Wednesday, May 13, 2009

STAR TREK (2009)

STAR TREK: Better than Sex?
By Reymundo Salao

STAR TREK was once a phenomenon that has spawned an entire nation of fanatics. A TV series that progressed into film, into comics, into books, video games, collectibles, apparel, merchandise, sense of fashion, psychology, philosophy, and into something as close to religion and crazy fanaticism, STAR TREK was never just as TV series or a movie. It was a phenomenon.

Of course, over the years, STAR TREK has gotten very much dated and got old quick as it was gradually overtaken by the likes of Star Wars, Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. Add to the fact that the various spawned series have failed to impress and recruit masses of fresh new fans to carry on the phenomenon. Many attribute its too serious approach, especially with heavy sci-fi-based storylines and a very minimal action-adventure and camp factor; of course, it was only natural to expect that the universe of Star Trek was one big boring universe with weird funny-looking aliens.

Not until 2009. Because this is the year STAR TREK becomes cool again. And what was once a boring universe to the younger generation now is something the younger generation will gladly beam on to.

STAR TREK is a semi-reboot/semi-restart of the Star Trek story where we see how characters like James T. Kirk and Spock have grown to become who they are as defined by the events that have transpired in their lives, and how they got to be part of the United Federation of Planets’ Starfleet. It is in their first mission together that they encounter a mad Romulan named Nero and his crew who were responsible for the death of Kirk’s father. Not only did Kirk and Spock find out that Nero came from the future, they also found out that Nero’s travel back in time has caused alterations in the present universe, causing changes that would become permanent in their world. Changes such as the fact that had not Nero traveled from the future, Kirk’s father would have lived long enough to see him become the captain of the USS Enterprise. Nero is now bent on his mad mission to destroy the Starfleet and what stands on his way are Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew of the starship Enterprise.

Initially, the route this project goes in taking on the origin story of Star Trek's iconic characters at a great risk that could endanger the integrity of the entire Star Trek franchise. But that is the beauty of Star Trek: it is open to twists and turns because it is a universe where alternate dimensions and alternate timelines exist. If such plot device is used, it is easily and openly embraced by its audience, most especially if it is brilliantly used, such as in the case of this movie.

This semi-reboot really succeeds in effectively upgrading the franchise instead of degrading it. It is as if it creates an extra dimension to its characters and to its universe. Making such iconic characters like James T. Kirk and Spock far more interesting, far more positively rich in terms of character, and far more appealing. It makes me wish that the Star Wars prequels were made this way: character-based and not just pure eye candy.

Unlike the other Star Trek movies that felt as if it was too boring for non-sci-fi audiences, this one had a storyline that could attract even those not familiar with Star Trek. In addition, this was never dense and managed to have lots of fun moments. The film really knows where to insert its witty humor and seems to pick you up in every moment that it is about to lag. Serious storylines and funny moments rode on track, creating a perfect blend to satisfy the general audience and the purist geeks alike.

The action was also superb. Counting the many Star Trek movies, there were only like two or three Trek movies which had great action elements. This one is probably on top of the ranking. We have chase scenes, space battles, gunfights, fistfights, and even sword fights. This is one movie that breaks the bad impression of Star Trek being boring. JJ Abrams, its director really knew how to amp up the action in a way fitting of a Star Trek movie.

This is the proper way to revive a sleeping franchise. The way JJ Abrams really knows how to properly reintroduce the characters of Star Trek, making them idol-worthy of a fresh new army of fanbase. Quite ideally, this movie never ever lazily relies on cheap ways to bring back much loved characters into focus, instead, it really endeavors to create those characters inside out, a process of well-written character development that really fleshes out these characters and not make its audience see them as mere 2-D characters on the screen. When you see characters like Kirk, Spock, Mccoy, and Scottie; they immediately become movie idols to fans. And its actors are also unbelievably excellent because the film really endeavors not just to pick actors and actresses that merely look like the original cast of the old series, no no… these new cast really shows us that they are these same characters by how good their acting is. So if you see Karl Urban playing the role of “Bones” Mccoy (originally played by Deforest Kelley), he doesn’t show us that he is that same character by the way he looks or how the make up and hair department makes him look like Kelley… he does it by how well he acts exactly how Kelley defined the character. That goes out for the rest of the cast.

This really is this year’s “Dark Knight” STAR TREK really is one grand masterpiece, something I have already paid to watch twice, and still does manage to excite me because I am going to watch it again this week. This is one movie you should never miss.

1 comment:

Eugene Stan Engelbert said...

I have high praise for this movie, i am impressed of the effort on chracter development. As a trekkie, i appreciated as what you said, not only did they endevour to look like the original cast, they also walked the talk so to speak. Thier rendition of Kirk is nothing but stupendous, it higlights his being a shrewed tactitian, pompuos, reckless, foolhardy courageous decision making nature..its pure James T. Kirk. I was likewise amazed that thier spock completely completmented kirk. It brought me back to circa 1980s albeit with a modern background.

All in all, i enjoyed this film and so did my wife! whos also a trekkie by the way.