Film Review : Star Trek

Andrew Stephens, Thursday the 14th of May, 2009

Once again Hollywood dredges up the corpse of a much-loved TV show to desecrate with a pointless remake that misses the whole point of wha This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format.....Hey wait a minute! My brain just typed that automatically. Even now I have trouble gathering my wits to write the truth, so shocking and unbelievable it is! Give me a minute and I will try again...

The new Star Trek film is actually pretty good.

Wow, there's 9 words I didn't expect to write.

Star Trek (the film - not to be confused with Star Trek:The Motion Picture) tells the extremely unlikely story of how the James T. Kirk entered Star Fleet and became captain of The Enterprise, basically serving as a prequel/lead-in to the original TV show. The basic outline is beyond hackneyed - Kirk is a troubled youth whose talent is spotted by a mentor, replacing the father he never knew. His cockiness irritates his peers until he proves his competence and daring in the face of danger, blah blah blah, roll the credits.

Star Trek solves the problem of how to makes this interesting by shoving it into the background. The film quickly sets up the pivotal points of young Kirk's life before moving on to the main plot - which involves time travel, planets collapsing, and things exploding. Everything happens at such a quick pace that even a Trek-hater wouldn't have time to get bored, and every scene is packed with little touches and in-jokes to keep the fans satisfied. The films light touch also serves to distract the audience from the fact that the plot makes no sense whatsoever, even allowing for temporal shenanigans.

As is to be expected, the special effects are very well done, although somebody should really take away the directors lens flare Photoshop plugin. The Enterprise (which is as much the star as any of the actors) looks suitable modern while being somewhat in keeping with the original '60s design. The actors portraying the younger crew all do a good job, actually better than the TV cast, with the possible exception of the guy playing Kirk. But I can't be too hard on him, Shatner's presence gravitas charisma whatever it was that Shatner had makes for a hard act to follow.

The producers have done the impossible - made a Star Trek film that non-fans can actually enjoy. Highly recommended (so long as you don't think about the plot).