Mrs. Ardwulf and I went off to see Star Trek as planned last night. We’d intended to make the midnight showing, but as it turned out every theater around here was showing it early – as early as 7 PM in some cases. So we caught an 8:30 show instead. Fear not – I’ll spoil nothing.
I have mixed feelings about the film. On the one hand, it’s visually spectacular, tightly plotted and very engaging. The cast is good, and even though not everybody inhabits their roles right away, by the end they have done so. It seemed to me, though, to be missing something of the spirit of the original Star Trek. In fairness, several of the TV series also lacked that spirit.
The science had me gritting my teeth at several points, something even Armageddon, that paragon of movie sci-fi silliness, didn’t manage, but the science in this case is closer to the center of the story than one normally sees in Star Trek material, I’m likely more sensitive to deviations in tone from the original, and I am even now intending to start studying Astrophysics, so a lot of recent reading in the area has likely made me touchy.
Chris Pine has the most thankless task in the movie, really: trying to capture James T. Kirk without trying to ape the very idiosyncratic acting style of William Shatner, an approach which would have inevitably descended into pardody. Trying to be Shatner’s Kirk would have resulted in something comparable to Belushi’s Kirk. Yet there’s a moment, well into the film, between he and Spock, where, without trying to imitate Shatner’s delivery, he delivers a line that’s utterly Shatnerian, and in that moment Kirk, and the film, both coalesce.
It’s worth seeing on the big screen.