T + 258 To boldly use a tag line.....
....way too many times.
So here are my thoughts on the new Star Trek movie. I won't cover the details of the story, there are plenty of other places on the 'net you can do that, this is more about what parts I did and didn't like.
However do note some spoilers are inevitable as I discuss certain elements of the plot. I should also add that I am not a trekie. I know most people say that, but really I'm not. (Ask Gareth , who is one :o)
A brief word about the venue. I saw this at Star City in Gold Class so I could keep away from the unwashed masses. This is expensive, about twice the cost of a normal ticket, but it was nice to have our own bar area to wait in and then be shown individually to our large electronically reclining seats.
The screen, whilst not the biggest was fine and the sound quality was excellent. A real bass rumble for the big star-ships moving off etc.
Overall I really enjoyed the film and thought the story was pretty good, the plot not too full of holes, the action scenes very exciting and most of the characterisations were excellent. It's certainly one of the best Star Trek films I've seen.
On the general look and design, on the plus side the Romulan mining ship was excellent with all it's pointed spiny bits. I was much less happy with the bridge of the Enterprise. All that pristine white just did not sit well with me. Far too cold and clinical and to me it isolated the bridge from the feel of the action. It was like a cross between the sets of casualty and the Minority Report.
The action scenes were excellent and the tension kept high for most of the film though thanks to Paul Greengrass and the Bourne syndicate of films it is now obligatory for all hand to hand fight sequences to be filmed with a frenetic wobbly camera style that makes them impossible to follow. It was a novelty once now it is just distracting and tiresome.
Some bits of the plot that didn't sit easily with me were the fact that a Super Nova was going to be the cause of the destruction of large parts of the galaxy. Super Novae are relatively common occurrences in the galaxy and whilst catastrophic for the immediate area they are not galaxy threatening phenomena. ( Apparently there is reason given as to why this one was so serious in the background graphic novelette that was released before the film but it's not actually covered in the film itself). Also related to this was what I think must be a deleted scene somewhere because all Spock says is "the unthinkable happened I was too late to save the planet Romulus." No real explanation how or why he was too late just a shot of the planet being destroyed.
So we come to the characterisations. I thought they were all pretty good. McCoy was excellent as were Sulu and Checkov. Apart from the way he sits in the captain's chair Chris Pine's performance did not try to be like William Shatner and that was a wise move because, let's face it, Shatner is not the most subtle of actors. Uhura was very good though perhaps more sassy and self-confident than she was in the original series.
But for one issue I will come to shortly, Zachary Quinto was brilliant as the young Spock in both appearance, mannerisms and voice. Simon Pegg's comedy turn as Scotty was good enough in its own way but the milder accent ( someone has suggested it is Aberdonian ) didn't match the broad albeit scots-canadian accent James Doohan had in the original series.
My biggest problem is the emotional side of the half-human Spock is played upon far too much and his affair with Uhura just did not ring true to the character. Even making allowances for the fact this is a young Spock still finding his way before the calm collected older version it did not sit right at all it was all too emotional, this is someone who could have been accepted into the Vulcan academy of sciences remember. A key part of the plot centres on Kirk making Spock have an emotional outburst so he will relieve himself of duty. This was rather week though they had to find someway to get Jim into that chair.
Finally it was great to see Leonard Nimoy playing the older Spock. He has a great look and a great voice. Only slightly spoiled by the fact that despite being over 150 his teeth are still perfect and have not aged at all but the rest of his features have. ( There is some debate over whether they are dentures or his own perfect Hollywood teeth, either way they looked out of place in his craggy features).
All in all, despite these minor grumbles it was a very good film. Just sort the bridge out for the next episode.