Star Trek Spoiler Review

By Josh Tyler 2009-04-20 15:01:35discussion comments
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We still haven’t seen Star Trek here at Cinema Blend, not because we don’t want to (in fact we’re pretty much dying to), but because we have yet to be invited to a screening. That’ll happen eventually, in the meantime we have another reader review for you. This one comes from a loyal Blender named Dave Nielson, who saw it at one of the media screenings they’re holding in Sydney this week.

Here’s Dave, with more Star Trek praise. Warning: his review is a bit more spoilerly than our last one, so click away if you don’t want details.

A Review of the New Star Trek movie otherwise known as Star Trek XI

(DISCLAIMER: One - there will be *some* {as few as possible, but some} spoilers enclosed within. Two: I was first exposed to the quasi-religious cult of Star Trek at age seven and so I am hardly an unbiased reporter. I have seen every season of every Star Trek TV series ever created (yes, including the dodgy animated series) and all of the movies several times over and have even read some of the books. Three: the fact that I know my Trek makes me biased {a} because there is almost no-way I was going to not find *something* positive to say about this movie, and, {b} because there is almost no-way that something *wasn't* going to piss-off my inner Trekkie fanboy. The review that follows, is the best balance I can achieve between these two volatile variables)

This evening I saw a very rare and surprising thing occur. I saw the Star Trek franchise come back to life. Once the epitome of the term "cult" and the peak of the sci-fi genre, decades of hackery and neglect had seen Star Trek fall into bad repute. By which I mean it was no longer just un-cool to be a Trekkie, it was also plain stupid. Bad TV series with plummeting ratings piled on top of even worse movies that made no money. Star Trek was smothering itself to death in the dust of its own decay. A new broom was needed and it has arrived in the vision of J.J. Abrams.

Abrams' movie blasts onto the screen and effortlessly schvitzes all over every sci-fi movie (let alone Star Trek movie!) made in the last ten years! An equally thrillifying tale has not been told since The Matrix (the original you understand, not the crappy sequels) hit the screens in 1999. As for comparable Star Trek movies... For those of you who don't yet speak Star Trek, I will say that there really is no comparison for this new movie in the Star Trek lexicon. For those of you who have studied at Starfleet Academy, think Star Trek II or Star Trek: First Contact... only BIGGER!!!!!

The plot: It's the future and the UN-like Federation of Planets is attempting to forge an alliance of peaceful civilizations throughout the galaxy. Spock is a child of mixed race (Vulcan/Human) who gives his traditional heritage the flick and enrolls at Starfleet Academy, the Federation's space based peacekeepers. James T. Kirk is the son of a past Starfleet hero who is persuaded to enlist and follow in his fathers footsteps as a challenge to beat his rebellious boozing, bar-fighting twenty-something ways... Did I mention that they're both quite dirty hot?

Anyhoo - three years later they're both humming along on separate courses when they are united on the starship "Enterprise" to deal with a surprise attack on Vulcan no less by a rogue Romulan set on revenge - against Spock... Did I mention he was from the future?

Now this Back-to-the-Future plot twist may seem weird, but it's actually executed flawlessly and to masterful effect. It also serves, however, to present (and explain!) an alternate history to the Star Trek franchise the Trekkies know and love which easily and brilliantly makes it possible for anyone to walk in off the street and thoroughly get blown away by this kick-ass action/adventure/sci-fi movie without knowing giggitty about Star Trek or it's characters!

My guess, however, as clever, as plausible, and as carefully done as this alternate hostory has been, is that this will piss off most Trekkies as it causes the destruction of some pretty important elements of the franchise that it's kinda hard not to miss! That said, the art of the prequel has been neatly re-invented and Star Trek right along with it. It's damn near impossible not to like this movie simply because it actually is a good movie. Franchise and genre aside, it's just a plain ol' good movie!

The script is exceptional. The plot is very well crafted and delivered. The dialogue is impeccable - with neat tips to Trek culture thrown in everywhere for the hard-core fans while simultaneously being recreated for the newbs. The cast deliver solid performances (a star is born in Chrise Pine). The action is constant and thrilling, while the special effects are genuinely excellent. But then if there's one thing J.J. Abrams knows how to deliver, it's a good action sequence. Which brings us neatly to my greatest fear... He's also damn clever at delivering cliff-hangers. This special skill of his single-handedly wrecked Alias, Lost and Mission Impossible III (...well maybe Tom Cruise was more responsible for the last one!). It was my singular greatest fear that Abram's penchant for wacky cliff-hanger endings would wreck this movie too. Fortunately it hasn't.

The movie has tension and suspense a-plenty - but it doesn't end with it! It ends on a upbeat and forward-looking note... looking straight into the barrel of it's (already announced) sequel and the squillions of dollars it will no doubt make at the box-office. And the box-office at GU George Street will no doubt make it's share of those squillions, so, practically speaking: prepare for a busy month come May. We are going to be slammed!!! In the grand tradition of the word! S-L-A-M-M-E-D ... Slammed!!! But more importantly... Go see the movie! It's genuinely awesome!!!!!

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