We earlier posted Kenneth Turan’s video commentary on the newest “Star Trek” release, but now the entire review is available. While not gushing on the film like so many other reviewers (here and here and here, etc.), Turan is definitely giving the “experiment” a thumbs up. Here’s a tidbit:
It’s no secret that director J.J. Abrams and his writers of choice, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, were brought in by Paramount to reformulate the venerable space opera franchise that was viewed as requiring a jolt of energy. What was not often focused on was that the differences between what they wanted to do and what had gone before made this a perilous endeavor.
So it is pleasant to report that though it’s not perfect, the reconstituted “Star Trek” is successful enough for everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. Though it has its over-caffeinated aspects and its missteps, this “Star Trek” has in general bridged the gap between the old and the new with alacrity and purpose.
Part of the reason for the film’s success was its decision to position itself as “Star Trek: The Young Years.” Back we go to the maiden voyage of the starship Enterprise, to the first meetings of future Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his baby-faced crew: Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), “Scotty” (Simon Pegg), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho).
In addition to using capable actors who were not marquee names and working in a satisfying role for Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime (you’ll have to see the movie if you want that explained), Abrams and company have come up with a serviceable “the Earth must be saved” plot. Involved are such science fiction staples as alternate realities and black holes as well as a tattooed Romulan evildoer named Captain Nemo (a capable Eric Bana) who looks like the frontman for a nasty rock band from the north of England.
To read more of the review, click here.
With the salivating critical reaction and apparently huge interest — according to MovieTickets.com as of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday, “Star Trek” ticket sales accounted for 83 percent of all ticket sales including 387 sold out performances on their site — it looks like this may be the first $100-million-plus debut for the year. In today’s Word of Mouth article, John Horn talks about the Summer box office battles brewing, and though “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Star Trek” are not exactly going head-to-head since Marvel’s mutant superstar got a headstart, surely they’ll tussle for dollars. An exciting Summer start, and we still have “Terminator,” “Transformers,” “Harry Potter,” “G.I. Joe,” and more to come.
— Jevon Phillips
Zachary Quinto as Spock and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Chris Pine photo by Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times.