Cybersurfing: Early Reviews of Star Trek – Updated
There was a suprise screening of the J. J. Abrams-directed re-boot of STAR TREK in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Theatre last night, and enthusiastic reviews are already rolling in. Fans were told they would be seeing a brief discussion with the writers and a short preview, along STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN; instead, they got to see the entirety of the new film, plus a personal appearance by Leonard Nimoy.
TrekMovie.com says the reaction to the new STAR TREK was “very positive.’
Josh Tyler at Cinema Blend enthuses:
The new Star Trek movie is amazing- easily the best Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan, and a veritable feast of sight and sound: A captivating adventure that grabs you from the first and doesn’t let go. The effects are staggering, finally what the stories have deserved so richly. There are enough huge fireballs, shattering explosions and exciting fights to go around.
All the adventure is balanced, however, by dead on work by the actors and a generous focus of the story on the characters themselves. All of the main crew get a nice picture of who they are, only Chekov ever feels like window dressing, a problem every previous Trek movie has had (even my beloved Khan) in spades.
Quint at Ain’t It Cool News was also impressed with the new STAR TREK:
It can (and does, with Nimoy’s appearance as Spock Prime, as he’s listed in the credits) respect the originals while being free to do its own thing. […] There’s a reality to the sci-fi, but he doesn’t ignore the awe-inspiring sci-fi vistas and characters we want to see. He’s able to populate the universe with beings that could have walked out of the cantina on Mos Eisley, but are just like the Vulcans in that they do their jobs and are just part of the reality, even if they have huge eyes or crazy Don Post-ish heads. I liked that, outside of two or three instances (my favorite being the usage of the green-skinned girl), Abrams keeps all that in the background, giving the universe another layer.
The Chris Pine Network offers a couple of fan reviews of STAR TREK, focusing on the actor’s performance:
Review 1: Chris Pine is outstanding. He’s the embodiment of a conflicted soul, transcending the cliche of the troubled rebel with a greater destiny. His delivery manages to give depth while maintaining the cocky veneer.
Review 2: … with the unquantifiable big shoes of William Shatner to be filled, Pine steps up and delivers a performance that is well beyond anything you might expect. He captures the arrogance and fortitude of Kirk while also keeping that bit of humanity and depth that Shatner was so good at. Kirk is reckless at times, but he’s smart and ever-confident in his own abilities — and Pine captures that quite well.
There are round-ups of the early STAR TREK reviews at Slashfilm, Screen Crave and at Cinematical.
STAR TREK had its official movie premier at the Sydney Opera House in Australia just a few hours after the Austin sneak peak. You can see some pics of the red carpet event here.
UPDATE: Offering a counterpoint to the euphoria brimming up around the new STAR TREK film is an in-depth reader review posted at Chud.com. Not a hatchet job at all, Greg Clark’s take on the film offers a balanced perspective of strengths and weaknesses:
…taken on its own…well, it doesn’t suck. Anyone who says it’s better than Wrath of Khan is talking out of their hyperbolic ass though. This one doesn’t nearly have as clear a thought out script as that one, easily one of the tightestly plotted films in any genre, and suffers from the same problem as that other Orci and Kurtzman collaboration, Transformers: it wants to be all things for all people at all times. […] It wants to keep the hardcore fanbase happy, so we get a very laboriously explained tie into the old Trek continuity. And yet we have a new cast and a desire to get the mainstream back roped back into this universe, so the film stars off with massive explosions and a deafening sound mix. […]Trek leans heavily on the iconography but skimps on the details, which makes for a fun, but ultimately very lightweight movie. It’s far more interested in keeping our heart racing than it is in exploring any real sci-fi themes about exploring the universe or the meaning of sacrificing oneself for a greater good, two of the cornerstones to the best episodes and films in the Trek canon.