Monday, May 11, 2009

Review of the movie: Star Trek

So, I promised a review of Star Trek and here it is:

Note: I have tried my damned hardest NOT to include spoilers in here. However, I can't help but give away tiny, unimportant details. If you haven't seen the movie and want to have a totally virgin experience then you better shut off you computer right now (oh, and don't read any online review or anything as there are so many spoilers out there, I'm glad I didn't look at them until after the movie).

So, without further ado:

Star Trek (2009): This movie opens with a bang and keeps on banging you like some punk beating a freshman's head against a locker (but in a good way). In brief this movie can be summed up with the following words: "woah! BOOM! VROOM! HAH! HAH again! HAH even more! ZIP! BOOM! BOOM some more! WEEEEE! PUNCH! KICK! ZOOM! BOOM! HAH! WEEEEE! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap"

In less brief review, the film could be described as the best parts of Star Wars combined with the best parts of Star Trek combined with some great acting combined with excellent special effects all rolled up in a nice package that leaves you wanting more (without being too brief or sacrificing anything).

So, as you have no doubt noticed I have nothing but praise for this movie. Well, I suppose not nothing as I will point out a few flaws near the end but they're minor and more just nitpicking (what a funny word, and the origin is equally funny).

Anyway, the movie opens with a plenty of fun and you are right away drawn into the action. Yet, despite being action packed it also starts with mystery. Then on top of that you immediately get drawn into the characters and the first 15 minutes of the movie do a great job of shaping the characters (read: Kirk). Then, as more characters get introduced they get fleshed out in brilliant ways that really shape their personality. It's actually quite remarkable how well they've transformed the original characters into these new actors. In fact, it almost seemed that these actors were the original actors at times. What I mean with that is the new actors fit so well with the movie that when they did something new it fit. At the same time though, when they did a call-back to The Original Series (TOS) then it fit as well. About the only thing that came out as forced was Chekhov's forced W's instead of V's but this was so forced that it actually became funny in itself (though, thankfully he quickly toned it down and became quite a bit more understandable, cause his first few lines we're kinda hard to follow).

Oh, and I'm sure I'm not alone with this but anybody who watched the trailers and saw Kirk picking up Uhura in a bar, seeing her get undressed, seeing Spock fighting Kirk on the bridge, etc. and thought "oh no, this is going to be James Bond as James T. Kirk" then you will be happily disappointed. No, scratch that, you will not only be happily disappointed but you may hopefully, like me, find these scenes to fit so well with the themes of the movie. Kirk in the bar is a great scene that really sets up Kirk's life before joining Star Fleet, Uhura getting naked is totally plausible and really funny, Spock hitting Kirk is a big part of one of the films themes, and so on.

Some other things worth mentioning are the action is awesome and fast but is perfectly spaced out with bits of dialog and non-action plot development. The music score is amazing, I'm thinking of buying if it's available. The special effects rival Star Wars - Episode 3 and look incredible (Enterprise coming out of Titan's atmosphere is incredible and the battles look wonderful).

Now, for the die-hard trekkies out there, don't worry. First off, this film has ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON STAR TREK CANNON. Now, I can't tell you how that is possible without giving away half the film but sufice it to say this is a clear reboot of the franchise while brilliantly maintaining the existing Star Trek universe (and even allowing for more shows/movies using the original Star Trek universe). Also, this while this movie is completely accessible by people who haven't seen Star Trek it will perhaps be enjoyed even more by the people who have seen Star Trek TOS (or even TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT). There are tons of call-backs to TOS, references to Spock on Romulus (TNG), and references to ENT (when you first see Scotty listen for the line about the Beagle and the transporter and catch the Admiral's name).

However, there are a few things that trekkies might not like. The big one being the enterprise's changes. First off, it's quite different on the outside but I think this looks good. About the only thing I didn't like was the nacelles, they looked a little off. But I still got used to this. Other things that kinda seemed off were the fact that everything seemed to have some kind a plasma propulsion engine at end of the nacelles which isn't really correct with Star Trek cannon but whatever. Also, the bridge is very different but it's all good in my mind. The only weird thing is the viewscreen isn't a screen but a window. WHY WOULD YOU PUT A WINDOW IN THERE! UGH, that was just stupid, nobody in their right mind would have such a tempting target as the command center of a starship have something as vulnerable as a window. I know, I know they have force fields and such but, still, as an engineer I call foul. Lastly, the engineering sections of the Enterprise looks like a pulp mill (something I'm quite familiar with) and while most people seemed to hate this, I loved it. I looked so much how I would picture a huge starship being in the bowels of it. I mean, when it comes right down to it this makes so much more sense then hiding everything away in conduits. When stuff needs regular fixing you leave everything open and exposed. The new Enterprise reflects this by showing 'steel' beams everywhere (but rivets? Engineering foul again, we haven't used riveted beams since the 30's-40's), pipes big and small, ducts, wires, etc. All this interspersed with futuristic control panels and what not. Though you never actually got to see the warp core (or cores, you'll see what I mean. Though, a thought just occurred to me, perhaps what they eject is not the core but rather the anti-matter containment and storage devices, that would make a lot more sense).


So, yeah, all good there in my mind. So, now for the few flaws. First off, the only gaping plot hole I found was at the end history has been altered but why then did they not go back and change history back? I guess they figured it might make things worse blah, blah, blah, but that never seemed to stop Star Trek before? Oh well.


Then there was the bit with the Enterprise being built in Iowa and I gotta call Star Trek foul, it was built in San Fransisco. That's stretching it though, aside from the above (and some physics fouls but that can be passed off) there were no major flaws. Heck, they even did somethings that only Firefly and a handful of other movies/shows have done, they had space be quiet. Well, not all the time, they did it only when it was really artistic but I thought this was a good trade off. It allowed them to have huge space explosions and such while still showing that if you perform an orbital jump all you're going to hear is your breathing.

So, anyway, I think I've said enough. I could go on for about 10 more paragraphs but anymore would just be silly. The final bit I can say is watch it then watch it again then take your girlfriend to watch it (quite girl friendly, not just a guy movie) then take your kids to watch it (I'd say as long as they are 10 years old it's appropriate but there are some scary monsters and some women in bras and lots of screaming and fighting and a woman giving birth and so on but I think it's all good) and then watch it one last time before it leaves the theater.

Movie of the year, all the way.


  1. ... why who cares

  2. Apparently you, if you don't care then don't read it.

  3. Saw it tonight. When Scotty was....experiencing his teleportation mishap, I actually muttered "Nasty way to go."

  4. I just saw it today, sooooooooooooooooooooooo fantasically dandy doobly doozie awsome!!!! Im not exaggerating when i say this is the best movie ive seen in years!