I'm not into Star Trek.
Pick your jaw up off the floor. Not all Stargate fans are Star Trek fans, and vice versa. While there may be overlap in fandoms, it's not always likely.
I've been seeing previews/trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness every time I turn around, which is fine and all, but since I'm not a fan, I keep trying to figure out why it looks so darn appealing to me.
I guess you can say my non-interest in Star Trek started early on, when I was convinced that it was unwatchable because of William Shatner. Not just the original series, mind you...the whole darn franchise - the movies, the series (being born in 1982, it was The Original Series and The Next Generation, and in my pre-teen years, Deep Space Nine and Voyager in my teens, by college, it was Enterprise). I was familiar with the characters and certain storylines and just seemed to know my way around the franchise, but it was never something I could get into. Plus I'm just not a fan of William Shatner. If I want to watch scenery being chewed, I'll watch David Hasselhoff sing....on second thought, no I won't.
So, in keeping an open mind and trying to turn around my unwillingness and say "Ok, I saw it," I threw caution to the wind tonight and sat down and watched the 2009 adaptation of Star Trek. And now I'm going to tell you exactly what I liked about it.
The Casting - The casting is impressive. As a young James T. Kirk, Chris Pine is cute and very much human, growing into a leader despite his wreckless youth (the scene of his younger self stealing the car was hysterical!) and attitude as a Starfleet Academy cadet. Zachary Quinto as Spock was dead-on accurate, as was Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (I was dead convinced that Urban was an impressive clone of the original Bones), Simon Pegg is hilariously over-the-top as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Zoe Saldana is gorgeous as Lt. Uhura (whose first name was never revealed :-) ), John Cho as Sulu was perfect (Considering who he was modeled after, lol!), and Anton Yelchin's Chekov still sounds like a Russian stereotype (much in the same sense that Pegg's Scotty sounds like a Scottish stereotype, but who am I to judge?).
The Humor - The movie had some funny scenes and situations, many of which seem to be courtesy of James Kirk himself. Some of the highlights:
- Kirk being injected with various diseases so Dr. McCoy could take him aboard the Enterprise under the guise of Kirk being sick with diseases that required his expertise (and seeing the alarming symptoms Kirk begins to develop as a result!). The swollen hands were hysterical!
- Kirk sleeping with the green girl. Why am I not surprised that there would be a throwback to the original series thrown in? I found myself giggling over the idea of this, while simultaneously thinking "Oh, Kirk, will you ever learn?"
- The amount of times that Kirk gets beaten up and knocked unconscious. And I thought Daniel Jackson and Colonel O'Neill were the favorite targets of alien races on Stargate SG-1. It turns out Kirk equals their track records in getting knocked out.
- "Scotty" - Anything Scotty said was grounds for laughs. I can see why my boyfriend liked Simon Pegg's performance so much - the man did much justice to James Doohan's performance, and with a natural accent (though I'm convinced he sounded a little too much like Dr. Beckett on Stargate Atlantis - had to throw in my fandom for good measure!).
The Music - Those of you who know me, and read my Star Wars tribute, know my love for orchestral film scores. The music was quite impressive and enjoyable - it even made the campy version of the original Star Trek theme sound amazing. Consider the time that the original series was on, and consider the fact that science fiction today is not science fiction in the 1960s - the future looks better than any show about it could have envisioned (despite the lack of flying cars), and so are the orchestral film scores.
The Ice Planet Scene - Kirk is expelled in a pod from the Enterprise and lands on an Ice Planet, and upon waking up and against better judgement about allowing the pod to take him to the outpost, Kirk decides to be a man and brave the elements of the ice planet...only to be chased by one creature, and in a moment of survival-of-the-fittest resulting in that animal's consumption by a much larger creature, is chased again by the larger creature. Also amazing is his meeting with a much older Spock (Leonard Nimoy reprising his role), who assures the young Kirk that a friendship is in the cards for the two men, and also does a Vulcan mind meld. The older Spock is forced to watch his home planet destroyed and his mother killed in the blast, and works to convince Kirk that he and the younger Spock need to work together to save other planets from destruction at the hands of the Romulans.
Chris Pine - Wow. Just wow. He is so easy to look at, and it's easy to see past him playing William Shatner's character, which means that he wasn't attempting to be like the Kirk that hammed it up, chewed the scenery, and slept with tons of colorful ladies. Well, ok, he slept with one green lady, but I can overlook it.
Sorry green ladies, he's mine.
My verdict? Not a bad film! It helped to know something minor about the franchise and character names, and past that, it is actually a decent film that I would highly recommend. Fandom aside, it's not the hardest film to get into, and the plot moves at a consistent and even pace. Abrams sets out to create a vision of Star Trek that works with enhanced special effects and takes viewers on a journey that is both exciting and visually pleasing. With some humorous moments thrown in for good measure, coupled with a great action balance, I am pleasantly pleased with the film, and am very happy to have seen it.
So that's my honest assessment of the 2009 JJ Abrams Star Trek film. I may actually continue to keep that open mind open and see Into Darkness after all. While this may not persuade me to give the Original Series a chance, it certainly opened me up to the idea of seeing the next film (though I'm quite leery about the Original Enterprise-era movies). With great special effects, a great story about a man who must find it within him to save the day and take charge, thus overcoming adversity, humor (can't forget that), beautiful music, and the opportunity to stare at Chris Pine for two hours, I have no regrets about checking out this movie.
I guess I'm going to have to see Into Darkness now. It's only right.
Live long and prosper, peeps! I can't believe I just said that. *Shaking head*
Have a great night!