Star Trek

Ok, I admit it, I’m a bit of a trekkie, not super hardcore wearing fake vulcan ears trekkie, but I grew up in the 70s as a fan that didn’t miss too many episodes of the original series. I also enjoyed the new generation era but wasn’t a die hard fan. And I did enjoy some of the movies (Wrath of Khan is one of my favorites).

That being said, I enjoyed the new Star Trek movie. I’m not completely nuts over it though. First, the good…

Visually, the effects are fantastic. The space battle sequences are of the quality we’ve grown accustomed to and did not disappoint. And the movie is all about the action, the action is well played out and fun to watch and pretty much starts at the beginning and continues throughout the end.

There’s also some great performances from the actors: Zach Quinto’s portrayal of Spock is especially good and Simon Pegg makes for a very fun Scotty. I also thought the new Sulu was fun to watch.

One of the other great aspects of the film was the fact that they paid homage to the original series in different spots. (Spoiler alert – yes, somebody wearing red gets killed).

Now, the not so good…

I wanted to see more of the backstory. I thought that there were too many formulaic parts to try to speed things along. It felt rushed to try to get them into the Enterprise as fast as possible and thrown right into a danger that’s going to destroy the planet. Basically, it plays out like a long episode of the TV show.

There’s a lot of holes in here where there’s abrupt (and again formulaic) parts in the plot line to develop character which makes things seem a bit forced and at times unrealistic. I thought it would be fun and interesting to see more about Starfleet Academy and the early years of Kirk, McCoy and the crew, but was disappointed when it went straight to “3 Years Later” in the timeline to move everything along.

Some of the performances fell a bit short – Karl Urban (who I’m a big fan of from Lord of the Rings) played McCoy a bit forced. And while Chris Pine played Kirk well, his lines and how his backstory play out is ok but not great. The barely post-pubescent Checkov character just kind of got on my nerves.

And while the digital effects are great, there’s one or 2 alien costume moments that looked like they skimped on the budget a little in the makeup department.

All in all, it’s a good popcorn movie and a fun installation to the franchise but I don’t think it quite lives up to the re-visioning hype the Paramount marketing department is making it out to have.

On a side note – my wife discovered that if a theater’s sound is too loud, unused shredded tampons make for good earplugs.

Reviewed by Sean McKnight