Saturday, May 16, 2009

J. J. Abrams's Star Trek (Yet Again)

Saw it again (b/c JQ hadn't seen it yet).

Look, I enjoyed it...Chris Pine is a great Kirk, Zachary Quinto is a great Spock, and Karl Urban is a great McCoy. They've really got the characters' quirks down amazingly well. Quinto in particular, in a private conversation between Spock and McCoy, just flat-out nails the hell out of it.

But it's just not a terribly good movie, stellar reviews nothwithstanding.

It's about a solid 'B' I suppose, but I imagine that's inflated because I'm a big ST:ToS fan.

The story just isn't very good, and on second viewing, I thought that was a bigger problem than the frenetic pace.

[Spoiler alert]

The time-travel/alternate universe plot just isn't that good, as most aren't. Perhaps they wanted to do it in anticipation of more movies with ToS characters--or their alternate-universe counterparts, anyway--and they wanted to free themselves up. Whatever. The plot is just not good.

And, as I mentioned before, they botch the final battle with overkill (bad guys get blown up by Enterprise while being sucked into a black hole...really unsporting of our heroes...I guess they were worried that maybe everybody who gets sucked into a black hole comes out o.k. or something...)

Still, it's fun and worth seeing just to see Pine, Quinto and Urban do their things. (Bruce Greenwood is also good as Pike...but there's not really much of a Pike character to capture, so that's a different thing. Harold or Kumar (whichever it is) seems pretty good as Sulu, but, again, Sulu had so few good lines in ToS that there's not much to capture. New Scotty and New Checkov are a little too over-the-top.)

Anyway, it's just crazy that everybody so loves this flick. It's fun, but just not that good.


Blogger matthew christman said...

I agree with everything you've written on this movie. I just want to ring the bell for Karl Urban. I was really shocked by how great he was. Not only did he nail the character, he knew just how far to push it with the histrionics to be entertaining without being offputting. Pretty surprising for a dude I only knew had starred in some awful movie about Vikings fighting indians. I didn't really like Pine, though. I know that Kirk is supposed to be kind of a rake, but Pine's Kirk just seemed like a fratboy dick most of the time. That's largely the script's fault, I know, but Pine's bland toolishness didn't help.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might enjoy some of Karl Urban's previous work on the series "Xena: Warrior Princess", where he had a recurring role as Julius Caesar. (He also was a pivotal character in a second-season Xena episode that resembles the Abraham/Isaac sacrifice story and is useful for exploring simplified versions of Divine Command theories.)
Another interesting, "I liked it less the more I thought about it" discussion of the film is at "Center of Gravitas", here:

2:13 AM  

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