I have spent almost entirely last year being spoon-fed this upcoming Star Trek
film. We were told so many things about it including the fact that it was a “re-imagining” of sorts, Leonard Nimoy would return, it was a prequel to the events of the original series and the cast would consist of Chris Pine
, Simon Pegg
and Zachary Quinto
(amongst others). It would also be lacking the legendary William Shatner.
The world has been inundated with images and promotional cack in attempt to get the average cinema goer to see J.J Abrams new film as opposed to those die-hard trekkies we all know and love (or laugh at).
So how did the creator of Lost manage this re-imagining? Was it the right decision to leave out William Shatner? Is the film able to please the fans as well as bring in a new audience?
A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.
Taking up the mantle of Star Trek takes balls! It has been said that the odd numbered treks were rubbish and the even numbers were good.
Unfortunately this is complete tat as we all know that First Contact was excellent (number 7) and Nemesis (number 10) was weaker than a nerd trying to bench 400 pounds! So here is number 11 or more specifically Star Trek Zero!
Abrams has managed (to a certain degree) to satisfy the needs of trekkies / trekkers (such as, admittedly myself) and fulfil the average viewer. Chris Pine (playing Kirk) manages to be rebellious but loveable, Zachary Quinto manages to be serious and logical but carrying the weight on his soldiers and Pegg, Urban and Cho (Scotty, Bones and Sulu) support them admirably.
Unfortunately the problems lie in the rest of the main cast. Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) manages to be reduced to a love interest for one of the main characters and little else. Star Trek seems incredibly sexist to a certain degree with the vast majority of crew members being male. It is the 21st Century Mr Abrams and it’s time to let the only major woman in Star Trek do a little more talking and a little less wiggling!
Another disappointment is the casting of Anton Yelchin
as Pavel Chekov. He was speaking amusing enough dialogue but I felt sorry for his performance whenever on screen! If you are going to be an awful interpretation of Chekov then for God’s sake, please shut up and pretend to be doing something efficient!
Eric Bana plays the villain of the piece (Nero) and simply doesn’t quite fill the “bad guy” characteristic well. He wasn’t given many lines and it felt that his appearance in the film was something of a necessity (an unwelcome one). There is a scene, when in battle you realise that Bana was the perfect choice for the role but it is only 3 minutes before he goes. So much more could be made from this character, but too much time was given to the introduction of the crew of the Enterprise.
Star Trek is a bold attempt at making Star Trek cool again and the visuals are highly impressive. Unfortunately the sound is not so much. It felt as if someone was repeatedly playing a musical piece 2 bars long and repeating it at different volumes over a two hour period.
It is a welcome return for the very much older Leonard Nimoy but his scenes felt disjointed from the main film. They didn’t seem to fit naturally amongst the rest of the piece. Quinto’s Spock is adequate and you feel that Nimoy was told to sound (and act) more like Quinto instead of the other way round. The lack of William Shatner in the cast is a shame and with the iconic "Space: The Final Frontier
" statement, his dulcet tones would be more suited. In fact if the original surviving cast had been recorded they could have each been given a line which would have sent tingles down the spine of every trekkie in the place. This (at the very least) was a missed opportunity Mr Abrams! Get it right next time!
There is something about origin stories that I simply despise. It takes ages to get into each character's history before the real story can be told. Unfortunately Star Trek manages to spend most of the time exploring the dynamic of the crew and less time with the villain of the piece. This is no bad thing, but if you are going to do that then don’t bother with a villain in the first place.
Ultimately Star Trek was satisfying but I was left lacking in many ways. The humour was well played, the visuals were excellent, but I can’t help feeling they have flogged the horse so hard in this film, no more life is to be gotten from it. Films should end with surprise, or the expectation of what is to come. As you finish Star Trek you are left wondering how interesting a sequel could ever be. We can only wait for the next promotional hype-marathon for Star Trek 2 (or 11) to come.
I enjoyed Star Trek and you will too. It’ll appeal to kids, adults and trekkies alike. It is still not a female’s film though which is ultimately a shame. I am left with a niggling doubt though, which is why it doesn’t receive full marks. In the 2 hour runtime I fidgeted 35 times! I do not have A.D.H.D and so can only assume two things:
- The cinema seats were incredibly uncomfortable
- The film just wasn’t entertaining enough to warrant sitting still for 120 minutes.
I am voting for the latter reason!
Rating: 4 out of 5