I watched the latest Star Trek last night and naturally had to give my review, as there just aren’t enough reviews of it on the Internet.
The plot was decent and easy to follow, I was kind of worried about that after seeing “Lost” and “Brisco County Jr” but it was less convoluted than some of the other Trek movies.
Action scenes, lots of them. Some of the Trek movies seem to forget that Star Trek is a Sci-Fi Action series and try to be a Sci-Fi Drama. This one did not make that mistake.
The Villain: Nero had a legitimate reason for being a prick, and going after young Kirk and Spock. Star Trek needs dramatic Villains in order for the heroes to “give it their all” with Nero you could see the reason for him being an evil bastard unlike some of the Star Trek villains whose reasons for being a villain were pretty lame. See my post on the 10 lamest Star Trek villains.
Eric Bana played it a lot lower key than any other Star Trek villain, I’m not sure if I like that, on the one hand it made it more believable like someone whose rage has so overwhelmed them that they dare not voice it out loud, but I have to wonder if it would have made it more Star Trekish if he played it all out over-dramatic like Malcolm McDowell, or if it would have made it cartoonish. I guess we’ll never know.
How it fits in the Trek Continuum; it doesn’t. They made sure to say over and over time travel destroyed the old Trek Continuum (It was Trek and JJ Abrams, it had to have time travel).
Casting: When I read who the cast was my first reaction was, “You’re kidding me right?” Then I read in some review how the cast really tried to imitate the originals and I thought “Oh no, I don’t want to see them do bad imitations of the originals.” So my expectations on the cast was pretty low.
Luckily the actors really tried to make the characters they were playing their own, with only a couple points of reference to the originals. The only exception was Kirk who had absolutely no Shat what so ever, but that was sort of explained in the plot.
What I didn’t like about it.
Camera Work from Hell: If done right a moving camera with quick edits can really add to the feeling of action. Abrams decided that he would get the crew from MTV Jams to film and put in more edits than an entire episode of “Lost” into a 30 second scene. And that was just when crewmembers were walking down the corridor, when heavy action scenes came up it really got confusing.
Nostalgia (Present Day) to cover lack of imagination:
The scene of Kirk racing in the Corvette was better than Picard four wheeling on an alien planet (That was just totally out of place) but still a more futurish way of showing that young Kirk was a trouble-maker wouldn’t be hard to pull off.
Characters talking over each other:
It was meant to show conflict, but it really made all of them seem ruder than I would stand for in real life, and in Star Trek I’ve gotten used to everyone being more polite than the present. They will destroy the galaxy to get what they want, but they won’t be impolite about it.
Overall, I liked the newest addition to Star Trek and hope they make a few sequels based on it. It wasn’t “Wrath of Khan” or “First Contact” but at least it wasn’t “TMP” or “Insurrection”.