I just came back from Star Trek. It’s definitely a must-see on the big screen, and I just can’t get the soundtrack out of my head!
The movie had some discontinuity with the original series, and a lot of that is because of the element of time travel: a Romulan named Nero went back in time to destroy Vulcan and other planets, as an act of revenge against Ambassador Spock for failing to save Romulus. But could Nero’s presence in the past account for all of the discontinuities? For example, the Spock-Uhura romance. Remember the Star Trek episode with the flowers, the one in which we learn that Spock couldn’t have a romance in his younger years because he was so emotionally detached? Then how come he was so passionate with Uhura? Maybe it’s because she accepted him for who he was!
The acting was superb. Chris Pine did not imitate William Shatner’s Kirk until the very end, but it was still enjoyable to see him evolve from a reckless, cocky kid into a leader with gravitas. Maybe I’ll use his “Don’t you want to at least know my name before you totally reject me?” line he used on Uhura.
Zachary Quinto was good as Spock. (And there was another Heroes actor in the movie: the cop from Heroes who reads minds did the voice of Jim Kirk’s drunken stepfather.) From the previews, I thought Spock would be much more emotional and volatile, but actually he was just like the Spock we have all come to know and love: logical, cool, etc. He only blew up when he was defending his human mother, Amanda. Speaking of which, I just loved the Vulcan “trash-talking” when Spock was a kid. “I presume that you have some new insults for me today,” Spock says to three Vulcan bullies. “Affirmative,” their leader responds.
I always wondered why Spock’s dad married Amanda, when he looked at humans with such disdain (as did most Vulcans). On this movie, his eventual response was that he loved her, but he initially said, “I am the Vulcan ambassador to earth, so it is logical that I marry a human so I can know the type of people I’m dealing with” (my paraphrase–I doubt Sarek ended his sentence with a preposition!)
Something I liked from this scene was where Sarek told Spock that Vulcans are actually worse than humans in terms of emotional volatility, which is why they especially must pursue logic to arrive at serenity. That was a good counter-weight to the usual Vulcan self-righteousness and disdain for humans.
Scotty and Chekhov were all right. Scotty’s Scottish accent was underdone, and Chekhov’s Russian one was overdone. Plus, the Chekhov on the movie seemed a lot more dominant than the one in the original series. But I liked the part when he was racing to get Kirk and Sulu transported to the Enterprise. And Simon Pegg actually looks like James Doohan!
The one who gets my award is Karl Urban as Leonard McCoy! He obviously was imitating Deforest Kelley’s mannerisms from the original series, but not in a way that appeared inauthentic. He was far from being a caricature. He magnified the older McCoy’s sarcasm, and he was a lot more high-strung than the Deforest Kelley depiction. But my opinion is that McCoy calmed down with age.
I don’t think anyone can replace the actors from the original series, but the actors on this movie are lovable in their own way. I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel with them in it. And I will definitely get Star Trek when it comes out on DVD!