Friday, 15 May 2009

Alternate universe or time travel? big fat spoilers for the Star Trek film

Me and lovely schoolfriend went to see the new Star Trek film at the Leicester Square Empire last night (after a brief and mistaken foray into the casino. "A casino! A cinema! Countless possibilities!" the advert said, but I count two.)

I loved it - the crew were better looking, sexier versions while still retaining the essence of themselves, and hello, Chris Pine, thanks for making me remember why Captain Kirk was always my favourite character, something that got a bit hidden over the years under tubbiness and toupees. And your man from Heroes was brilliant - almost more Spock than Spock without doing an impression of Leonard Nimoy.

Apart from that rather shallow summing up, I was interested in what they did with the whole alternate universe thing (although it was a bit rammed home "So, we're now in an alternate universe? You mean, we're kind of living lives that we wouldn't have lived before? Our lives are going off in a different direction you mean?").

Clearly it was something that had to be done, as otherwise there's no dramatic tension - we know they all survive, even relatively minor characters like Captain Pike, we know earth is safe, we know Vulcan won't blow up...oh, hang on. At that point, I thought the writers were going to go down the "time travel/ reset" route, as in that episode of Dr Who where everone is enslaved by the Master for a year and then, er, isn't, or when Superman rescued Lois Lane by pushing the earth backwards (which led my Dad to ponder "but how can he breathe in space?". Well, Dad, how can he fly?)

But as the film progressed the emotional investment we had in the characters as they were began to outweigh the emotional investment we had in "returning" to the proper Star Trek universe, and a "reset" would have been emotionally unsatisfying as we'd have lost the characters we had come to know. So they stuck with it. And now they can redo the whole five year mission if they want to, cos it could all be different.

Some bullet points:
  • Not sure about the Spock/ Uhura thing although it was quite sweet and funny, and I suppose his Dad had basically given him permission.
  • The all-new, all-lovin' Spock kind of doesn't really have the interesting internal struggle between emotion and logic anymore which might make things difficult in potential sequels, but then I suppose he has the angst of having his planet blown up and his mum killed.
  • Dr McCoy was like Alan Alda with a massive hangover, but I still liked him.
  • As lovely schoolfriend said, the Romulans are the worst marooners in the universe - who maroons someone on a planet where a StarFleet base is 14 km away? And if old!Spock could see Vulcan blowing up from where he was, wouldn't that do very bad things to the planet he was on?
  • It was so obvious Jim would appear at the end in his gold shirt but very satisfying anyway.
  • What on earth was MumofJim doing on a starship in the first place?
  • I seem to remember Jim's mum is called Winona - and Winona Ryder was playing Spock's mum. Ha.
Well, that was long.

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