And the verdict is...I liked it. Quite a bit, actually.
For a change, and I believe for the first time since STV:TFF, a Star Trek movie opens with a teaser, and with a bang. Fast paced and somewhat emotional, we see the beginning of the new reality as George Kirk becomes a hero and the birth of James T. Kirk, future Starfleet legend.
Liked how we didn't have to sit through long opening credits to get back to the action.
Spock mentions the possibility of going for the kolinahr
ritual...a nod to ST:TMP.
Guess the Federations met the Cardassians a lot earlier in the new timeline, since Uhura orders a Cardassian Sunrise at the bar by the shipyards...
Notice that an "Admiral James Komack" sits on the Command Council...a nod to TOS...
As I thought, there is a shuttle named "Moore"...a hello from Star Trek to RDM?
Light flare...ugh. Annoying. Even in the shuttle with Captain Pike and in the cave on Delta Vega.
Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes...a nod to STVI:TUC.
Only dumb scene in my book? Scotty in the water pipes. Just how big is the new Enterprise
anyway? On that note? Yeah, the ship looks HUGE on screen, the CGI was top notch, but I still think it's butt-ugly.
Is it just me or does Kirk get beat up a LOT in this movie?
Also, we find Sarek in the new timeline is much more understanding in the new timeline than his earlier incarnation...and more willing to express his feelings to his son when the time warranted it. If Amanda was killed just to set up the scene between Kirk and Spock, I question it's need. Kirk could have found other ways to antagonize Spock.
The mind meld by the way was a good way to give the quick recap for those who hadn't read Countdown...no one can have any doubt that this is a whole new and separate Star Trek.
And the scene between the two Spocks was both unexpected and priceless. I'd seen the still of that scene but thought the older Vulcan was Sarek.
Interesting that in this new reality, both Kirk and Spock know and understand that this is not the first time around for their lives...that they are in an alternate reality. Will be something to explore in the future. Kirk learning from Old Spock that his father hadn't died before had a visible effect on him. Just as Amanda's death had an effect on Old Spock.
Some of what Spock mentions about the real timeline still leaves open the possibilities of what we know and think we know about the past of the "real" timeline may still be seen someday, at least it is acknowledged that what we see in the movie isn't necessarily how things happened in the "real" timeline.
Overall, a good story, well played. Nero was a little weird at times, but being the Bad Guy he gets a pass on it...and of course, we have no guarantee that Nero won't be back at some point in the future...we see the Narada
breaking up...but who knows...
Best one in his part is Quinto. He's got it. He seems to understand Spock and his inner turmoils. The romance with Uhura? Not sold on it, but I don't condemn it either. There was always a mutual respect between the two in TOS, this just takes it a little further. Next best is, surprisingly, Urban. He has the McCoy vibe, even if he doesn't look like McCoy.
I really did miss seeing at least Number One on Pike's Enterprise
...they could have worked her in somewhere.
Pine is good at Kirk but I think he'll get better. He needs to grow into the part a little more in my view, but he in no way failed. I just didn't like finding out we were right and Kirk is basically promoted from a Midshipman to a Starship Captain...and I'm assuming that Kirk is only 29 if there's still a 12 year age difference between Kirk and Chekov. Which means the Enterprise
was built five years later and Kirk took command three years earlier in the new timeline.
Pike in the wheelchair and in a grey and white uniform were both tips to "The Menagerie" and ST:TMP. I'm hoping that Pike will be a recurring character in future movies.
Only actor who didn't do it for me was Pegg. Sorry gang, his Scotty was a bit of a letdown. I didn't dislike him, but I thought I'd have liked him more. And the sidekick thing was a tad hokey, but I could live with it.
Funny to see Hikaru Sulu, ace helmsman and future Starship Captain, on his first mission would basically forget to take the parking brake off before going to warp...
The last credit was the best: "In Memory of gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry."
One thing was curious...the movie's copyight was neither by CBS nor Paramount...it was © 2009 MavroCine Pictures...is that some kind of third party working on both CBS and Paramount's behalf?
The theatre was barely half full for the 7pm show...mostly male audience, two women, both with guys, and my daughter, who said "I think I'm the only girl here..." there was a smattering of applause at the end when the credits rolled.
Just prior to the movie, there was a PSA for people to shut off their cell phones...which starred Dominic Keating as an agent representing a chimpanzee actor...
All in all folks, if you want me to eat crow, I liked it and yes, I'd see it again. This movie gets my stamp of approval, and JJ didn't have to pay me for that endorsement. It's not better than STII or STVI in my opinion, but it is a worthy entry.
And even better? My 12 year old Warsie said she liked it too and would see it again.
Maybe there's real hope for Star Trek after all...