Now this is how you do an origin film. Fox take note.
It’s not awesome in a Batman Begins way, but it walks up, punches out, drags to the river, attaches weights and throws X Men Origins: Wolverine in.
Star Trek has that little bit of everything. Nods and winks for the old fans. Cool stuff for the new. Decent back story for characters. Sulu kicking ass with a sword. And Karl Urban, who is Made Of Awesome, who steals every scene he’s in with a pitch perfect impression of DeForrest Kelly as Leonard “Bones” McCoy. I’m so glad he got as much screentime as he did, and was introduced in a way appropriate to him being a good friend of Jim Kirk, as I’ve alway thought that Star Trek was about the three men – McCoy the emotional, Spock the logical, and Kirk the balance – and the friendship they shared.
As for Kirk… Chris Pine does a fantastic job. He never resorts to Shatnerisms, but he wears Kirk like a second skin – the swagger, the aggressiveness, the smarts hiding under the surface. It’s an impressive job and I look foward to big things from him in the future.
Zachary Quinto as young Spock plays the Vulcan with strong emotion bubbling just under the surface – just as you’d expect for a Spock of these younger years.
The second level characters (Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scotty) all get their time to shine in a nicely balanced way. Chekov earns his “wunderkind” status, Sulu gets to be heroic, Scotty is smart and humourous, Uhura is both brains and passion just like Nichelle Nichols played her.
There’s a few small let down points – Eric Bana doesn’t seem to have the presence of a true Star Trek villian, the drilling plot point seems superfluous when you could just drop the ‘red matter’ next to a planet – but in the end, you don’t mind. It’s just so much damn fun to see these characters on screen again, in their prime.
And now, with the diversion from the “canon” timeline, the door opens to them doing *anything*. Here’s hoping they keep the quality.
Addendum: did anyone else get a quiet chuckle out of the third guy sent to drop to the platform with Kirk and Sulu, all fired up to “kick some Romulan ass”… and he’s all dressed in red. Yes, a Red Shirt, his fate announced immediately by the colour of his clothing.