Warning: Spoilers Below
My wife, son and I went to see Star Trek today. I was hyped about this “reboot” since the first trailer was released. I’ve talked constantly about how I wanted to go see this movie. I practically drug my wife and son to see it with me. What were the results? Did it live up to the hype? Do I think it is as “epic” as everyone else believes it to be? Why? Why not? Well, let me tell you …
I guess I’ll start of with the bad. As I said before, I was hyped about this movie. My desktop had artwork on it, I was watching the trailers over and over, checking up on the previous works the actors had contributed to … This movie was going to be A W E S O M E !
But, as with most thing you expect great things out of, I was let down a tad bit, this time. Over all, the entire story seemed choppy. There was little transition of time, the beginning scenes skipped around from Kirk’s birth, a point in his childhood when he stole his stepfather’s car, then to him getting his butt beat in a bar fight after hitting on Uhura. The entire opening sequence of the U.S.S. Kelvan being attacked by Nero’s ship and George Kirk sacrificing himself to save the crew and his wife who is in labor w/ James T. Kirk, wasn’t really that exciting or dramatic.
This was my problem with the entire movie. Not the special effects or the acting or even the choppy story. It was the fact that none of it was exciting or breathtaking. Yes, there were plot elements that sent the entire Star Trek Universe into an entirely new direction from what we all grew up with, but there were no jaw dropping moments.
I guess the lack of mystery and thrills is what I’m groping for in my complaint. We all know that none of our beloved historic characters are in jeopardy, so when Kirk and Spock head over to Nero’s ship, we know they’re going to make it back. Scotty caught in the water flow tube after him and Kirk beam back to the Enterprise from the ice planet … so what, we know he’s not going to die, he’s the chief engineer of the Enterprise, for crying out loud! Sulu and Kirk’s fight on the drilling platform … it could have been an intense fighting sequence, but what is intense about it when you know neither of them will lose?
There was also the issue of Spock “Prime,” as some folks are calling him on the interwebz, pointing out characters as if we wouldn’t have figured it out ourselves. Such as when he and Kirk discover Scotty at the Federation Outpost on the ice planet. “Fascinating. You are Montgomery Scott.” No, really?
The story was written by J.J. Abrams, creator of shows such as Lost, Alias, the movie Cloverfield, etc. He is great at mystery and carrying on interesting storylines. But action and storytelling in the Star Trek Universe … he left me wanting … something better.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a nice mix of drama and comedy, nothing over the top, but enough to keep folks entertained. But the entire film was, from what I could tell, suppose to be an action adventure … and it lacked a bit in the action and the adventure. Instead of an epic space battle, we get the Enterprise warping in and firing phasers and photo torpedoes for about 30 seconds, and that’s the extend of the really big fight scene.
Okay, so my list of complaints may be a bit longer than I wanted, but really, it was a good movie, just not the “epic” adventure I’ve been reading about. There were some bright spots, such as the interaction between Kirk and Bones, which was brief and not very fleshed out. Spock was a bit of an ass, but you could kind of see where him and Kirk could flesh one another out should their relationship be allowed to bloom. Scotty was given too little screen time and Simon Pegg was wasted, though I thought he did well with what he was given. I couldn’t stand Uhura or Chekov, but Sulu had potential, too. I think Karl Urban was the most true to his character, despite what I read on other sites. He WAS Leonard “Bones” McCoy, but, alas, he was given very little screen time.
All in all, this was most definitely an “origin” story, if I may call it that. Should you go see it? Definitely. Evidently it appeals to a much wider audience than the other Trek films. Where I was let down a bit, my wife, who didn’t want to go see it, actually enjoyed it more than she expected she would. And let me tell you, she doesn’t like Star Trek and has made fun of me several times over wanting to see this movie.
So J.J. Abrams may have done what he set out to do: attract a new audience to the series and genre. My hats off to him. I just hope, if there is a sequel, it’ll be a bit better than this one.
If you want to see a great action adventure set in the Star Trek Universe, go rent or buy First Contact. If you want a great story with suspense and intrigue, go rent or buy Star Trek Nemesis. If you want just a near perfect Star Trek Story, then check out The Wrath of Khan or The Voyage Home. But, if you want to see a summer blockbuster that makes things go boom with very little thought, then check out J.J. Abrams Star Trek.