|"A big old fun space adventure." Smaltz, converted Trekist|
Dir: Abraham's, Jay Jay
Starring: Chris Pining to be photographed, Zachary Quinto-ssentially American
Smaltz ain’t no Trekkie. You might think I would be but I ain’t. I’ve tried a couple of times to get into Star Trek, and it seems like something I should a bit nerdischleiner about. But I’m not. Before watching this film my knowledge of Star Trek was this: Capt. Patrick Stewart goes back to earth for a garden party in one episode; the ship is called The Enterprise; Star Trek 2 is the best film; Klingons…live long and prosper.
This makes it difficult to get into the latest Star Trek film. Characters reel off clichés - maybe the film is trying to reassure long time fans with these references, but Smaltzy was lost. Eventually, the film settles down and we meet James T. Kirk as a young rebel who is convinced to join “star fleet”. He goes on to impress, but also to cause trouble and ends up being taken aboard the Enterprise for its maiden flight illegally.
Lucky for us he does, because what ensues is a big old fun space adventure. I was dubious about sitting through two hours of Star Trek and even more concerned about making Mrs Smaltz watch it with me but we both thoroughly enjoyed it. New Kirk, James Pine, keeps the whole thing going with his cocky yet likeable and youthful charisma. Mdm. Smaltz also informs me that he’s extremely good looking, and I do indeed see something of a young Smaltz in him.
The most impressive thing in Star Trek is that it manages to be both a reboot and a sequel to the previous films at the same time. That’s very clever in my eyes. Sure, the way they do it is through some astrophysics nonsense, but that’s what Star Trek’s based on so it really isn’t a problem.
There are sadly a few things that stop it being brilliant, and they are the same problems I found in Mission Impossible 3, also directed by J J Abrahams. For some reason in amongst all the drama and life threatening action there’s some slapstick silliness. In Trek, we have Simon Pegg’s Scotty (I thought he was awful but Mrs Smaltz liked him) flying through some hamster cage style tubes filled with water. In MI3 we had Tom Cruise scurrying around a Singapore highway. I think it’s meant to be light relief and to balance the film, but I find such silliness distracting and too much of a shift in tone.
The other dodge E. aspect of Star Trek is Eric Bana’s villain, Nero. If you wrote a character description he would be very scary... but he isn’t. Personally I would have liked an affected voice, but Bana seems content to use his normal tone.
I’m not sure how the hard core Star Trek community have taken to this new version but it’s got me excited for the sequel due out this year and I’ve never been excited by Star Trek before.