J.J. Abrams meet Star Trek

Safety first – there are NO spoilers below. It is safe to read this.

First, as you know I’m a big geek of the old school geeks. Which pretty much means I have to worship Star Trek and all things Trek. Which is not true, and therefore I should be kicked out of the club.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love me some good Trek, but over the last few years I’ve abandoned my Trek-ness. TNG was great but otherwise I haven’t been grabbed. I hardly watched DS9 or Voyager, and really tried to enjoy Enterprise, but none of them grabbed me. Like with most people, I liked about 1/2 the movies and generally agree the even numbered ones were the best.

I do like J.J. Abrams work, even Cloverfield, although it made me sick.

So – Star Trek + J.J. Abrams ~= Awesome! In theory right?

RIGHT! It was awesome. I loved Star Trek. The characters were mostly great, the casting was pretty much spot on and the story was action packed! They nailed a lot of the classic elements while at the same time rebooting the franchise without undoing everything that has gone before.

Chris and I headed out to the 10:00am showing on the first Saturday at the ScotiaBank Center in Vancouver. Cinema number 2 where we happily discovered a digital presentation (audio-wise) after last week’s non-digital (stereo only, seriously) viewing of Wolverine. I was happy, although I’m not convinced the surround was working for the first part of the movie.

So here’s the highlights, at least the way I see them.

Chris Pine (Kirk) and Chris Hemsworth (daddy Kirk) are hottness personified, I had to say that up front.

Zachary Quinto as Spock is absolutely perfect casting.

Simon Pegg and Anton Yelchin were annoying and Pegg’s little friend was stupid. The problem isn’t the actors, it’s the writing. For whatever reason, rather than using them to naturally evolve some comedy in a scene, Abrams ask you to “Open Wide” while he SHOVES comedy down your throat. They were always used as something of a comedic tool, but now it’s more tool and less comedy.

The mom’s are wasted. Jennifer Morrison as Mrs. Kirk and Winona Ryder as Amanda get very little screen time and although Morrison gets more, there’s so much other stuff going on, she get’s little lost.

Spock Prime (as IMDB.com lists him) was great, and the time travel wasn’t too annoying.

Eric Bana (ex-Hulk) was annoying. There were a few times I kept hearing his Bruce Banner voice and expecting him to Hulk out when Kirk pissed him off.

J.J. Abrams and crew weren’t shy about straying from the source material, something that until now the Roddenberry camp has held near and dear to it`s heart. I remember reading that all the authors and writers and anybody working on anything Trek had to stick to the canon and weren’t allowed to mess with anything. Abrams must be held in high regard, being allowed to re-write history.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Everyone (character and actor) is given a fresh start. There’s the classic lines (“Damn it Jim, I’m a ….”, “It isn’t logical…” etc…) uttered in just the right way, a few moves that are traditional and expected, but except for Spock, it`s not being done in a way to MIMIC the original actor, but more as a nod to who these people are, while being aware that these aren’t the characters, or even the universe, that we expect it to be.

I think it’s refreshing and except for the scenes with Scotty and Chekov, I really enjoyed every minute of it, and can’t wait to see what’s next.