Jake and I went and watched the new Star Trek last night for the second showing. I was a bit surprised by how few people there were to see the show. Previously, when we went to see the last Harry Potter and when I’ve gone to see the last three Star Wars movies, there were lines in the 10-30 people if not more. Clone Wars was at least 50. Part of the problem, we decided, was the lack of advertising that it was opening on a Thursday as opposed the customary movie opening night of Friday. I can only assume that they were trying to get a big 4 day opening weekend total.
A little back story, then on to the movie. I’m not old enough to remember the first couple of Star Trek movies when they came out. I am especially not old enough to remember watching the original T.V. Series when it first aired. Aside from the Henson epic, The Dark Crystal, I cut my Sci-Fi teeth on summer re-run marathons of Kirk and crew. I do barely remember seeing the last two “original crew” movies (three if you include Generations) in the theatre. And I’ve seen the others several times on DVD. I honestly never cared much for the “Next Generation” movies and only sorta cared about the series. I am, at the heart of it, a fan of the original Star Trek crew.
As a fan of the original crew, it was with some trepidation that I entered the theatre to watch the new “old” crew on the screen. Armed only with a cup of Cherry Pepsi, a kiddie popcorn and some candies, I found my seat and awaited the show. There was some stupid commercial for the new Honda hybrid. Who decided that commercials before a movie was a good idea? Probably the same goon that will decide that a commercial every 30 minutes during a movie for a break will be good too. Also, previews for G.I. Joe, Transformers 2, and the new Terminator. G.I. Joe still does nothing to impress me. It might help if they weren’t perverting the storyline so much. The Joes are G.I.s. American Soldiers. I could care less if your global audience will respond better to a global force. It’s not U.N. Joe. And why must the Transformers look so “shard”-y? What happened to the good old clunky transformers of old? These new ones aren’t even recognizable as the same transformers. There’s only one good thing about that movie. Her name is Megan. Terminator actually looks like it’ll be alright. Likely a rental for me, but that’s better than the other two will get.
Enough of that, on to the movie. Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen it yet and want to remain innocent of the details, stop reading here and come back afterwards.
The movie opens on the U.S.S. Kelvin. This is the ship that James T. Kirk’s father was the captain of. This is also the final few minutes of the timeline that we are all familiar with. Shortly, a Romulan named Nero causes some rather drastic timeline changes. George Kirk ends up flying the Kelvin into Nero’s ship to try and save his wife and their newly born baby, Jim. We then jump many years into the future to a 11-12 year old Jim who has apparently stolen his step-father’s antique corvette for a joy-ride. This is where the car over the cliff part from the trailers is from. This is actually one of the first of several “goosebump” points in the movie. Kirk jumps from the car as it goes over the cliff, pulls himself back up, and a cop that was chasing him arrives. Kirk stands up and says to the officer, “Is there a problem Officer?” The officer asks him his name. He straightens his back up an proudly declares that he is “James Tiberius Kirk.”
Again, we jump forward. And we begin to start meeting the crew. Ohura is first as Kirk is hitting on her at a bar. We also get to see Kirk take one of his first signature “beat-downs”. Captain Pike shows up and tries to convince Kirk to join the Federation Fleet. Says something about being an officer in 4 years and a captain in 8. Kirk shows up the next morning at the take off for the cadets, sees Pike and says “Four years? I’ll do it in three.”, then boards the ship. After he boards and finds a seat, another of the crew shows up, ranting and raving about how dangerous space is and how easy it is to get sick, and starts rattling off ways you can die in space. Meet “Bones”. We also get to meet Spock in there, but on Vulcan as a child and then again when he makes the decision to join Starfleet.
We see Kirk in his usual cocky self when he defeats the Kobiyashi Maru situation. Spock accusing him of cheating in front of the academy board. Then we get notice of some sort of space storm and some funny goings on at Vulcan. The cadets all scramble and board transports up to the waiting starships. Kirk is still under suspension due to the cheating allegations so is unable to board, but McCoy gives him some illness and is able to use starfleet code to get him aboard. Kirk then figures out that the space storm is just Nero’s ship and that they are headed into a trap.
A small battle ensues, there is a space drill attached to Nero’s ship that is boring a hole into the core of Vulcan. Pike goes to “negotiate” with Nero and covertly drops Kirk and Sulu off near the drill. Kirk and Sulu manage to disable the drill, but too late as Nero has already deployed the “red matter” into the core of the planet and creates a black hole at it’s core. Bye-Bye Vulcan. With Pike gone, Spock becomes captain of the Enterprise. He also gets into an arguement with Kirk and ends up stranding him on a planet. Where he meets old Spock. Learns what really is going on. Time travel and such. Then, one of the other great moments of the movie, we meet Scotty. Scotty and old Spock (Spock Prime) set up the transporter to transport Scotty and Kirk back to the Enterprise.
At this point, Kirk has already been told by Spock Prime how to gain control of the captains chair by getting the new Spock to display some emotion and resign his commission as captain. Which of course he does quite well. Then new Spock beat the hell out of him. After taking the helm, Kirk takes them back after Nero. He and new Spock are able to transport to the Romulan ship and create some half-baked plan that Spock declares has only a 4.3% (I think. That might not be the actual number he used. It was that small though) chance of working. Which, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, is Kirk speak for it does. They are able to destroy the ship, save Captain Pike, and get back aboard the Enterprise.
Back at the Academy, Pike has been promoted to Admiral and Kirk is being promoted to Captain. New Spock meets old Spock. Oh, and Spock and Ohura have a thing. That’s new.
My thoughts: It was really fun to see the “new” cast of the crew take on the old personalities. Without exception, they all did a wonderful job. You really could imagine them all growing older and becoming the crew we all grew up on. They managed to get a McCoy “I’m a doctor not a xxx Damnit!” in. Also a “She’s giving all she’s got, Captain!” from Scotty. And at least one “Fascinating” from new Spock. I know I’ve likely missed a few things, but those were some of the key things that I noticed. The Ohura/Spock love thing was a bit odd. Mostly because there isn’t any hing of that in any of the other Star Trek movies or series’. The only explanation we could come up with is that it’s a different time line. Poor excuse really, but the only one I think they could use.
Overall, this was an awesom movie. 4 1/2 or 5 stars. The actors portrayed their characters nearly perfectly, but also made them their own. The graphics were great. And who could argue with the nice views of the Enterprise we got.
If you are a Trekkie, you really should try and get to the theatre to see this movie.