That… was an excellent movie.
I’m about to go into detail, so don’t read on if you’re avoiding spoilers. Lots of them.
I’ll get my annoyances out of the way first, because there aren’t many.
– Sulu’s magic folding sword just made me laugh. Would have been better for him to grab something sword-like and use that.
– Can’t Kirk go 10 minutes without hanging from his fingertips off a precipice? I half-expected him to fall off something during his award ceremony. “I award you… Kirk? Where’d you go?”
– Nero waited 25 years? Just, what, hovering there? And his crew put up with this?
– The Romulan ship interior, which was designed on George Lucasian blueprints, with the obligatory tiny walkways over dizzying heights with no handrails whatsoever.
– Why was Chekov also the transporter expert? One of the things that was troubling about the original shows was how the entire ship was seemingly run by the same 10 people, over and over.
– The complete and total absence of any defense of the Earth whatsoever. Or orbiting ships. Or anything.
– Didn’t that just piss off an awful lot of experienced officers who spent years working their way up the ranks to get their own ship? “Well done! But instead we’re going to give this new ship to the brand new crew of just-graduated cadets.” Sure, they saved the Earth, but still.
– I would have liked a bit of the theme to have been played in the beginning. Personal preference.
And that’s pretty much it. Otherwise I loved this as a return to the kinds of things I loved from the original series. The humor, the action, the relationships, the funky science. Some things that especially struck me:
– McCoy. Urban nailed McCoy so perfectly that his McCoyisms fit smoothly into the dialogue, where they might have felt forced with any other actor. My favorite actor of the bunch, and that’s saying something.
– A Federation starship that finally, [i]finally[/i] looks like something that might actually work. Shuttles that look like they might actually transport people. Airlock signs on the elevator doors. A barrier between the teleporter pads and the control panel. A lot of thought went into the design, and I loved it all.
– Spock(s). Zachary Quinto turned in a brilliant performance. Most Vulcans besides Spock, Sarek and T’pau, through the past 4 decades of Trek, have seemed overly emotional or cruel or just poorly acted. Quinto got it right. And Nimoy presented the ideal Spock is looking for, a balance of human and Vulcan that has moved past intelligence into wisdom.
– The humor. I’ve heard people complain about the amount of humor in the movie, and I direct them to go watch the original series again.
– Kirk. My brother-in-law noticed that Kirk throughout the movie avoided Shatnerisms but made a decent enough Kirk, until the end, when he appeared on the bridge in uniform and was truly Captain Kirk for the first time.
– Halfway intelligent space battle. “Fire everything!” Much better than the traditional “fire one torpedo and let’s see what happens before we do anything else” method that worked so well for Starfleet in the past. Loved the quick decimation of the shields, loved the rapid fire, loved the hull breach that reminded us that this stuff is dangerous.
– An Uhura who gets to do more than “Hailing frequencies open, cap’n, sugar.” Although if she keeps rushing off the bridge whenever Spock does, I think people will suspect.
– Nero. About time we had a bad guy with an easy motive, who already had the machinery he needed, and didn’t quote Shakespeare.
– Pike’s wheelchair. Nice touch.- Sulu. Nicely acted, nicely portrayed. Pity about the silly sword.
– Spock and Uhura’s romance, or whatever it is. One of the biggest changes, but now I’m insanely curious to see where they go with it.
– Chekov having a better defined skill set than the original show, where they never seemed to know where to put him.
– The boldness of wiping out Vulcan. Didn’t see that coming…
– Sarek. I didn’t think anyone could match Mark Leonard for the gravitas and intelligence of Spock’s dad, but this wasn’t too far off.
– No sound in space! Or not much. And constantly moving cameras, and out-of-focus zooming. Joss Whedon’s legacy lives on.
– Scotty’s humorous sidekick did not in any way save the day. I appreciate that. And Scotty was fantastic.
– The colored warp lines, gone. Thank you.
Actually, I realize I could keep going. Suffice it to say “Star Trek” worked for me, a diehard Trek fan from the original series, and I hope they maintain the quality and attention to detail. (Although I missed seeing the tribble. I’ll have to se it again) And to think, this was an <i>odd</i> numbered episode. That means the next one will be even <i>better</i>!
I just hope future Spock left a long list of upcoming threats that were stopped the first time around, with instructions on how to handle them. “First, get some whales…”