I just got back from seeing the new Star Trek movie tonight (special advance preview showing ahead of its release next week), and thought I’d throw out a brief review. I’ll keep it spoiler free as the film’s not out yet though.
J.J. Abrams has gathered an outstanding cast, and put together a film that, while it features a completely new take on classic Trek, it still feels familiar. Thanks largely to a cast who capture their roles perfectly. Zachary Quinto is note-perfect as Spock, and Karl Urban probably stole the film for me as McCoy. However, its very much Chris Pine’s film. And after watching him as Kirk, I really think this guy has a great career ahead of him. He brings Kirks cocky swagger to life perfectly, and inbues the role with a lot of comedy as well. There’s a dash of Harrison Ford as Han Solo or Indiana Jones to this Kirk, and it works brilliantly.
The film moves along at a cracking pace, with some top notch battle scenes which thankfully still felt like Star Trek battles, ie more naval warfare with slow moving ships as opposed to something more Star Wars-like with the ships zipping around everywhere.
If I had any complaints about the film, it really comes down to the Enterprise itself. As I mentioned previously I wasn’t keen on the redesign, and I have to say seeing the ship in action didn’t change my opinion at all. There are several beauty shots throughout the film, but for me they backfired as I was just reminded of how much I dislike the changes. The stardrive section just doesn’t work and would’ve been better left resembling the original movie-refit. Fortunately where this film succeeds and has its focus, is the characters.
Its all fanboy niggles at the end of the day though. This is an excellent film, and one that’ll hopefully breathe new life into the franchise. The interesting thing about the showing I was in, was that it didn’t feel like there were a lot of Trekkies in the audience, and at the end of the film, everyone seemed to have enjoyed it, which I take as a very positive sign. For the film to work, it needs to capture the general audience a lot more than the Trekkies, who’ll go see it anyway.