I’d just like to state, first off, that I don’t consider myself a Trekkie. While it’s true that I can name all of the Starfleet captains in both chronological order according to the timeline of the show (Archer, Kirk, Picard, Janeway) and according to the order the series appeared in (Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Archer). And, of course, in order of my personal preference (Kirk, Janeway, Archer, Picard). Not to mention that I am aware I missed out Captain Sisko, but this is because he was the captain of a spacestation, not a ship, and was a Commander as opposed to a captain for the majority of the Deep Space 9 series.
But I’m not that into it. I don’t have an obsessive understanding of the themes, plots, characters. I know the different series, but I don’t really have a favourite. I can’t take part in a discussion about it at any given length. And although I’d grown up watching the original series (and of course the following ones), I wasn’t super excited about going to see the movie. Until the trailers came on, and then I couldn’t wait to see it. Still, not a Trekkie. I didn’t discuss it online, I didn’t wait anxiously for new set stills to be released (although I will admit doing this for Watchmen, but that’s a different story). I decided to go see it with my father, because we’d been watching the show together for years.
Then I saw, across the bottom of the trailer, those five fateful words. ‘Showing in selected IMAX cinemas.’ I live in one of eight cities in England that is lucky enough to have an IMAX cinema, and I make the most of this opportunity every time I can. So I didn’t hesitate to immediately go online, and book two tickets to see Star Trek in IMAX. My father and I really wanted to go see it at the midnight showing the day it came out, especially as I’d heard rumours about free Spock ears, but we were unable to make it. Nevertheless, on the 9th of May, we turned up at the IMAX and joined the already long and winding queue.
There’s something exciting about going to see a film at the IMAX, I’ll confess. The atmosphere is entirely different to that of a normal cinema. Maybe it’s because of the giant screen taking up a whole wall in front of you, or maybe it’s the fact that everyone is there to watch the film — not mess around on their mobile phones, or talk loudly to their friends while chewing on popcorn. Either way, as the lights darkened and the familiar Star Trek theme music began to play, there was an almost reverent hush in the silence of the theatre.
I was spell-bound from the first moment. The story isn’t simple, as such, but it’s an easily recognisable one. It follows a young James T. Kirk, and a young Spock, as each make the decisions needed to take them to the Enterprise. It’s interesting watching each character develop, and the crew members joining them along the way — Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Chekhov and finally Scotty. Watching the movie slowly unfold to set up the world of the original Star Trek series is strangely nostalgic. But there’s no real time for that.
Star Trek is nothing if not action packed. From the first moments of the movie, in which we see James T. Kirk’s father sacrifice himself for his wife and newborn son, there are explosions and fighting and aliens, oh my! The action doesn’t let up throughout, without the plot being sacrificed in favour of CGI and special effects. The Vulcans are introduced to us as a community first, and the conflicting aspects of Spock’s heritage (half human, half Vulcan) are set up perfectly, enabling us to fully understand why he makes the decisions he does.
The same can not be said for Kirk, however. Shown as a rebel, we’re told that his aptitude tests are “off the charts” but for some reason, he doesn’t go to Starfleet Academy until he’s pushed into it. Why not? In my head, I made up the story that he doesn’t want to live in his heroic dead father’s shadow, but the true reason went unexplained. However, his character as a cocky, arrogant but charismatic teenager is believable without being annoying, and the dynamics between him and the young Spock are fantastic.
Zachary Quinto made a perfect Spock. Being a fan of Heroes, I was worried that I’d see him as Sylar first and Spock second, but he was unrecognisable as anyone other than the young Vulcan. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed him playing Spock, and my father agreed that he was amazing. And of course, the movie wouldn’t have been complete without none other than Leonard Nimroy. The original Spock, he was not only playing Spock in the movie but also given a logical (for Star Trek, at least) reason as to why he would be there.
Finally, the IMAX experience made it even better. Although sometimes it was hard to keep track of what was going on, especially in the fight scenes, the overall sounds and images made it amazing. The picture almost seemed to surround the audience, and there was a definite feeling of being a part of it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, from start to finish, and would definitely reccommend it — in IMAX, if you can.
Okay, so I just got home from watching Star Trek and the verdict? Pretty sweet. Now, I grew up catching an episode or two of the show every now and then, but I never really got into it. This movie, unlike most of the episodes I caught, was easy to understand and kept me interested from beginning to end. The twists were well placed and the fights were probably my favorite part.
I was waiting for the ‘Beam me up, Scottie.’ But sadly it never came. I was kind of bummed, but that little alien following Scottie around made me laugh so it was okay. I think the casting director did a great job. Spock was hella rad as a kid, young adult, and old man. Kirk was totally hardcore as a kid. No spoilers but the young Kirk was the coolest little kid ever, and I loved how the movie kind of showed the rebellious similarities between Spock and Kirk throughout the years.
Visually the movie was awesome, the fight scenes were great, the sarcastic comic relief was executed perfectly, and the all around substance of the film was stellar. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already. I give it a five high five rating because who doesn’t love a smart ass trouble maker turned captain?
5 out of 5 high-fives!