Mai 19, 2009
Star Trek (2009)
I’m as much of a Trekkie as any girl can be without memorabilia, costumes or convention-snapshots to her name. I know this stuff and I love it dearly.
I’m also one of maybe three people on the planet who didn’t hate „Nemesis“ with the fiery heat of a thousand suns, so I was starved for more Trek.
As for me, I loved it. And here’s why…
[SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!!]
I have had mixed experiences both with JJ Abrams and with Reboots/Reimaginings, so I was half-ecstatic and half-petrified of what was going to happen.
But watching the trailers helped (from that first teaser on…those slow shots of construction on the unfinished ENTERPRISE gave me goosebumps), and watching „Wolverine“ immediately before helped even more. It couldn’t get any worse, after all ^.~
And from the first exterior shot of the USS KELVIN, followed by the view of that bridge, with those uniforms, I felt a tingle along my spine and I knew that it was going to be alright. More than alright.
That brings me straight to the most important reason why this film works: Respect.
It’s a film for geeks, made by geeks who acknowledge how precious the material is to people like me, and who have the same borderline pathological fixation on detail. They may have re-packaged things a bit, but they kept everything that’s important, and there were enough nods to classic Trek to keep a silly grin fixed on my face. They had a shot of Pike in a wheelchair! How awesome is that? Personally, I had a special geek-gasm when Scotty went „It never occurred to me to think of space as the thing that’s moving!“.
The plot Abrams & Co cooked up to attempt a halfway plausible explanation for their reset is another sign of that respect, because it acknowledges everything that came before and doesn’t simply ignore it or stomp all over it.
And speaking of that plot…yes, it’s a bit flimsy, and Nero as the villain has been criticised a lot. It’s true that the guy’s actions aren’t the most logical, and that Eric Bana hasn’t got much to work with. And bloody hell, what was the guy mining to need a ship that size with that kind of firepower??? But still, I think we need to put this into perspective. In the course of his long and illustrous Starfleet carreer, James Tiberius Kirk has battled,among others, disembodied brains, genetically ampli-crazed Ricardo Montalban, a tripped-out Vulcan Messiah-wannabe and Alex De Large. He also saved the world with a couple of singing humpback whales. So…just lay off Nero already.
And regarding the „Cave of Coincidence“ on the „Planet of Suspension of Disbelief“ (I love the Internet!!!), let me refer you to the title of the film. We’re in the Trekverse. Convenient contrivances come with the territory. How else would they ever save the universe in 45 minutes? And while the science was beyond bad (watching a black hole from the twin planet – did I mention that I’m a hardcore Trekkie? – and living to tell the tale? Not bloody likely!), that wasn’t enough to make me disengage from the experience. Shorter Deadra: Don’t bother me with the details.
Instead, let’s concentrate on what they did really, truly, and incredibly well – the characters:
For the very first time, we get to see why Chekov, Sulu and Uhura are officers on the Starfleet flagship. They have actual skills, which they get to use, and their characters are fleshed out a bit. (Anton Yelchin, how I love thee. Mr Cho and Ms Saldana, welcome on my radar.) I love how they incorporated the whole story of Uhura’s non-existent first name into the film. And unless I’m remembering this completely wrong, „Nyota“ actually originated in fanfiction, which made me doubly happy. Plus, my slash-loving heart was all set to rebel at the idea of a Spock/Uhura-pairing. I just couldn’t picture it. But, as it turns out, I like it. A lot. Because Spock’s and Uhura’s (brand new, never before seen) characters are well suited to each other, and Quinto and Saldana really sold it to me. Perfect chemistry with exactly the right amount of sweetness. Scotty’s character doesn’t get fleshed out, but he’s played by Simon Pegg and comes with a complementary bonus-Ewok, so I’ll call that a fair deal.
As for McCoy…I have no other way to say this: Karl Urban absolutely nails this one. He is cynical, pessimistic and deadpan, and all the classical mannerisms from the show are spot-on. Plus, I have a half-formed idea for a spoof in my head where McCoy hoists his medical tricorder and sends his nurses into action by yelling „FORTH, EORLINGAS!!!“…but that’s just me ^.~
Kirk and Spock…the dynamic duo…the be-all and end-all of classic Trek. And again, they got it right. Kirk and Spock are both flawed, mostly in that they’re both prone to the illusion that they’re pretty much perfect. The fact that they’re friends makes them both better officers and better people. Not to mention the fact that, together, they’re pretty much invincible. Making the film about their realising this was important, and it was even better because we get to meet them *before*. We get to see what makes them both tick. („Live long and prosper (…suckers!)“…oooh yes) That makes their interaction later on the bridge all the more perfect: „What are you doing?“ „Being merciful. It’s logical, I thought you’d like that.“ „Not this time, no.“ Ta-daaa. *swoons*
My one serious criticism is one that I’ve had from the TOS episode „Journey To Babel“ onwards, and it concerns Amanda Grayson. A human linguist who somehow managed to turn the head of a member of the most powerful families on Vulcan. She married him and lived in a society that regarded her as inferior. She had a son whom she could barely even touch, who grew up rejecting every part of his heritage from her. Sounds like a woman worth mentioning to me. But, being a woman, she didn’t get to do much of anything, let alone have any opinions. And in the end she was even fridged off-screen to explain the renewed rift between Spock and Sarek. It was pathetic. Times have changed since then, though, and they could have done it better this time around. But they didn’t. Lady Amanda has 2 lines of text (one of which is „Spock!“), and exists only to be Spock’s motivation, first by being human, then by dying. And to add insult to injury, they cast Winona Ryder in the role, because there are no actresses over 40 in Hollywood *sigh*. But that is an old grievance of mine, and it didn’t stop me from loving this film.
And love it I did. I loved it so much I couldn’t stop talking about it for about two hours afterwards. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it and grinning uncontrollably at random moments for about a week afterwards. And I downloaded it to watch it again, just in case I had missed anything. (I had. Uhura has really beautiful earrings.) Yeah…that did it…now I’m grinning again.