Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek (2009)

Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek. The updated version introduced us to new actors as well as linking the film to the past. The action segments provided seat-gripping fun with seamless CGI providing additional intensity. The performances were exceptional...keeping surprising continuity with the original actors. My only issue with this film was the storyline. It wasn't bad, but I found it lacking at times. Either way, this was still an epic film in the Star Trek tradition.

If you aren't familiar with Captain James T. Kirk, then you probably live in a cultural vacuum. Regardless of your feelings about the Star Trek genre, the groundbreaking television series has had a lasting effect on our culture. But what do we know of Kirk's early life. And is what we know the way things really are, or will be. Or can the course of history be altered by the appearance of a galaxy altering presence from the future? This concept becomes the premise upon which the latest Star Trek film draws inspiration.

In the first reality, Captain Kirk's father (George Kirk, played by Chris Hemsworth) lived to attend Kirk's graduation from the Star Fleet Academy. Reality altering events present a new reality in which Captain George Kirk holds the title of Captain for just twelve minutes. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) grows up fatherless in Iowa, living his life with reckless abandon. A chance encounter with Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) lands Kirk in the Starfleet Academy where he becomes close friends with Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), more familiarly known as "Bones."

Kirk is introduced to Spock (Zachary Quinto) under less than the best of circumstances. The two don't like each other and engage in an early conflict based on academic dishonesty. The two are thrust together under the command of Captain Pike and are forced to settle differences. However, the conflict creates an undercurrent of competitiveness and differing opinions that appears unable to be gapped. In the process, the galaxy appears under threat of attack and the two must find resolution in order to save Earth and ultimately the galaxy (or would that be universe?)

In the process of developing the story, we are introduced to many of the regulars in the Star Trekgenre, to include Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). These are the young guns of the Starfleet Academy and they quickly rise to their respective positions. The casting was exceptional, with special emphasis placed on creating believability. The characters were certainly credible in the roles they were cast in. Even with the young Spock typecast in my mind as the vicious Sylar from Heroes, his performance as Spock was re-defining. He could not have been cast better.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw this on the weekend. A great re-introduction. Can't wait for the franchise to start again.