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Star Trek (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 125 minutes.
OK for children.
Even though this is a special effects-loaded,
action packed film, it let me down in two respects. First, much of what
happens is incomprehensible. There are just too many things that donít
make sense, like the fights, which are shown with quick cuts so you
canít really see whatís going on. Iím sure that the science fiction was
too difficult for them to devise something that would be understandable,
so it is like the fights, thrown out there so you see it, but then
finessed. Producer/director A.J. Abrams must have had the confidence
that the audience wouldnít care whether or not it made sense, just so it
looked good. After all, it is science and fiction, isnít it?
But regardless of whether or not the story is
good or the special effects are wonderful or the color is dazzling or
the huge screen is overwhelming, this movie stands or falls on how the
actors shape up with the people who made their roles iconic,
specifically, William Shatner (Captain James Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy
(Spock). So letís forget about the story and the special effects and the
color and the huge screen and cut to the chase.
Chris Pine gives an outstanding performance as
the young Captain James Kirk. You can easily see how he could seamlessly
evolve into the Kirk of Shatner. Heís got good looks, charm, smarts, and
But Zachary Quinto completely misses the boat
as Spock. The weakness is even more glaring because the real Spock,
Leonard Nimoy, not only appears in the film, but appears in the same
scenes with Quinto. While the look is close, the personality isnít.
Nimoy played the putative-emotionless Spock with a glint in his eye,
Quinto is squarely humorless, playing Spock as an arrogant effete.
Nimoyís Spock was arrogant, but he seemed to be laughing at himself.
There isnít a hint of humor in Quinto, even though he is given some
lines that could have been funny (and would have been if handled by
Nimoy). When Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder) kisses him, itís a moment to
cringe (remember, heís supposed to be half human, the half with
emotions, and from all we get from this movie, he does have emotions).
As to the others, two are exceptional, maybe
better than the originals. The best is Simon Pegg as Scotty. Iíve seen
several of Peggís movie and it would be too faint to say that I didnít
like them. I detested them. But Peggís Scotty (well-played by James
Doohan in the original) is terrific. Karl Urban also gives a good
performance as the doctor, Bones (Dr. McCoy, played by Deforest Kelley
in 76 episodes of the original). Urban is more friendly and less unhappy
than Kelley, but his performance is admirable.
Greenwood), Kirkís predecessor was played by Jeffrey Hunter and then
Sean Kenney in the first three episodes of the TV series as the first
captain of the Enterprise.
surpasses his predecessors and gives a commanding performance as the
unquestioned leader of the
The story is clearly third to the characters
and the special effects. The
Enterprise is out to save the
galaxy in its maiden voyage. The bad buy, Nero, is played by Eric Bana.
Almost all we see is his face, but heís a pretty bad guy.
The best scene in the movie is when young Kirk
rides his motorcycle to where they are building the Enterprise and we see
the huge ship under construction. This is a scene that is used in
trailers, so most people have seen it. Even so, when you see it on the
big screen, it is impressive, a scene to be remembered over the decades.
While it might be a little long and while
Spock is disappointing, this is still an entertaining movie.