Star Trek: Boldly Rebooting Universes no Man has Rebooted Before

On Wednesday, I popped over to a nearby cinema to see the new Star Trek movie.  Now, before I start, lets set somewhat of a baseline here, shall we?

I’ve never watched Star Trek.  I had a very sheltered childhood.  I wasn’t interested in much, mostly I just read the same books over and over, and went to bed at 9 like my parents told me to.  It wasn’t until much later in life I discovered the joy of trying new things.

Of course, the original Star Trek might be considered a bit “before my time”, but it seems like I never got around to being “into” any of the later incarnations either.  I know that I’ve enjoyed watching episodes of Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise.  Do any of those count?  I don’t think Enterprise was much liked by Star Trek fans, but it had a beagle in it, I liked it.

There was a certain level of sceptiscm when I went into this movie.  Everything I know about Star Trek I learnt from that episode of Futurama where they go to the planet where the “lost episode” and the cast of Star Trek crash landed.  I figured that I would be alienated, and wouldn’t understand anything, but the movie had been well recieved, so i figured I would give it a try.

If you’re like me… here’s some very basic information that might save you some confusion from the get go:

This: —–.——.—–.——-.——-.——-.———.——-.——-.—–.— This:


is a Vulcan. ——–.——-.—-.—–.——–.——.——–.——.——- is a Romulan.

Confused?  Good.  It will all become clear.


Now, on with the review!

* * *

When you can continue forward in time any further, you go backwards.  This is fraught with potential pitfalls as you try to shoe-horn your own conception of a setting or character’s back story awkwardly into place behind what’s come before.  Reference: Origins/Wolverine; Star Wars Episodes 1-3.

One way of avoiding all that nastiness of continuity (who needs it?) is to go back in time and through some major event, change the course of history.  This is a dangerous tactic, it’s far too easy for it to come off as incredibly tacky, and more than just a little bit lazy.

Surprisingly enough, it really works.

I have to say, the movie certainly didn’t endear to me Captain Kirk, who is a total gripper*, but anything else would have been completely out of character, and I didn’t hate him.  I had expected Kirk to be a big sticking point for me.  I didn’t like him as a character, and I was certainly concerned that actively disliking him would harm my enjoyment of everything else that was going on.  I’m pleased to say that, for a gripper, Kirk is likeable enough.

The casting was excellent.  Zachary is excellent as the emotional blank slate of Spock, despite being slightly creepy (if you watched the first season of Heroes, you’ll understand what I mean).  The wonderful Karl Urban joins the cast as Bones, and the unparalleled Simon Peg is adorable and hilarious as Scotty.  Eric Bana finally finds a place in my mind as a serious actor, not just the funny guy from Australian TV when I was a kid.  His portrayal of Nero was convincing and very enjoyable.

The best cliches of the series are preserved and treated with respect.  The first away team, setting the phasers to stun, right down to Chekov’s inability to prounounce “v”s (seriously, who gives a Russian an authorisation code with 2 V’s in it?).  It was a sheer delight, even to a star-trek-ignoramus like me.

But, my favourite part of the movie would have to be BEGIN SPOILER Leonard Nemoy reprising his role as Spock Prime.  The aging actor is utterly marvelous, and takes the gong for having the best quote of the movie, when farwelling his young self at the end, comments that his usual farewell would seem somewhat self-serving, and simply wishes him luck. END SPOILER.

Over all, I hate giving a movie 5 stars… gives you no where to go when you see an even better movie, but I simply have to rate Star Trek as better the X-Men Origins: Wolverine. 4.5 stars.

* * *

* Gripper – Spoilered for language: I cannot fathom why the term “wanker” is such a major insult, though I guess there is a certain sense of self-indulgence in the usage.  I understand the idea of something being wanky, or a pile of wank better, though the insult in that is a little harder to explain. However, I was recently introduced to the term “gripper”, which delights me on two levels: the implied stupidity of the target, and the fact that you could call someone a gripper in polite company without offending your grandmother (until someone explains it to her, that is).  A gripper is someone who can grip their dick, but is too stupid to jerk it.


~ by ghostwolfe on May 15, 2009.

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