Star Trek is in Top Form: Must see!
Like an Old Friend Back Alive and Vibrant
Today was the revival of one of TV's most famous sci-fi adventure, Star Trek. The movie was familiar ground with familiar names, modernized look, and yes, even Leonard Nimoy, who played the original Spock. A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members and filmed in the outer space of Bakersfield, CA.
It was like coming to a high school reunion for the packed over 40 crowd. Yet, this Star Trek is awesome for there is freshness and edginess to it. The names were identical, the actors mostly unknown except for some who were in TV shows (like the guy who play's the young Spock, he is in 24!). While the faces were fresh, all of the actors paid homage to the original TV series continually in the movie. Little traits, sayings each character would alway say. They wanted to bring us a Trek for the 21st century, but they also realized that they needed to respect the source material and fans of a series that has been around more than 40 years. However, you don't need to know much about Star Trek to enjoy this movie.
All of the acting was superb, casting in this film was "on the spot". They took on some of their inflections, mannerisms and expressions to really give you a sense that they are just younger versions of the originals.
Special effects were totally awesome, surpassing any of the previous Star Trek anythings previously. The script was revisionist because the ST franchise is being reborn now and one cannot break with the past until homeage to it has been paid. This ST did just that.
It is the story of how the crew of the USS Enterprise actually ended up on the same ship with a focus on Spock and Kirk from their youth to 20-something. Now we know that Kirk and Spock were sparring quite a bit. They were not buddies until the end of the movie. James Kirk was born minutes after his father was killed battling the Romuleans. Because of this loss, James was a "rebel without a cause" and a very intelligent one. He was the guy angry at the world, a huge chip on the shoulder, that FU attitude with instinct. Spock, was a kid always picked on because of his half human heritage and his lack of emotion. However, he did and does loose his temper. Spock was rebellious like Kirk in a quiet restrained way. When Spock was given an opportunity to go to the Vulcan Academy as he was expected to attend, he chose the "lowly" human agency, Starfleet Academy.
Spock devised training similations for the cadets, all with no win scenarios.When Kirk takes the test in a similation combat, it becomes a stage for his comic, carefree, smart ass attitude, mystifying everyone. Spock thought he was a loose cannon. Uhura, was sick of his sexual advances. Yet, he becomes the only cadet to outwit Spock's simulation test. Something Kirk gloated over and ticked off Spock.
Even if you missed ST, or were only mildly a fan (like the director of the film), the personalties of the key crew members can be identified with. Scotty, McCoy, Chekov, Zulu and Uhura all mix well here, all distinctively different enough to like. The movie is racier, fast paced, action oriented and filled with many items any ST fan will love and identify with. New fans will also like this for the same reasons.
Like the original, it retains its slap sticky and funny scenes or quips that made it famous. It is a story of human relations and personalities mixed on the Enterprise as they fight the Romulans or Klingon empire. There is some influence from Star Wars also in the bizarre creatures.
Sadly, had this been another ST with the original cast from the TV series, it would fail. The pace would be much to fast for the elderly. Also, there is a sadness in this movie when Nimoy enters as the "elderly" Spock. I did not know Nimoy has aged so very much and it will probably be his last as Spock. It reminded me that we all are aging. Near the end, the elderly Spock and the young Spock are face to face. It was the hand-off from the old original Spock we all know to the new young version (who uncannily looks like Nimoy did).
The last scene prepares the viewer of the future. The handoff from old to new is complete, now the USS Enterprise will go again where man has not gone before (again). I am most certain there will be another ST movie or TV show unless this totally backfires. The movie runs about 2 hrs 10 min. The movie grossed between $7 million and $8 million from Thursday evening and midnight shows alone.
ST is new yet old. It is hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful cast of characters. I am glad it is not.