What I’m trying to review is Star Trek. The movie. But not the Motion Picture. If you follow me. You’d have thought they could have come up with a slightly more interesting title than just, you know, Star Trek. Star Trek: The Beginning would have worked for me. Or Star Trek: An Alternate History, because that’s pretty much where it was heading.
I saw this when it first came out and found myself zoning in on things which ultimately don’t matter. Things like: oh, look, he looks just like Spock! Hang on, the Enterprise never looked that smart and high-tech. That’s a Romulan? He doesn’t look like a Romulan. Blimey, look, it’s the real Spock (getting on a bit, isn’t he…..) As a result, the plot of the movie pretty much went in the one ear and out the other. I even managed to forget, when watching the two sequels, that we were on an alternate timeline (history having been changed and all by the events of the first movie). The whole movie kind of disappeared into my memory banks, forgotten.
So it was an absolute delight, watching it again, to find that it’s actually a really good movie! The plot is terrific, the character development superb, and the visuals just stunning.
The faces are also more familiar now: Kirk’s dad is played by Thor, his mum by Snow White’s daughter. This makes me positively howl with laughter. All my favourite universes colliding in one movie: Star Trek, Marvel, Once Upon a Time. Not to mention Lord of the Rings: that’s Bones as Eomer, the sexy one with the long blond hair, a spear, a scowl and a horse.
By the third Star Trek reboot movie, Chris Pine is starting to look more like William Shatner when he was young than William Shatner ever did (i.e. he’s better looking now that he’s a bit older). I loved the second one with Benedict Cumberbatch but the most enjoyable one so far has to be the most recent, Beyond. So it’s with great sorrow that I recently read that this reboot series of films has been cancelled. Just when I was really getting to like the characters. It doesn’t help that the young actor Anton Yelchin, playing a brilliant Chekov, was killed in a car accident. RIP.
As a lifelong Star Trek fan, I have to be grateful that Gene Roddenberry’s universe has prevailed. I was fourteen when the original series turned up, already old and creaky, on South African television, itself a very late starter, launching sometime in the 70’s. I was instantly captivated but hardly ever got to watch it due to the inconvenience of life.
Live long and prosper, indeed.
However, even if you aren’t particularly into the whole Star Trek thing, this movie is still a good one. Catch it if you can. I think this universe is going to start going where I may not follow.