Spoiler-free “Star Trek” review

I’ve been worried about Captain Kirk.

More specifically, I’ve been worried that Chris Pine, who was cast as a young James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek franchise reboot, just didn’t have the chops to make me believe he was a younger version of William Shatner’s cocky, swaggering, speechifying Captain Kirk. The promotional pictures, and the few million clips and trailers I’ve seen in the last several months, just did not go far enough to convince me.

Still, Zachary Quinto is physically about as close as someone could get to a young Leonard Nimoy, and Quinto’s portrayal of Sylar on NBC’s “Heroes” certainly shows he can play “emotionless”.

And, while I enjoy Simon Pegg’s past performances (particularly “Shaun of the Dead”), he really didn’t look like James “Scotty” Doohan at all. But I’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on pure personality alone.

The rest of the canonical bridge crew of the Enterprise everyone remembers was given to a bunch of young kids I’ve paid almost no attention to prior to finding out they were in this movie.

…except for the role of Dr. Leonard McCoy. Wait a minute, what? Eomer is playing Bones? How is that a good move?

I always knew I would see this movie when it came out. What I wasn’t sure of was whether I would buy it or not.

Or so I thought. This clip1 totally sold me:

I’ve watched that clip many times prior to seeing the movie. And during the movie, after that scene, I turned to my girlfriend, Lindsey and said, basically, “Squeeee!2

I saw the movie with a group of friends. Some I’ve known a long time, some I’ve known a shorter time. Some were fans of Star Trek and action movies; some were not. We drove out to the mall in which I spent much of my formative teenage and young adult life, so that we could see it in digital projection with awesome sound.

And we all enjoyed it, I think. The writers were faced with an enormous task; to take the mountains of backstory, some official and much of it unofficial but widely accepted by the fans, and still manage to make a movie that’s watchable, that covers a significant point in the characters’ lives, that doesn’t descend into boring pseudo-scientific Treknobabble that has marked some of the later excursions into the Star Trek universe.

Holy crab, did they succeed.

In fact, without going in to spoilers, they took the most basic tentpole of the Star Trek storytelling technique, a technique that’s been used in good Trek and bad Trek, and used it to refresh the characters and, almost literally, reboot the franchise. Yes, these are in fact James Kirk, Spock, McCoy.

No, you have no idea what’s going to happen next.

Congratulations to all involved. You did it. I love this movie.

1 Sorry about the branded video clip. The non-branded one I found earlier has been pulled by Paramount’s sharks in suits lawyers.

2 Luckily, Lindsey is awesome and did not hold my fanboy-ish joy against me at all.