Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Your Father's Star Trek: A Movie Review

Shelley and I went to see the new Star Trek movie on mother's day.

The tag line for this movie is "this is not your father's Star Trek" and this is more true then you might expect.  Without giving away spoilers let me just say that this movie truly reboots the entire series and lets it start all over again while still making sense within the franchise history.

Probably being the age of "your Dad" that they talk about, as a Star Trek fan since TOS, let me say that I still loved this move.  JJ Abrahms walks the line brilliantly between keeping all that your dad loves about star trek alive while updating the series in very smart ways.  

The action feels "modern" in a quick-cut 21st century style while still also feeling very "trekish".  The new actors by and large do a good job of catching the soul of the original performers' performance of these charcters, while exploring their youth in a way we've never been privledged to see before.  Shelley and I agreed that the strongest of these was the new McCoy who really seemed to channel DeForest Kelley in his performance. 

We disagreed  on the weakest.  The new Checkov looks nothing like Davy Jones, who Walter Koenig was originally cast to look like.  Shelley found that distracting.  For me, there was something about the new actor that plays a young Scotty that didn't quite click for me.  I guess he sort of has the air of a "slacker" in this film, which just didnt fit the tireless engineer I remember so fondly from TOS.

The science was also a bit hand-wavvy for Star Trek.  A magical new kind of matter and travel through black holes feature heavily in the plot.  Someone will probably try to claim that there are time-travel paradoxes in the plot as well, but as we already know the Star trek universe contains multiple parallel realities (eg the episopde "Mirror Mirror") these are pretty easily explained away.

Quibbles aside though, this movie was tremendous fun and bodes will for the future of the franchise.

2 comments:

Geek said...
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Geek said...

There is at least one time travel paradox in the new Star Trek. You see, when Kirk steals his step-father's classic Vette, he punches up a song on his flashy Nokia media player. The song is Beastie Boys' "Sabotage", thus placing the Beastie Boys as a legitimate part of the Star Trek universe. (Had the music played OVER the scene instead of as part of it, this wouldn't be so.) What's the catch? In the late 90s, the Beastie Boys released a song called "Intergalactic", which uses the following lines:

If you try to knock me you'll get mocked
I'll stir fry you in my wok
Your knees'll start shaking and your fingers pop
Like a pinch on the neck of Mr. Spock


...which means the Beastie Boys either created the Vulcan Nerve Pinch somehow, or Mr. Spock traveled back into Earth's 1990s and they witnessed it. In either case, there is at least a mild paradox.