07 July 2010

Star Trek

I've just been through two days of dental torture procedures and so I may be light on commentary for whatever I watch; so it goes. Star Trek is maybe the best series reboot I can think of (second place, as far as I can think of, is Battlestar Galactica). This film is so smart and sharp and fast-paced. Everything comes from the characters, and the story does such a credit to respecting a group of characters with an awful lot of history. Surprisingly, then, as I am reminded each time I watch this, it does such a discredit to Nero, Eric Bana's interesting tragic villain. I actually think Bana does a great job, but the script shortcuts all the scenes where we could sympathize or see layers to his obsession, and his crew of henchmen come off even flatter still, as they are given no agency or personality of their own. The idea of the non-miltary working-class men (answering communications with a charmingly awkward "Hello") being in control of the most technologically advanced machinery in (that part of?) the galaxy and using it for obsessive Ahabesque genocide is a really interesting set-up that deserved more attention. Sure, the story's got tons going on already and manages to eke out a sensical and dramatically satisfying time travel story while putting everybody together and giving them stuff to fight that never feels hackneyed, shoehorned, or artificial, but I would have liked to see Nero get a little more due. Star Trek movies are notoriously soft on villain characterization (exceptions: Khan and VI's General Chang; I feel like I've made this same point before). So it goes. I'd say it's not as good as the original in some pretty major ways, but it's still one hell of a good reboot/remake, and an exciting and moving film, even after I've seen it half a dozen times or more.

No comments: