Monday, May 11, 2009
Star Trek the Next...First Generation
Full disclosure: I never watched the original Star Trek series, very little of TNG, none of the subsequent series, and while of course I watched Wrath of Kahn as a kid, it's been years. I don't hate Trek, I just never got into it. If this invalidates my opinion, so bet it.
That opinion is that the new Star Trek is pretty darn good, and I'm already looking forward to the next in the series. It didn't rock the entirety of my world or anything, but I'm already willing to follow this new Enterprise cast into the sequel, and probably the one after that. For a cast that was pretty well maligned for being too young, pretty, and whatever else the fanboys threw at it, this crew was pretty well solid.
I found Anton Yelchin to be an annoyance as Chekov, but that's a minor point (and friends have told me I'm being too harsh on that point besides), and Karl Urban could have stood to ease up on the gas with the DeForrest Kelly impersonation, but everybody else shines. John Cho makes for a rather badass Sulu, Zachary Quinto gives Spock some interesting new shadings, Simon Pegg is an enthusiastic Scotty, and my personal favorites Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine managed to bring a rather scorching sexuality back to Trek. The whole movie, in fact, restored a '70s swing feel to the story without seeming self-consciously retro.
Oh, also? I don't know where this whole perception that the new film is hostile to longtime Trek fans comes from, because this flick is CHOCK FULL of callbacks to the most iconic elements of the series. It's all there, from "I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!" to the Vulcan nerve pinch, to the Green Alien Girl. (Green Alien Girl was played by Rachel Nichols, one of a handful of JJ Abrams loyalists -- Amanda Foreman is another -- who cameo. This summer, Nichols gets to play Green Alien Girl and Scarlett in G.I. Joe -- quite the iconic double feature, that.)
All that and a Winona Ryder cameo? Can't lose. I'll be down to boldly go where every movie franchise has gone before in about 2-3 summers.