Though it boasts an amazing cast, a decent script and a theme song that nearly anyone will recognize, this re-boot of the classic science fiction franchise wasn’t as captivating as I expected – and wanted it to be.
For two reasons, I am going to write more about the production aspects of the film that writing a proper review. Story wise, this is film is the re-boot of a franchise that has an impressive following to say the least. It stars Chris Pine as James Kirk, the cocky son of the heroic man who saved over eight hundred lives – including those of his mother and himself – when he went down with a starship battling the captain of a now disbanded tribe. Years later, Kirk’s life coincides with that of Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) who once knew James’ father. Issued a dare, Kirk joins the cadet program, a choice that will test Kirk’s mettle in ways he never has been challenged. Intersecting with his life is that of Spock (Zachary Quinto), a brilliant Vulcan whose questionable paternity leads him to leave his tribe and Bones (Karl Urban), a dedicated physician and James best friend.
What I first saw him in, I do not know but Chris Pine has become an actor that has landed among the men who I like in leading roles. Because of its high praise and the cast, it was a bit of a mystery as to why I’d never watched this, yet here it is four years later before this travesty was remedied. Let me start out by clearly saying, I liked the movie. A lot. Many of its quirks were pure brilliance though I cannot say the same for the script which is mediocre in many of its story elements – those that are meant to further the suspense. Probably the greatest, most engaging surprise was the humor. How well it carried the film was wonderful. It’s difficult to balance humor against nail-biting suspense unless you are Star Trek. The effort is one of many rewards since it plays as if it is actually effortless making the suspense less important while the audience gets caught up in the character’s not the pulse-pounding excitement which plays second string.
Special effects are really impressive and in particular the rescue mission in the final moments displays selfless heroism and some nail-biting uncertainty. The pacing is kept up and in addition to a solid ending that doesn’t fizzle out (not to mention staging for its sequel) it also opens with a strong, emotional set up. In spite of that good climax, it’s the cast who keeps this movie going. Pine and Quantino were excellent as was the supporting cast – including a nearly unrecognizable Eric Bana, save for perhaps Zoe Salanda whom I felt was more expendable than important, something that normally wouldn’t have been a point of contention seems useless than meant as a bit of cute romantics. Then there is the script which was a mixed up cornucopia of past and bitter rivals, tribes that have been destroyed and futuristic predictions come in just when you think you have a grasp on who is who and the part they play. I cannot really lay blame to the script since I was able to follow the story, it was more my naivety of the story’s legend that created confusion.
Putting aside any flaws, this made for a fun night of entertainment and is one that I’ll look forward to seeing again. It has charisma in ways most movies never achieve and it is also a part of a legendary series that likely took the genre of science fiction to new heights. As the first in a re-booted series, Star Trek is an excellent piece of film work; curiosity for ‘Into the Darkness’ is now something to anticipate. Despite all of its spectacular effects, comedy and other frivolity, I have been remiss in sharing what its greatest error was. Killing off Chris Hemsworth in the first fifteen minutes; I don’t know if that is a forgivable offense. *wink*
(What to know: There is a brief sensual scene between Kirk and his date [he is on her bed, both are in their underwear before he is forced to hide when her roommate returns]. There is an early scene of childbirth [non-graphic]. Various characters die; Kirk gets into a fistfight and another man is captured and tortured. The movie is rated PG13.)