Non-knee-jerk review: "Star Trek"

1. Right after we saw it, we thought it was fantastic. Everything we could have hoped for.
2. Nine days later, we're not so sure. It's very good, but just not quite great.
3. We have to deduct a lot of points for the weakness of the villain Nero. His motivation is rather convoluted, plus he's just not in enough scenes. And the ones he is in typically involve him delivering his lines sitting down. Dude, feel free to stand up.
4. We're also subtracting points for the big chunk of exposition delivered midway through the movie that explains Nero's above-mentioned convoluted motivation. This all happens in flashback as one character tells another character. It's a classic info-dump scene, the sort of thing screenwriters are supposed to avoid like the plague.
5. That said, the opening U.S.S. Kelvin prologue offers slam-bang excitement that raises goosebumps. Ditto the dramatic, over-the-top reveal of the "Star Trek" main title.
6. Karl Urban is doing a spot-on DeForest Kelley imitation. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but in this movie it sure is fun.
7. "Buckle up."
8. Great callback to the Kobayashi Maru test.
9. The sequence of events that puts Kirk in the captain's chair is a little far-fetched, clearly ignoring Starfleet chain of command.
10. The phaser shootout at the end is uninspired, the sort of thing you'd see in "The A-Team." But the new phasers are exceedingly cool, the barrel flipping back and forth between "stun" and "kill."
11. Simon Pegg is a perfect Scotty, but he's making it his own, rather than trying to channel James Doohan.
12. The ice planet monster was not needed.
13. We always like seeing Bruce Greenwood.
14. We also always like seeing green-skinned Orion hotties.
15. "Buckle up."
16. Zachary Quinto is an okay Spock. Chris Pine is a better Kirk.
17. The bridge beeps and chirps are from the original series. We noticed. We appreciated it.
18. There's an awful lot of running around in the halls of the Enterprise. Frantic running doesn't always equal dramatic suspense.
19. Some say there's a tribble visible on Scotty's desk. We unfortunately didn't see it.
20. We figure the next movie will feature the Klingons.
21. It's a great moment when Kirk finally appears in his gold command shirt.
22. Strangely, one of the most fleshed-out characters here is Uhura, who was traditionally the flimsiest of the main seven Enterprise characters reduced to some variation of "hailing frequencies open."
23. Leonard Nimoy is looking old.
24. The good news is that whatever problems we had with this movie have nothing to do with any nerdy worry about maintaining the Star Trek canon. That's why it's call a reboot, people. We're starting over and the Cheese Fry is okay with that. JJ Abrams and his writers take great pains to try and show that the Nero subplot has created a new timeline ala Doc Brown's speech in Back to the Future, thereby preserving the old Shatner-Nimoy timeline. If you say so. It's just as easy to sit back and enjoy the ride, just as we enjoy the Daniel Craig James Bond, which technically wipes out the Sean Connery/Roger Moore/Pierce Brosnan movies.
25. Paramount has now successfully revived the franchise. Congratulations. We have confidence the sequel will be better since even-numbered Star Trek movies always are.

1 comment:

  1. "Non-knee-jerk"??? Is The Cheese Fry about to "reboot?" I strongly agree with #16. Quin-to has Got-to-go. And did we really need that much time with Nimoy? In DLP, he finally looks much like DeForest Kelley did in Star Trek VI - old, with one foot in. And thanks for the preachy "We are the World" speech to your 20-something self, Spock. That single sequence nearly caused me to toss my Goobers! Karl Urban stole the movie, I thought. Great movie overall. Much better than Vger...