. . .Where We’ve All Gone Before

Star Trek
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Directed by: J J Abrahms

(May contain spoilers. Probably not, but don’t say you weren’t warned.)

Saw Star Trek. Wow! Like a long roller-coaster ride with lots of light and loud noises. Lots of lights. Lots of loud noises.

Casting? They nailed it. Zachary Quinto as Spock is shivers-down-your-spine accurate, especially in that first scene with his mother. Karl Urban—Bones! Chris Pine incarnates James T Kirk’s swaggering braggadocio, especially in the laugh-out-loud-hilarious Kobayashi Maru sequence.

Enough Trek jokes and one-liners for everybody.

In this “reboot,” Kirk is a fatherless rebel with big authority issues. He never backs down from a fight, which pretty much means he gets pounded when he picks fights with six or seven people at a time. Spock is struggling to choose between human emotion and the iron discipline of Vulcan logic. Uhura is smart, assertive, fiercely competitive. Watching these alpha males/females learn to bond as a team is perfect summer fun.

But I did have a few quibbles. . .

Just a few, really.

Like, okay, two-thirds of the way through the movie, when Scotty and Kirk are beamed aboard the Enterprise, what’s with the human-sized HabiTrails © filled with water, and the thing that looks like a giant margarita blender? Seriously, what’s with that?

And the time-travel thing. So, after the Romulan villain appears out of the black hole in a ship that’s got to be the space-travel equivalent of a HumVee and kills Kirk’s father, where does he go for 25 years? Does he just wait by the singularity, poised like a cat over a gopher hole, for his quarry to emerge? And wouldn’t someone notice that big honkin’ ship just parked out there in that sector?

He has a crew. Wouldn’t his crew mutiny? I mean, wouldn’t they be thinking, along about, I don’t know, year five, that maybe their time would be better spent going to the planet Romulus and warning them about what’s coming up in their future? After ten or eleven years, don’t you think they’d mutiny just to go someplace where they could drink beer and meet chicks?

Then there’s the super planet-killing drill. Okay, the drill is kinda cool, but it has the long, wicked, barbed chain that hangs from the ship into the atmosphere to support it. Why a wicked barbed chain instead of a tractor beam or some really cool monofilament thing? Because it’s an evil, evil, bad drill! That’s why!

Picky points, I know, and they didn’t really detract too much from my enjoyment of the movie. Okay, the giant margarita blender did.

I have to get serious for a moment, about some relationship quibbles. This is important because, like the casting, they came darn close to nailing the relationships 100%, except for a couple of little things. . .

Two of these characters have an intimate relationship. They engage on a physical level twice in the movie—once in an elevator and once on the transporter pad. I’ll give them the elevator; not because it was character-accurate but because we, American audiences, are to blame; we are so jaded that we don’t believe people can have strong physical feelings for each other unless they are clinging to each other and panting. I won’t give them the transporter scene though. Not buying it. The dialogue, yes, it was pitch perfect for these two, but not the embrace; not in those circumstances, not those two people.

The second quibble worries me more. This James Kirk respects no one. At the beginning of the movie he certainly doesn’t respect Spock. At the end of the movie, it becomes clear that he has learned to respect him, for real.

When did that moment happen? When did Kirk realize how much there was to admire in Spock, his contemporary—not Future Spock or Some Abstract Spock or We’re Great Friends in the Future Spock? Somewhere, I missed that moment. And somewhere amid the lights, the noise, and the laughter, I really want to see it.

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