Cards on the table: I am a Star Wars fan. Science fiction enthusiasts know what that means: followers of The Force do not get on the Starship Enterprise. There are always exceptions, but this is the general trend.
I was in the “general” category until this new Star Trek movie came along. Then I became one of the “exceptions”. I have seen it a few times already, and just recently viewed it for the fifth time, I believe.
There is something to be said about seeing a movie again after a few years. For one thing, actors who were not famous then, are recognizable now. Oh, look, there’s Thor, playing the brief role of Captain James Kirk’s father.
Chris Hemsworth is just as good-looking clean shaven and short-haired as he is be-whiskered and long-maned. I remember thinking, the first time I saw this film, that this is a very handsome young man who should get more major roles in the future.
If you are not a Star Trek fan, there is no need to have seen any of the previous TV series or movies to understand or enjoy this film. I haven’t. It is a stand-alone film. In fact, the film is all about how the crew got together.
Come to think of it, it might be better if you aren’t a fan of the old series and movies. My neighbor, who is a fan, is attached to the original cast. So he hasn’t warmed up to this new cast — a problem which I don’t have.
Speaking of casting, let’s start there. I already mentioned Chris Hemsworth anyway.
I think that Zachary Quinto did a very good job of portraying a young Mr. Spock. He has that unflinching, unemotional reaction to events around him, while at the same time, it looks like his mind is constantly processing data. Zoe Saldana as Uhura rocks the mini skirt and the dramatic eyeliner, while Simon Pegg as Scotty is as funny as he ever was. (I don’t know if the original Scotty is meant to be funny, but I am definitely a fan of this one).
Karl Urban, as Dr. Leonard McCoy, was a surprise for me. I have only ever seen him as a formidable warrior in action films such as Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy and Doom. Here, he plays against type. He pulls no punches, and he is funny. Though I can still see the bulging muscles beneath his uniform, I am sold on his portrayal of this character.
Another actor playing against type is John Cho as Sulu. Perhaps, like me, many of you only know him from the silly film series of Harold and Kumar. Here, he has me sold on the fact that he is a serious martial artist.
Finally, we have Chris Pine as Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Of all the Star Trek characters made famous by pop culture, he is the one I find least like the original. Which is neither bad nor good. It is merely an observation without judgment. It took me a while, but I eventually warmed up to this Captain Kirk who flies by the seat of his pants. And because I have no attachments to the original cast, as far as I am concerned, Chris Pine is Captain Kirk.
The movie itself is a fun ride that delivers all the elements of wholesome entertainment. Action, adventure, humor, likable characters, human foibles, alien foibles, and the comeuppance of the villain in the end.
The villain, though, a vengeful Romulan named Nero, played by the handsome Eric Bana, is not a complicated character whom you will sympathize with. He is just all out hell-bent on death and destruction. Though I prefer that my villains have more rationale motivations than just blind fury, the flatness of his character does not diminish the amount of entertainment delivered by this movie.
So, if you want a fun ride and pure enjoyment, Star Trek is the movie to see.
Rating: five hearts out of five ♥♥♥♥♥