Monday, 25 May 2009

Star Trek 2009.

Dif-tor heh smusma (Live long and prosper) ~ Vulcan greeting.
I am never a fan of Star Trek. I find it boring with too much pseudo-scientific conversation. I am aware that like Star Wars, the franchise has a huge following with cult like status amongst its fans. When the Next Generation premiered two decades ago on TV3 on sleepy afternoons, I tried to watch it and see what's all the excitement about. I ended up disappointed. The series work better than a sleeping pill. So when Esther pestered me to catch a movie last Sunday, we decided to watch the latest in the movie series, known as Star Trek without any further descriptive title. The cast is filled with contemporary stars, like Zachary Quinto (infamous Sylar from Heroes), Eric Bana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban with cameo appearance by Winona Ryder and even the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. And I am impressed. The storyline is exciting and there is never a dull moment. The movie begins with USS Kelvin encountering a massive star ship known as the Narrada, which is exiting from a warp. The Narrada is a Borg technology infused mining ship, manned by the Romulans and their leader, Nero (Eric Bana). On board USS Kelvin, the captain heed to Nero's request to go aboard and is killed. Acting Captain George Kirk then evacuated the ship personnel, including his then pregnant wife. Kirk sacrifices himself after locking in the USS Kelvin into the path of the Narrada. Years later, his son, James Tiberius Kirk, is introduced as a brash, devil may care character (James Pine). The film also introduces the famous half Vulcan human, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and his parents, including human mother played by a aging looking Winona Ryder. From here onwards, the original characters are introduced one by one, from medical officer Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), communications officer Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldaña), helmsman Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), navigator Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin, who will also appear in Terminator : Salvation as Kyle Reese), and finally chief engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg). The original Spock, Leonard Nimoy reprises his famous role in this movie. What had happened was 154 years in the future, around AD2387, a supernova about to occur which will threaten the entire galaxy. Spock devises the Red Matter, an artificial black hole which will absorb the explosion but he was too late in preventing it from destroying the planet Romulus. Nero, whose pregnant wife is on the planet, became insane with anger and swore revenge at Spock. However, before that, both the Narrada and a space shuttle carrying the remains of the Red Matter and piloted by Spock, were absorbed into the black hole's event horizon and displaced into the past. Thus, what director Josh Abraham has intended to do is to re-create an alternative timeline and origins of the Star Trek characters and ultimately re-introduces them to new audiences (like me) whom may not have followed the series. I personally think he also succeeded in re-freshening the characters to loyal Trekkies. The characterisation does not deviate much and the (suppose) core characteristics and personalities are still intact. Here's hoping that The Terminator : Salvation and The Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen will generate the same excitement.

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