Posted by: Dr P | June 8, 2009

Star Trek

The ultimate geek franchise. Forty years on, and still boldly going where no man has gone before, this is a lavish realisation of the early days of the Starship Enterprise and how its legendary crew came together. From the early trailers last year, this always promised to be something special, and I’m delighted to say it did not disappoint in any way, shape or form.

I was accompanied to the flicks by my dear mother. Very oddly, she’d recently said that Star Trek was “not her cup of tea”. Strange then that I recall quite clearly 10 years of her religiously putting BBC2 on in time for it! Oh well.

Anyway, one of the things that is picked up straight away is that the new generation of actors have clearly studied their characters, and the actors who played them, extremely well. Kirk is played as a womanising loveable rogue, and Chris Pine has obviously adopted some of the immortal William Shatner’s traits – expect some horrendous experimental music any day now. Perhaps most startling is Zachary Quinto (Sylar in Heroes) as Spock – not only does he nail the character bang on, he looks, speaks and acts like Nimoy! Astonishing bit of casting that one.

The movie kicks off with an all-action sequence in which a rogue Romulan declares war on the Federation and Spock after he witnesses the future death of his home world. Time travel plays a key role in this flick, with events frm the past – and future – impacting on what actions the characters take. It’s not remotely confusing, and extremely well done. After this hostile action, the Romulan Nero destroys the peaceable world of Vulcan (Spock’s planet) in a stupendous bit of CGI!

Back on Earth, the young genius Kirk has turned into a rebel, and it’s only the urgings of Captain Pike that lead the youngster to follow in the footsteps of his late father and join Starfleet. Spock instantly takes a dislike to him, perhaps partly because of Kirk’s womanising persona – Spock is actually having it away with Uhura!! And not the Nichelle Nichols Uhura of 1970s fame, goodness me no, the 2009 Uhura is sizzling!! Kirk is not even assigned a Starfleet training post, despite his audacious completion of an “unbreakable” training program designed by the pointy-eared Vulcan himself!! Fortunately for the film, and the future of mankind, Kirk has joined forces with medical officer McCoy, another rebel, who sneaks him onboard the Enterprise.

Anyway time passes, blah, and the ship heads off to answer a distress call – recognising the signs from the encounter which saw his father killed, Kirk urges Spock and Captain Pike to avoid the trap, but despite his protests, the Enterprise encounters Nero and Pike is forced to surrender himself to the Romulan warmonger!!

I won’t give away any more of the plot, but what ensues is a rollicking adventure that spans time and space – we see the emergence of Chekov, Sulu and a delightful cameo from Simon Pegg as Scotty. Plus lots of Uhura and her legs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, as did Mrs “Not my cup of tea” beside me. If you’re a Trekkie or paid any attention whatsoever in geek school, this is absolute manna from heaven, if you’re a fan of space movies of any sort, you won’t be disappointed, and if you just like action flicks, go see it anyway!

It’s gutsy, ballsy, and the way they play about with time and the characters leads me to think that anything that has happened in any of the dozen other Star Trek movies won’t have any bearing on the latest franchise to hit the big screen. Excellent!! This new cast should live long and prosper in their roles.

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