Home / Film / Movie Review: I Hate the Star Trek Reboot For Making Me Love It

Movie Review: I Hate the Star Trek Reboot For Making Me Love It

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I hope a suitable nickname can be found for this movie other than “reboot” or the inevitable Star Trek, the First Generation. Being a trekker for longer than I care to admit, the thought of anyone playing Kirk and Spock other than William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was near sacrilegious to even consider. After being bombarded with on-line ads and articles, I grudgingly gave in and checked out a preview on YouTube. What immediately hooked me was Karl Urban’s flawless performance as a young, “ever bitching about something” Dr. Bones McCoy. Even within the brief seconds that he appeared in the preview, you could tell that his was a McCoy you could accept.

I got more excited when I saw more previews and grudgingly decided to go see the damned thing at the local theater. What sealed the deal was reading of Leonard Nimoy's involvement in the plot as "Spock Prime.” Eric Bana fans are sure to love his performance under all that makeup as the Romulan Captain Nero.

What I Loved

The majority of the main cast did a superb job of putting their own stamp on legendary and iconic figures. By showing Kirk and Spock growing up, it was easier to accept the younger actors. Zachary Quinto is flawless as Spock. Karl Urban as Bones made me grin in recognition of the ghost of DeForest Kelly throughout the movie. Simon Pegg as Scotty provides the laughs, even when he’s in peril. When he gleefully bursts out with how much he loves the ship and how much fun he’s having, you just have to grin right along with him. I even recognized Majel Roddenberry as the computer voice… even though it wasn’t on the Enterprise.

In fact I actually found myself grinning from ear-to-ear several times, which I really didn’t expect. There are many touchstone lines honoring the old TV series and any trekker will love that they were included, and any newbie to the franchise, once hearing them, will become an instant fan.

The “alternate universe/time shift” assumption is very well (and thankfully quickly) explained. For true fans of the original, think of when Leonard Nimoy played an evil Spock with a beard in the original TV series. Once you get past that, the rest is pure enjoyment, because suddenly you accept Pine, Urban, Quinto, Pegg, Saldana, Cho, and reluctantly Yelchin as the original TV/movie characters you’ve known and loved over the years.

The action and special effects are spellbinding and LOUD.

What I Didn't Like

The action and special effects are spellbinding and LOUD. The theater where I saw it played the movie at a near-deafening sound level. I actually began plugging my ears during the battle scenes. To my astonishment, a mother ushered her four young children out of the theater within ten minutes of the opening. I’m not sure if it was a particularly violent scene that caused this, or the kids putting their hands over their ears. That said, this is not a movie for kids under 12 years old.

Sorry folks, but as Star Trek bad guys go, Eric Bana as Nero is no Khan. The intense and passionate hate, plus the driven obsession with revenge that Ricardo Montalbán so excellently put on the screen made Bana’s Nero look only mildly pissed off.

I’m a huge fan of movie music, which in a lot of cases can be as important as the script. Alexander Courage’s original TV theme or even those time-honored “eight notes” are to be found nowhere in the body of the movie. I say this for those who are like-minded and anticipating them. Oh, you’ll forgive the omission even before you leave the theater, but in my opinion it is still a nearly unpardonable sin.

Chris Pine needs to work on his Shatner impression. I didn’t mind that his performance isn’t an out-and-out imitation of the man, but it seemed to me that Pine went out of his way not to be Shatner, and after all Bill did originate the part. The other actors are true to themselves (as they should be,) but still pay grateful homage to those who brought them to the honored stage where a very select few are permitted to stand.
For a senior officer to have a love affair with one of the crew desperately needed a rethink before it ever made it to the screen. While everyone (including me) loved Sulu having an excuse to have a sword in his hand, whipping out a rapier in the middle of a mid-air fight with phaser-armed Romulans probably wasn’t a good script idea and frankly a bit contrived. Anton Yelchin’s Russian accent is just so damned over-the-top heavy, even the Enterprise computer didn’t like it. It becomes more of a distraction than anything and makes it hard to accept him as Chekov. 

