Having just watched X-Men Origins, I was wary of the latest incarnation of Star Trek. Would it be Star Trek Origins – plodding, joyless and worthy, all the a-ha tick boxes checked?? The answer – a resounding NO. JJ Abrams Star Trek completely rocks.
An evil, renegade Romulan named Nero (an unrecognisable Eric Bana) is bent on destroying all the planets in the federation – including Earth. Young Kirk and Spock – and Uhuru and Checkov and Sulu – fresh from the Starfleet Academy, set out to save the world. Even Scotty shows up about 80 minutes into the picture (and almost steals the show.)
Yes, there are a few minor irritants (would your ship’s pilot be your first choice to send on a hand-to-hand combat mission?) but these instances are quickly forgotten because generally the movie’s a complete supersonic blast; rapid fire story telling, great action scenes, mind-blowing CGI, and a team of actors who clearly feel right at home in their old clothes. I was never a massive Trekky, but I actually think I could become one…….
One of the masterful successes is the use of locations – never an easy challenge to overcome when your story is set several decades into the future. But Star Trek does it well, with some interesting choices……the parking lot outside Dodger Stadium was used for the ice planet of Delta Vega!!! Vulcan exteriors were shot at Vasquez Rocks. The Oviatt Library Building at Cal State University in Northridge was the Starfleet Academy. And interestingly, Budweiser plant in Van Nuys was used for the USS Enterprise’s engine room. I can’t believe Budweisers’ marketing people are not going to make something of that!!
And incidentally, here’s further proof of how participating communities can get in on the action and benefit from film……