Paramount surprised Austin, Texas fans last night: Instead of showing 10 minutes of the highly anticipated Star Trek, they screened the entire film. Critics are already congratulating Abrams on a dazzling display of logic.
With the aid of a Vulcan delivery guy, Original Spock Leonard Nimoy, the lucky members at Ain't It Cool News' Fantastic Fest viewed JJ Abrams' Star Trek film in its entirety. The reviews are pouring in with praise for Abrams, but also a few mentions of some rough parts, Bana's portrayal of the movie's villain, Nero, being one of them. Also, some cite a lack of character building for the entire cast. But these are mere drops in the bucket of an overall monsoon of praise for Star Trek.
The new Star Trek movie is amazing- easily the best Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan, and a veritable feast of sight and sound: A captivating adventure that grabs you from the first and doesn't let go. The effects are staggering, finally what the stories have deserved so richly. There are enough huge fireballs, shattering explosions and exciting fights to go around...I admit I was skeptical- I was not prepared to care about this universe and these characters again, after the crushing mediocrity that they had become. I can be skeptical no more, though. This is a fantastic movie it's own right, one I would definitely recommend to Trekkie and new fan alike.
I like the world (or maybe universe is a better term considering the material) that Abrams and his team has created here. I like the cast he assembled, I like the way this new universe turns some old Trek landmarks on their heads, while keeping true to what's really important to each character … Without exception, I think the first 45 minutes of the movie is rock solid. The second act has a few problems, the biggest of which seemed to be a sequence of check-listing, making sure all the characters we know and love are on the bridge and the way they introduce Nimoy is a great hero moment"
Abrams' style is consistent in the film. There's a reality to the sci-fi, but he doesn't ignore the awe-inspiring sci-fi vistas and characters we want to see. He's able to populate the universe with beings that could have walked out of the cantina on Mos Eisley, but are just like the Vulcans in that they do their jobs and are just part of the reality, even if they have huge eyes or crazy Don Post-ish heads. I liked that, outside of two or three instances (my favorite being the usage of the green-skinned girl), Abrams keeps all that in the background, giving the universe another layer...
My personal input would be to focus on the adventure. They have now firmly established the world, the characters and everything is primed for the big adventure film. They need an iconic villain. Eric Bana's Nero is fine for the purposes of this story, but they need someone to challenge Kirk and his crew… not just in strength, but in a mental game, which is why people love Khan so much. He was a smart motherfucker.
This is a fantastic movie. It's pacing is rapid-fire, the action is larger-than-life and raises blood pressure with ease, and the characters come to life in a very cool way. Overall, it's an exciting flick that is shot beautifully - featuring a cast that carries all the weight necessarily to create some enduring figures to root for. A near-perfect Summer tentpole blockbuster.
As far as performances go, Chris Pine is outstanding. He's the embodiment of a conflicted soul, transcending the cliche of the troubled rebel with a greater destiny. His delivery manages to give depth while maintaining the cocky veneer. Zachary Quinto is brilliant - creating an emotionless man without being robotic, using nuances to hint at something far more dynamic lurking just below his stark delivery. Their chemistry is worth the ticket price alone.
Abrams' film is a very entertaining and reverential take on the Star Trek mythos. The acting and casting are spot on. The story mixes old and new elements of the Star Trek universe. The effects are breathtaking. Some people will inevitably nitpick this film but J.J. Abrams' new work is as good as (and arguably better than) most of the Star Trek movies that preceded it.