The star of the show has always been and should always be The Enterprise. Remember how you cried the first time you watched Kirk being forced to destroy her in The Search For Spock? More attention was needed to be paid to her and regretfully wasn’t. Also, the scene where Kirk pulls up on his “motorcycle” to see her being built suffers because she's barely recognizable behind all of that scaffolding. Fortunately the scene is so brief that it doesn't give you time to wonder about why a huge starship was being built on the ground instead of in space. Earth's gravity truly would’ve tested those engine and saucer section pylons to the limit and most likely beyond.
In conclusion, the movie, despite its flaws, is magnificent. I went in prepared to nitpick and hate it, but I applauded when the final credits came on. J.J. Abrams proved himself with this one, and it’d be a shame if they didn’t assign the inevitable sequel to him.

I think — no, I’m sure — that Gene Roddenberry is looking down from heaven and smiling.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • Old_Warhorse

    I agree with Pirate Spice wholeheartedly. This “reboot” had only the names of characters, places and things in common with the original series and absolutely none of the heart and soul that made the Star Trek franchise worth while to begin with. As far as I am concerned, this “reboot” is a glitch that was corrected when Spock (the original) realized he’d screwed up and went to visit the Guardian of Forever to fix his mistake.

  • MSNBC: Astronaut to watch ‘Star Trek’ film in space-Mission Control uploaded new film to International Space Station.

    LOS ANGELES – “Star Trek” really is going to the final frontier.

    NASA astronaut Michael Barratt will watch the film while aboard the International Space Station, 220 miles above Earth, NASA said in a statement to Access Hollywood.

    Paramount Pictures gave the film to NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, which uploaded it to the space station last week.

    “I remember watching the original ‘Star Trek’ series and, like many of my NASA coworkers, was inspired by the idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space,” Barratt said in a statement to Access. “‘Star Trek’ blended adventure, discovery, intelligence and storytelling that assumes a positive future for humanity. The International Space Station is a real step in that direction, with many nations sharing in an adventure the world can be proud of.”

    It won’t be the “Trek” franchise’s first appearance about the station. Former station astronaut Greg Chamitoff and his crewmates made viewings of the original series a weekly standby.

    And NASA astronauts aren’t the only fans of the new film, which has earned high marks from audiences and critics alike — even President Barack Obama praised it in a recent interview.

    “’Star Trek,’ we saw this weekend, which I thought was good,” he told Newsweek, raising his hand in a Vulcan salute. “Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out.”

  • Pirate Spice

    Seriously? You think Roddenberry is smiling upon this film? Gene Roddenberry was a pacifist, and deliberately kept the violence in Star Trek to a minimum when he had any kind of control over it. This travesty of a movie missed all of the major themes of Star Trek (y’know, things like moral dilemmas), and turned a beloved legacy into a popcorn film about explosions and fistfights. Roddenberry is turning in his grave right now.

  • According to MTV, Writer/producer Alex Kurtzman revealed that his favorite “Trek” secret is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment from the scene where the Enterprise comes out of warp speed and into a battle above Vulcan. “When they arrive and all the debris is flying at the Enterprise, take a very close look at the debris,” he explained, saying a cool Easter egg is in there. “You’ll have to watch it on DVD, because it goes by very fast. But take a close look at what’s floating in the debris.”

  • THEY FIXED FRESH COMMENTS! It’s under that word “More” up there!

  • Perhaps with the large number of reviews Star Trek has had, we should start a new section just for them before we’re all lost in the crowd?

  • In case you missed where the promised tribbles made an appearance, check out the scene where Kirk and Spock Prime meet Scotty for the first time.

  • I didn’t want to but I liked it a lot.

  • I still think the young Spock looks remarkably alike to the original.

    What do you think of I, Robot, by the way? I thought it was a great movie.

  • What irks me is that I was told to edit out Spock Prime’s part of the movie, Young Spock’s affair with Uhura, and the fact that the movie is about Spock Prime trying to save Earth from the Romulans because the article was too much of a spoiler.

  • Absofuckinlootly-2 or three times Paul

  • worth seeing i think

  • This one wasn’t balanced E.B.??

  • One of my favorite movie reviews of all time is Opus from “Bloom County” who wrote a blistering and heartless review that completely trashed every aspect of a flick….

    and then ended it with
    “Well…. Maybe it wasn’t THAT bad-but Lord it wasn’t good!”

    I think of that every time I write a review and try to make it balanced… 🙂