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Beam Me Up.

Byline: Bibek Bhattacharya

Summary: Star Trekshows how a successful series can be relaunched in an intelligent way.

It's time to confess. I've never seen a Star Trek TV show or a movie in my life. In fact, I've always resisted the urge to do so by telling myself that it's all a bunch of juvenilia. So I approached the new Star Trek movie knowing all about its cultural heritage but having seen precious little of it. Imagine my delight when I found that the new film is a great sci-fi ride, and what's more, it stands just fine on its own steam, and a first timer like me can enjoy iconic phrases like "Beam me up, Scotty " without comparing it to what had come before. Sequels and thanks to George Lucas, prequels are always uncomfortable things, especially when the franchise in question is one as well loved as Star Trek. To many millions of people, Captain James T. Kirk and Spock are almost real people relatives from the future that they wished they had. In fact, so devoted are the show's lovers that fine actors like Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock for three decades) and William Shatner (the original Captain Kirk) had difficulty finding much work outside the cabin of the USS Enterprise. Following in their footsteps would always be a tough proposition. Director J.J. Abrams is an acclaimed rejuvenator of movie franchises but the fine balancing act he has to pull off here is to produce a special-effects-laden summer blockbuster and be true to the liberal, optimistic ethos of the original series. The movie starts off with a bang, when a Galactic ship is attacked by a massive Romulan vessel, which looks like a giant serrated squid. In those frantic first ten minutes, we witness Kirk's birth, his father's death, and introduced to a curious time travelrelated narrative device, which is to serve the plot admirably later on in the movie. One big problem with seeing the coming-of-age stories of your favourite characters is often that these back-stories make things a bit too implausible. Thankfully Star Trek negotiates this with aplomb. Well, it is a bit squirm-inducing to watch young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) come across as a smart-ass, but then again, it holds because it doesn't contradict what Kirk is to become later, and if anything, actually adds new dimensions to his persona. Spock's story is exquisite. The son of a Vulcan father and an Earthling mother, Zachary Quinto gives a fine impression as a hyper-intelligent being, whose very human emotions infuriates him in its weakness, but also sets him free from rigid Vulcan conventions. No Star Trek story would be complete without some earth-threatening megamachine, and true to form, this movie has a scary one. The rogue Romulan rebel Nero (Eric Bana), who had killed Kirk's father, travels through time after watching his own world destroyed with the sole aim of destroying the two planets he hates most Vulcan and Earth. The sequence of Vulcan's destruction is scarily magnificent, involving as it does a super-machine that drills a hole into the planet's core and induces a localised black hole which swallows Vulcan whole. United in this tragedy, Kirk and Spock set aside their macho quibbles, and with some surprise help from a figure from the future, they go to battle with Nero. It's a thrilling film, even for Star Trek newbies. The success of this film reminds one of the equally successful re-boot of the Batman franchise, and like it, Star Trek stands purely on its own merit. A must-buy. <p>Reproduced From Business Today. Copyright 2010. LMIL. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Business Today More (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 10, 2010
Words:621
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