Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rant or Rave: Star Trek

Yes, I'm a little behind the times, but I finally got a chance to watch last year's "reboot" of the Star Trek series. It was an enjoyable film all the way around, with some good acting, an interesting recasting of the origins of Captian Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the gang.

I was skeptical at first when nearly all of the original crew members of significance meet, or already know each other, before being assigned to the Enterprise. But after it becomes clear that this is an alternative future and not meant to be the exact past of the original series it makes more sense. As with most time travel scenarios, it doesn't necessarily make complete sense, because we don't even know that time travel is possible, much less how it actually works, but it is believable enough to allow the suspension of disbelieve and to enjoy the show.

The visual effects are terrific, the bad guy is pretty good, though not on a par with Khan or the Borg, the two best bad guys in the Star Trek universe, and the plot holds together pretty well. Toss in some good to very good acting and a pretty well-written script and you've got a fun new addition to the Star Trek pantheon. A guest appearance by Leonard Nimoy is very good, and the way that Scottie is re-introduced to the crew is quite fun.

Ovearll, the film does a nice job of retaining the core "feel" of the original series and Enterprise crew while still re-imaging enough of the original show connections (Spock and Kirk despising each other, Sulu as a martial artist as well as a navigator, etc.) to keep things fresh. The time travel scenario is a little strained, but less so than most time travel storylines-- you can tell the writers put some time into thinking through how time travel might actually work and to incorporate that into the plot.

So, a fairly strong rave for Star Trek. As a definite Trekkie (as opposed to a Star Warsian), I enjoyed it a lot and look forward to future storylines in the alternative timeline established in this film. Will they revisit some of the Enterprise's more memorable encounters, but with a different dynamic to the crew and some variations to the ultimate outcomes? Or, just develop brand new adventures? Either way, it could be a lot of fun and I hope future films are as good or better than this one.

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