seeing them again on screen, even with new actors.
I think Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) were amazing. In fact, Quinto was so good at being Vulcan, he made the other Vulcans appear too emotional. Pine had the toughest job, from what I could see. He had to play an arrogant bastard and make you like him. I think he did this well.
The rest of the cast I enjoyed just as much, with one exception. I liked Chekov on the TV show, but for some reason it didn’t translate well in the film. He was just so over the top and so unnecessarily there, he felt really tacked on. He didn’t even get to have a Monkees hair cut.
Story-wise, it was ok. There was a lot of set-up to get through and some really unnecessary chase sequences (bigger fish! and BIGGER FISH). I felt Eric Bana was bland. He was an insane evil bastard and they gave him backstory which basically didn’t change the fact that he was an insane evil bastard. I really wasn’t all that bothered by the plot, to be honest and got most of my amusement from Scotty.
My one irritation with the story really surprised me. It was that the writer assumed too much knowledge on the audience part. They had little to no explanation to Romulans vs Vulcans and still at this point all I can determine is that Romulans are Vulcans with tattoos and anger management issues. I can understand not wanting to patronise Trekkies, but come on! Throw me a bone here, guys. Is it that hard to have some red shirt ask “What’s a romulan?” or something?
But, I’m looking forward to more and that the writing will improve now that introductions are out of the way and we’re comfortable with our new crew.