The audience cheered (Star Trek review)

Just got back from Star Trek. I haven’t quite come down from the high.

Squeeeeeee!

Perhaps a review will help me to calm enough for sleep?

My plan for the afternoon worked and I got to the cinema at 6.30pm after a leisurely coffee and supper. Yum. I’m very glad that I arrived when I did: there were odd single seats dotted around the middle/back of the theatre but very few. The front rows and the pit were pretty much empty, but I really didn’t want to sit down there. I found myself a pretty good seat about halfway back and felt terribly smug every time a group climbed up and down looking for seats, complaining about the cinema selling seats to a performance that was full. After a while, the audience just started pointing everyone to the front immediately to stop the whining!

There was a small cheer when the film started and it became immediately obvious that everyone in there was on the same page. Laughter in all the right places, silence where needed and, best of all, cheering and clapping with the final credits. Everyone in there had a fantastic time and I’m so glad that I decided to go tonight rather than waiting: it was the fans in there, the ones who wanted to buy into the film and love it, and later on it won’t be quite such a fannish experience. All the people who recommended the digital presentation: totally worth it 😀

The film itself was great. It was absolutely born out of the original series, with enough references for the me to feel like it’s “my” Star Trek film yet at the same time I think it would be accessible to people unfamiliar with the original series. I even spotted the Enterprise reference!

The actors were all great in their parts: Zachary Quinn and Karl Urban deserve particular praise. I think those two had studied the original series because their voices and delivery as Spoke and Bones were just perfect. Thankfully the actor playing Kirk hadn’t studied at the School of Shatner, for which I am eternally thankful!

There’s not much more that I can say without giving away big spoilers, but I will say that this Trek fan gives it ten out of ten and a solid recommendation for anyone – Trekkie or not – to see it.

And now let the spoilers commence.

I might have mentioned a couple of days ago that I could cope with dodgy physics provided it wasn’t time travel. Er, sorry?

Because I really don’t care that the time travel is totally dodgy physics. It’s given the franchise a brilliant re-boot, a way to continue getting films with this cast and crew, without invalidating any of the forty years worth of canon. I absolutely forgive them for the dodgy physics. And, let’s face it, Star Trek has always been filled with cod science that sounds great but actually means very little. That’s why I can buy it – Voyage Home anyone? The reason I have issues with time travel in a show like Stargate is that these shows often try to be deadly series about their physics and then forget about the paradox issue the moment they need to travel back to the sixties for fun and japes.

Star Trek just handwaves a lot of their physics with technobabble that stands for “this is a crock of crap but doesn’t it sound impressive?”

One of the things that kept striking me was how well they’d managed to keep the style and sense of the original series while also updating it. That’s quite impressive. I still can’t quite work out how the costumes managed to be both almost exactly the same as the originals while not looking at all dated. I think it’s because some of the brighter, more ridiculously colourful things got toned down slightly but without removing them. Yes, that means the mini-skirts are still there. Mmm, sexist. You know what? I think we would have lost some of that back-reference stuff if they’d put the women into trousers because this was definitely a film that was intended to be Star Trek at heart.

What struck me is that this was like watching a fan authored Star Trek. Lots of great in jokes, McKoy gets to deliver a “I’m a doctor, not a…” line and make comments about Spock’s green blood and Sulu is a kick-ass fencer. At the same time, it was fans that have watched and loved BSG and other recent sci-fi and that’s informed the way they approached it as well.

I had so much fun watching this.

I am mildly non-plussed about the Spock/Uhura thing. Part of me is very quietly squee-ing over it, the other part is going “WTF?”. That might take a while and a bit of discussion to process. I did like the transporter scene as Kirk and Spock beamed off to the Romulan ship – mainly for Spock’s “we’re not talking about this moment”. Methinks Spock was slightly embarrassed perhaps?

Bones was always my favourite character so I was a little nervous about seeing what would be done with him, but I needn’t have worried. Karl Urban had the character down perfectly and I adored him. Phew!

One thing I did quite like was that the ages of the various characters were kept right. Kirk was young and brash, Spock was a little older and McKoy was the experienced doctor. Loved the reference to the wife getting the planet in the divorce. And Chekov was 17, awwww. Plus there was an accent joke – all I thought then was “nuclear wessels” and I know by dad would love that 🙂

I think right now I’m deliberately not looking to find fault. Yes, according to canon they didn’t all meet at that stage in their lives and Chekov didn’t appear onboard the Enterprise until season 2, having never served with any of them before. But that’s where the canon re-boot worked so nicely: we could have the characters serving together without undoing all the canon we’re familiar with.

Uhura didn’t get a huge amount to do, but I did appreciate that they made a point of emphasising her xenolinguistic background and giving her a few plot points rather than simply putting her in the background. If anything, the films were always much better to Uhura than the show and I’m hoping they build her role a little in the next film.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would and I can’t wait to see where they’ll go next with this.

When is the next Star Trek movie? Now? Now?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue
    May 10, 2009 @ 23:47:54

    Everything I read about it says it is good…..I’m looking forward to seeing it on Saturday.

    Reply

    • archerygirl
      May 12, 2009 @ 11:33:09

      Did you enjoy it? The reviews have been surprisingly positive – Star Trek never normally gets good reviews!

      Reply

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