Star Trek

This "Star Trek" prequel wasn't just a treat, it was a banquet! We are offered generous servings of:
  • Young versions of an iconic cast of characters (Kirk, Spock, Sulu, Uhura, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov) who are introduced in clever ways. These folks are played by well-cast actors who, if you don't know them now, you certainly will in the future, as this franchise gets a much-needed shot in the arm.
  • Wonderful pacing, action, spectacle, drama, and above all, comedy, as this movie has generous dollops of character-driven humor. Because we know these people so well, the audience is often laughing before the punch line.
  • Ingenious effects: Scotty scooting through a clear-glass water tube comes immediately to mind.
  • LOTS of blowie uppie stuff; Director J. J. Abrams (I am almost prepared to forgive him for "Cloverfield") didn't stint on computer-generated imaging.

I have never been a major fan of this franchise but went to the screening because I was certain it will be one of the big hits of the summer. Little did I realize how much these characters have become a part of our lexicon: "Beam me up, Scotty...There's no intelligent life here." "Live long and prosper." "I'm givin' her all I've got, Captain!" And of course, the word "Dylithium" DID come up from the engine room.

This new generation of actors did the movie proud:

  • Chris Pine ("Bottle Shock" and "Just My Luck") is chick-magnet Captain James T. Kirk.
  • Zachary Quinto (LOTS of television guest shots, including Sylar on 42 episodes of "Heroes") is Spock, logical and understated.
  • John Cho ("American Dreamz" and "Harold and Kumar...") is quietly effective as Sulu.
  • Karl Urban ("The Bourne Supremacy" and "Ghost Ship") makes a terrifically emphatic Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy.
  • ZoĆ« Saldana ("Center Stage" and "Drumline") brings us a fetching Uhura in a dancer's body.
  • Anton Yelchin ("Charlie Bartlett" and "Middle of Nowhere") is appropriately unintelligible as a very bright, very young, Chekov.
  • Simon Pegg ("Hot Fuzz" and "Run, Fat Boy, Run") is hilarious as Scotty.

Everywhere you turn, you see another "name brand" e.g.,

  • Eric Bana ("Troy"), a favorite Aussie actor; his good looks obscured by his villainous makeup.
  • Jennifer Morrison, ("House") is Jim Kirk's mother.
  • Winona Ryder, ("Heathers" and the police department mug shot for shoplifting) is Spock's mother.

Also Bruce Greenwood, Tyler Perry and of course, Leonard Nimoy himself (I just wish his dentures fit better!).

Go see this movie!

* * * * * * * *

There have been questions about the actor who played second (Romulan) banana behind Eric Bana. The fellow's name is Clifton Collins, Jr. and he's quite the chameleon. He was the one-armed shopkeeper in "Sunshine Cleaning," and a murderer in "Capote."