May 10th, 2009

Serenity comin' at ya!

Star Trek! Na Na Na Na Na Na Na, Star Trek!

Star Trek currently has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. NINETY-SIX PERCENT, YOU GUYS. FOR A MOVIE THAT IS NOT BY PIXAR NOR AN INDEPENDENT FILM ABOUT BEING SAD. It also currently has a 96% rating or so on Rotten People Who Have Seen the Movie Before Me. Naturally, I was excited.

I am not a Star Trek fan. I have seen one episode of the original series, "City on the Edge of Forever," and it was okay. I have seen one episode of Next Generation, "Brothers," and it was okay. I have seen The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and First Contact, which were all fine, except for First Contact, which I remember really liking. I've played some of the DS9 Sega Genesis game where you play Odo as a rat. And a Star Trek adventure game on DOS. So I am not that familiar with the canon beyond what everyone knows through popular culture.

Star Trek is a very good, solid sci-fi/action flick and a clever reboot of the franchise, but it was not OMG SUPERAMAZING!! I was thoroughly entertained because I like spaceships and explosions and hilarity, though. The movie is well paced and never boring; after the first twenty minutes or so, it's a continuous action-adventure romp with each scene leading to the next—even though the movie clocks in at over two hours, I never looked at the time once. And even those first twenty minutes are good, as they establish Kirk's and Spock's characters very effectively, which is important since the major focus of the movie is their relationship. We know they are destined to have a legendary friendship so strong that it will cause everyone to think they're gay for each other, but it turns out that in the beginning, they're constantly at odds...just like love interests are at the beginnings of most romantic comedies. Uh.

ANYWAY. Chris Pine doesn't play Kirk like Shatner at all; this Kirk is a brash, seat-of-his-pants guy who speaks without odd emPHAsises and—strange pauses. Zachary Quinto made me completely forget Sylar with his portrayal of a slightly dickish Spock, a man torn between his two ancestries and thus his sense of logic and his emotions. Karl Urban as McCoy is serious enough to be taken seriously but still funny. John Cho has a couple great scenes as Sulu. Anton Yelchin is sort of adorable as Chekov. Simon Pegg is a real hoot as Scotty. Zoe Saldana sure wears a miniskirt as Uhura. It's a very well assembled cast, and even though I'm not really familiar with the original portrayals, I bought all these young upstarts as the iconic characters. It's a diverse, talented crew on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

But what if you're completely unfamiliar with these characters, so unfamiliar that you can't even laugh along with the audience when they say familiar lines? Is there anything for you? Why, of course! Like I said, spaceships and explosions and action-adventure! And destinies! Everyone likes a good destiny. Also, sci-fi shenanigans. Alias fans, prepare to burst out laughing, for, lo, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Masters of the MacGuffin, believe in recycling.

Star Trek gave me everything I could ask for from a movie of its genre, so now I say: bring on the sequel.
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