Saturday, May 9, 2009

Paragraph Movie Reviews: Star Trek

If you don't have plans to see this movie, you can check the spoilers here and then come back...

I'm by no means a Star Trek devotee, so I think I can say I'm fairly without bias when proclaiming this a really fun, really exciting, really clever and really just all-around well-done movie. Honestly, I hope more action movie writers and directors use this as a guide for how to do their stuff the right way. There was a pretty big ensemble cast but nobody got lost in the shuffle, screen time was well-managed, and while everybody got their moments, there was no doubt who the story centered around. I was a little worried that they ate up too much time in the first hour and a half and would end up rushing to a conclusion, but J.J. Abrams and company deftly guided the story to a satisfying and well-paced conclusion. Humor was a big part of what made the movie work, but it was never overwhelming. With the two true stars of the film, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, you come away knowing these guys are destined to be big-time movie stars from their presence and confidence. At first I thought Pine poured on the pompousness to the point of not being able to take his Kirk seriously at all, but he is so charming that he wins you over and makes you smile with the act, and by the end he's got the swagger so down pat. Quinto is spot-on perfect as Spock, showing a range I was sure he had and delivering lines that could really easily sound absurd with ease and weight--he's the film's grounding force and has amazing chemistry with his co-stars. Like I said, the rest of the crew acquits themselves well, but I'd say only Karl Urban and Simon Pegg really make the most of what they're given (but to be fair, they're given the best stuff). Eric Bana was nearly unrecognizable as the villain, Nero, and that's a compliment. Bruce Greenwood was the unsung hero of the movie. And Leonard Nimoy may look like the oldest man alive, but damn, he can still go. The effects were, as was to be expected, awesome, and the action sequences were extremely exciting, with John Cho's mid-air fencing dual delivering as an expected highlight. There were times when I thought the good guys overcame impossible odds with maybe a bit much ease, but dammit, it's kinda refreshing to see that. Likewise, there was some cheesiness and over-the-top stuff, but nine times out of ten it was endearing rather than annoying. Honestly, if I have two complaints one would be, of all things, the score, which I felt was way too retro and didn't fit the movie to me, and two that Anton Yelchin's Russian accent was too much (he was fine, the accent was too much). I don't know if I can promise you'll love Star Trek, but I'd be surprised if you didn't at least enjoy it.

No comments: