Trekathon 737: Star Trek (MOV)

May 7th, 2013

JJ Abrams reboots Star Trek.

This is a pretty good, but not spectacular, movie. There’s a good mix of action and plot, a believable enemy with understandable (if extreme) goals, good character development, and some good humour. It has some problems, most notably some ridiculously overcomplicated camera work, and a some bad inconsistencies on scale/speed of things. But generally a good fun summer action movie.

Where I struggle more is with the question of whether or not this should be considered Star Trek or not. Some elements work well – Zachary Qunito is excellent as Spock, and there are occasional glimmers of the Kirk we know in Chris Pine’s performance. More importantly, the relationship between the two of them feels as it did in the TV series. The supporting characters are less consistent – Bones is good, but Uhura, Sulu and Chekhov have been reduced to one note versions of themselves. Scotty has more promise, but still feels off.

But there are continual tonal problems. I don’t mean things like the bar brawl – that’s the sort of thing we saw in TNG, Voyager and DS9. But rather things like the clumsy Nokia product placement, building spaceships on Earth, too many new alien species – things that (Nokia aside) feel more like Star Wars than Star Trek to me. But there are some hints back to the right tone, particularly through Old Spock, and when Kirk offers mercy to the Romulans.

On balance it is more Star Trek than not, but it was a close run thing.

737 down, none to go. Well, until the next movie is released tomorrow Australia time.