Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Film Review - Star Trek

I went to see Star Trek at the weekend and like most other people I have spoken to, enjoyed it immensely. After having grown up with Shatner, Nimoy et al in the late 60's and early 70's, I had always been disappointed with the run of Star Trek films from 1979. The early ones always seemed lost in the translation to the big screen and, lets face it, they were all too old to be in charge of star ships running around playing action heroes. Once 'Alien' had been released all these humanoid aliens seemed babyish and cheap. The later 'Next Generation' films I mostly missed and by all accounts have not lost out in any way.

But having enjoyed Batman Begins and The Incredible Hulk reloads, I figured that Star Trek was worth a go. It does not disappoint. From beginning to end the pace is just right. Talk, action, talk, action all the way in the typical J.J. Abrams way. The narrative is also pitched just right with a script to satisfy all ages. Perhaps best of all are the quality of the performances. I thought that I would not be able to look at Zachary Quinto without thinking of 'Sylar' but very soon that was forgotten. He plays Spock as confused, logical and strong all at once - just as Nimoy had done in his heyday. Chris Pine goes against expectation and produces a performance that is convincing and witty without ever trying to outdo Shatner at his own game. Kirk and Spock are adversaries who learn respect for each other through collaboration. This could easily be a horrible cliche but is well handled by all. Perhaps the real revelation though is Karl Urban as 'Bones' McCoy who drops his 'tough-guy' image and is pitch perfect all the way through.

The art of the summer release is to produce a film with the right blend of up-to-date effects and well paced narrative. Think Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones, E.T., or The Dark Knight. All too often these basic rules are forgotten. Refreshingly, Star Trek does not do this. So if you want to see a perfect 'popcorn' movie that doesn't try to be anything other than a sci-fi blockbuster romp, than go and see Star Trek on the big screen. Excellent fun all the way.

Muse - Starlight (mp3)

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