The Bardvark: "All the Young Dudes Carry the News"-David Bowie
J.J. Abrams: Boldly Going Where Many Have Gone BeforeSaturday, June 13, 2009 By Melanie Steinhardt ’09
Hardcore Star Trek fans, commonly known as Trekkies, have awaited another addition to the film series for a long, long time. The latest film, directed by J.J. Abrams of Lost, has not disappointed. In fact, the preliminary reviews were so positive that Star Trek earned $76 million in its first weekend alone. The best thing about the new film is its fresh take on the Star Trek tradition. As the trailers advertise, the movie “is not your father’s Star Trek.” The action scenes, of which there are many, are easy to follow and are aesthetically interesting even for those who are not action fans. The main characters have interesting stories, and the roles are well-cast. Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime gives the older crowd an anchor to the series they remember, and the younger crowd a new perspective on the story. Star Trek tells the story of Captain Kirk’s very first U.S.S. Enterprise crew, beginning with their experiences at the Starfleet Academy. Chris Pine is a fantastic Captain Kirk, and while he brings out the edgier, younger Kirk that we knew was there all along, his portrayal is consistent with William Shatner’s. Although they mostly provide comic relief, McCoy and Scotty are spot-on in their roles as well. Zoe Saldana, recognizable as the bratty girl from Crossroads (yes, the Britney Spears movie), is surprisingly adept at playing Uhura. Sulu and Chekov are good, and they deserve more screen time. My only complaint is with Mr. Spock, played by Heroes actor Zachary Quinto. His storyline is a bit far-fetched; his less-than-excellent performance as young Spock might be due to his strange place in the plot. Despite his green blood, Spock seems much less Vulcan and much more human than expected. In addition, it was a bit unsettling to see him behave sexually outside of the Seven-Year Itch. Trekkies have demanded more Star Trek ever since the original series ended, giving rise to Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Enterprise, and ten other films before this one. Although J.J. Abrams’ perspective on Star Trek is different from ever before, it is a welcome change. His film is young, fresh, and exciting, and he strikes a perfect balance between science fiction, action, and character building. Although some parts of the film are a little bit contrived, the first crew’s story is unusual, and flows smoothly. This film truly delivers the Star Trek legacy to a new generation of sci-fi fanatics. It fits in perfectly with its big screen and small screen predecessors; it is a Star Trek film through and through.