I love science fiction, but I have never been a huge fan of the original Star Trek. I've tried to see it as a "classic" or "ahead of it's time", but frankly - it was just kinda sad. The special effects did not hold up over time (and I still like the look of Star Wars), the writing was bad and the acting was worse. Okay, Nimoy was cool, but Shatner? Yikes. I think they invented the phrase 'couldn't act his way out of a paper bag' just for him. Still, I was excited when I heard that one of my TV gods, JJ Abrams was going to do a remake. Pretty much everything he touches turns to gold, and he has the draw to pull in a great pool of talent.
I was not disappointed. More than that, I think that this was one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time.
It's been a couple weeks since the movie has been out, and there a number of reviews written by much more erudite people than I can ever claim to be, so I'm not going to bore you with the regular mumbo jumbo that they put into reviews. (If you want to read that kind of stuff, go here. Very comprehensive.) What I am going to do is tell you what I liked, what I didn't and why you have to go see it.
Chris Pine. I wasn't won over by his looks in the trailer, but hot damn, he's pretty fine in the full-length movie. He's also personable - you can't help but be drawn in by his charm. He is not the most versatile actor of the bunch, but he's got the stuntguy thing down pat. And, thanks to him, I finally see what all the hullabaloo is about Captain Kirk. I HATED William Shatner, and could never understand why females (even alien ones from distant planets) could be so hard up as to fall in love/lust with him. Pine, on the other hand, would make a fine partner for some Afternoon Delight.
Karl Urban. I still don't really know who this guy is, but I want to. I looked him up on IMDB, and the only show I've seen him in was the late great Xena: Warrior Princess. (He played Caesar.) When he was on the screen, I couldn't look at anyone else... and not because he's good looking (although he is, I guess). He plays McCoy and manages to pay homage to the original character, and yet make it thoroughly his own. He's one to watch, mark my words.
Simon Pegg. Well, who doesn't like Pegg? If you haven't watched his brilliant BBC show Spaced, you've surely seen him in Shaun of the Dead. And you really should watch Run, Fatboy, Run - a fun movie for a weekend rental. He is simply brilliant casting as Scotty, and brings so much humour to the film that I can't imagine it without him. Note perfect.
Zachary Quinto. Good. Very good. He didn't wow me, though. I think I was expecting more, because I love his character on Heroes, which might be doing him a disservice. But...meh? He was okay. I do have a secret crush on Nimoy, though, so perhaps I am not an unbiased judge.
Main problem? The timeline of the story. I had trouble following it. (Was it just me? Maybe I do have mommy-brain after all.) I found the going back and forth between past and present a bit...confusing. Didn't ruin the movie, of course, but I dislike having to have the movie explained to me.
Best thing? You don't have to be a Trekkie to enjoy the movie. I was a little afraid that I would see some crazies dressed up in the audience, yelling Klingon injectives at the screen. They make me nervous. (My fears turned out to be unfounded.) The two hours flew by, and I enjoyed the casting so much, that I'm hoping - begging, really - that Abrams makes another Star Trek movie really soon. It was totally worth the schedule juggling to get the two of us out the door sans kids.
Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun.
Picture credit: www.trekmovie.com