Monday, May 11th, 2009
As reboots go, I think this one had all the necessary bits in line. Good casting (I thought Sylar as Spock would be weird, but it turns out Zachary Quinto is the King of the Awesome of this movie), and a light-hearted tone that clearly adores the original series and lovingly pokes fun at it. The costume homage to the era and genre was all kinds of win.
The villain was forgettable and sort of meh, but it was clear he wasn’t really supposed to be anything more than the Villain of the Week™, so it’s really forgivable I think. The focus of this movie was clearly the friendship between Kirk and Spock, and that they executed extremely well. I’m certain a large percentage of the Kirk/Spock slashers are completely in love with this movie. And I totally see it, too.
I adore Quinto’s snarky, sassy Spock. The Vulcan school-yard bully scene was basically fantastic, and no one but this young Spock could so perfectly turn the Vulcan parting phrase into a verbal finger. Win!
There could have been more between Spock and Spock Prime at the end. I wanted it to be a little meatier, a little thicker, a little more deep, but I’m more or less happy with what I got.
The rest of the casting really worked for me, too. Chris Pine’s Kirk was charming and in places reminiscent of the original, and I’m happy he chose not to try and impersonate William Shatner in the role. He made the character his own and still honoured the original, I think. I loved Karl Urban as McCoy, and though some people probably think he pushed a little too far into imitation, I actually think it was just far enough aside from one or two spots. I really liked Zoe Saldana as Ulhura, and thought the Ulhura/Spock angle was one of many great ways they split this universe’s characters off from the original, although the kiss on the transporter pad seemed unusually awkward and I can’t figure out if it was on purpose or not. Simon Pegg was typically Simon Pegg but still called back to the original Scotty, and I enjoyed John Cho’s Sulu and his extendable sword. Anton Yelchin’s Chekov was a little too Wesley Crusher for my taste, but not so much so that he was distracting, so he can have a gold star, too.
I’m generally leery about timeline stories in Star Trek, mostly because I prefer time travel stories akin to HP’s PoA with completed paradoxes rather than alternate universes and realities. Having said that, I think reboot the series by using an alternate reality is a really nifty idea. It’s a great way to pay respects and springboard off canon content while not being restricted or tethered to it. Fanfic writers have been doing it for years, and some of the best things I’ve ever read in fandom are AU.
So, yes. Star Trek was awesome and not at all disappointing, which you all probably already knew.