Page 30 THE VILLADOM TIMES I & III • May 20, 2009 New film explores origins of ‘Star Trek’ crew by Dennis Seuling It seems as if “Star Trek,” in one form or another, has been with us forever, even though it has only been 43 years. The durability of the franchise is testament not just to loyal fans but also to general audiences eager to go where no one has gone before. It was a pleasure to see this prequel done right, after witnessing the dismal “Wolverine” origins movie the week before. Yes, “Star Trek” has more interesting characters and endless opportunities to find adventures in a limitless universe, and the new film is true to the original TV series, which ran from 1966 to 1969, and to the big-screen features. But it also introduces a whole, younger cast -- the barely post-adolescent versions of the crew we knew and loved. So expect another round of sequels if this one is a hit, and I have no doubt it will be. Admittedly, I approached this new “Star Trek” with apprehension and clenched teeth. I was never one of those devoted, passionate fans of the show and the features based on it. For a time, “Star Trek” was annoyingly ubiquitous. The original series was in reruns, the features were on video and later on DVD and in theaters, and fan conventions proliferated from coast to coast. It was a relief when “Star Trek” disappeared for a while. The new film, directed with flourish and humor by J.J. Abrades, is a pleasant surprise. It hooks the viewer immediately with a crisis in deep space that will forge the destiny of one James T. Kirk. The plot then shift back and forth between the young, wild Iowan Kirk (Chris Pine) and the diligent Vulcan Spock (Zachary Quinto), who has a brilliant mind but suffers bigotry from the Vulcan race because he is the product of a Vulcan father (Ben Cross) and human mother (Winona Ryder). Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) sees Kirk brawling in a bar and intervenes. He acknowledges Kirk’s academic achievements and, harking back to Kirk’s father, a courageous Starship commander killed in the line of duty on the day Kirk was born, and advises him that he could have an impressive career in the Starfleet if he can control himself. When Kirk and Spock meet, they are as different as a Popsicle and a hot chili pepper, and this conflict runs through a good part of the film. Everyone knows that the two wind up as fast friends, so the sniping, accusations, and posturing add a note of humor and tension. Pine and Quinto bear a resemblance to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, respectively, though they do not attempt to adopt the older actors’ mannerisms. This makes their character- Starfleet members Spock (Zachary Quinto) and James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) in ‘Star Trek.’ �� ����������������� ��������� Authentic Cuisine from Spain ����������������� OPEN 7 DAYS • LUNCH • DINNER • COCKTAILS ������������ Available Sunday thru Thursday Noon-10pm, Friday until 5:30pm � (Served with Spanish Potatoes) Choice of Appetizer Soup or Salad • Entree �� �� ���������� ������ izations familiar, but not carbon copies of the originals. The movie has its share of scenes set on the bridge of the Enterprise, very reminiscent of the small-screen original, when TV budgets would not allow for massive sets and elaborate special effects. However, there was none of the expected camaraderie among the crew: Dr. “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), Chekov (Anton Yelchin, nailing a dead-on Russian accent), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), and Scotty (Simon Pegg). This may be intended because the crew is newly assembled, but much of the fun of the original was watching and anticipating how the assorted members would play off each other, displaying their individual quirks and distinctive behaviors. Midway through the film, Nimoy appears as Spock. It is nice to see this iconic figure, though his presence is more a nod to the series fan base than the needs of the screenplay. Nimoy is the resident Yoda/Obi Wan in this space opera and serves to connect the original cast to the present one. Nimoy provides gravity, underplaying his scenes and allowing his dialogue and mere presence to infuse this new incarnation with an air of mythos. The special effects are admirable, though it will take a lot of suspension of disbelief to swallow some of the action set pieces, such as when Kirk and Sulu parachute onto an extremely narrow platform way up in the atmosphere only to battle the bad guys with sword and bare fists. The bad guys are a crew of Romulans headed by Nero (Eric Bana), who is obsessed with finding and eliminating Spock because he blames Spock for the destruction of his home planet. Nero commands a monstrous space ship -- a cross between the giant squid from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and a New Age Christmas tree ornament. Bana sinks his canines deep into the role and makes Nero a frightening adversary without going over the top and turning him into a caricature. The movie also plays with time travel, but a couple of scenes take this already fantastic concept and build so precariously on it that the scenes never click. Rated PG-13,“Star Trek” shows how the crew of the Enterprise came together and provides an underlying space adventure complete with a battle of both laser blasts and wits between Kirk and a formidable foe. The movie has an identity of its own and is not the same old thing. 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