10.31.2011

Star Trek: Lt. Hikaru Sulu II

As portrayed by John Cho

By now, my love and respect for actor John Cho should be fairly well-known.  In fact, he was my main reason for seeing Star Trek (2009).  Aside for Zachary Quinto, I felt the rest of the cast left much to be desired, as they were supposed to be taking over iconic roles.

And I did enjoy Cho's performance; however, once the movie began, certain...problems began to surface.

But we'll get to those in a moment.

Pros

1) Unlike James Kirk, Sulu doesn't start out in the film as a cadet.  He's already a pilot, and in the film he's chosen to helm the flagship when its pilot calls in sick (yes, in the 24th Century, people still call in sick, most likely faking.  How awesome is that?).

2) Sulu introduces himself with his full name, so we're not left wondering whether or not it's still Hikaru or what.

3) We learn that Sulu likes fencing, a nod at his predecessor's passion.  However, this Sulu and that Sulu have vastly different ideas on what "fencing" actually entails.

4) Sulu is hot.  Sulu is smoking.  Choosing a former model with a dangerous set of lips, a beautiful voice, and devious smile was an excellent decision.  There's nothing awkward or clunky or annoying about him.

5) In addition to being the bad-ass pilot who gets to come in shooting, Sulu gets an awesome fight scene in which he gets to own some Romulans while Kirk is basically getting smacked around.

Cons

1) Why did Sulu have to share his fight scene with, well...anyone?  And why did it have to conveniently end with Kirk sorta kinda saving Sulu?  Wasn't Sulu's ability to whoop ass the whole point of the scene?  Speaking of....

2) Sulu's screen time is painfully and patently limited.  Let's not get it twisted; John Cho was my main reason for going to see Star Trek.  Considering who was cast as Kirk and Uhura, I was initially going to wait for this film on DVD.  But then I learned that the great John Cho - and he is great, kids - was playing Hikaru Sulu, and I just had to go.

3) Limited screen time means limited knowledge and limited opportunities.  We don't get to learn much about Sulu in this film, and we don't get to see him do much.  We don't get see him pick up girls in this film, or fight in a bar, or anything really.  How can you cast John-friggin'-Cho in your movie and not tell your audience all about him?

Final Verdict

I'm sorry...I didn't realize we were still in the 1960s.  I mean, I keep hearing how "things have changed" and how "those days are over" and that POC shouldn't be so critical of Hollywood.  Normally, I'd say "nice try" on a character study like this, but really, there was no "trying" at all.  It's almost like the writers would've preferred to not really have to bother with Sulu, as though he were just some extra character with whom they had to figure out what to do, and hastily so we could hurry back to The James T. Kirk Show.

*sigh*  Fail.

12 comments:

  1. Why PoC are so critical of Hollywtf??? The last movie I went to go see was X-Men First Class. I used to go to the movies REGULARLY, and was happy to do so. Lately, within the past 18 months, I've literally been exasperated with the dreck that's flooding the box office. I'm so sick and tired of seeing movies with NOTHING but white people, and movies featuring PoC going straight to DVD, where I'm not likely to notice unless I get a heads-up from a fellow movie-head that knows my tastes.

    If the box office numbers are any indication, I'm not the only one tired of this shit. All of the pus that's draining from the pimple that is Hollywood is whitewashed cookie-cutter bastardized trash.

    If HW refuses to take the time and study the fucking market to see what it is people REALLY want to see (and why should they, really; white folks don't care about others' reality), then I won't waste my extremely hard-earned meager paycheck on their products.

    I haven't even been inspired enough to want to go to the movies. I did want to see The Thing and Planet of the Apes, but apparently not enough to get in the car and drive two minutes to the local theater.

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  2. I'm thinking I might just sit the next "Star Trek" out and just wait to rent it on Netflix.

    Because whenever a first movie is a great success like this, the sequels often blow.

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  3. "I haven't even been inspired enough to want to go to the movies. I did want to see The Thing and Planet of the Apes, but apparently not enough to get in the car and drive two minutes to the local theater."
    I heard from my step-dad who frequents movie theaters that The thing sucked bad and Planet of the apes was okay. But I do agree with this post, I did not even go see Star Trek in theaters, however I watched it on cable because John Cho was in it and knew that he wouldn’t have gotten screen time although I hoped.

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  4. Pretty Little LiarNovember 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    "Considering who was cast as Kirk and Uhura, I was initially going to wait for this film on DVD."

    lmao My thoughts exactly. I was a bit disappointment with who was cast as Uhura tbh.

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  5. As was I. I like Saldana, but not as Uhura. Julia Pace Mitchell would've made a great Uhura.

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  6. My family used to go to the theater every month (sometimes twice a month. But not anymore. Every other movie either looks boring, stupid, or trite. Last movie I saw in the theater was Fast Five. It's not worth it anymore...

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  7. People will argue that Kirk and Spock were the stars, but the thing is, DS9 taught us the value of an ensemble cast, in which the lives and personalities of multiple people are explored, instead of just the chosen one or two.

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  8. Ankh: A-to the-MEN! That would be boss, but too much like right, so WP ain't gonna do it.

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  9. I wanted to see Star Trek because of Quinto but Cho was a nice bonus. I really want to see the new Harold and Kumar movie. Hollywood is releasing nothing but trashy lately.

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  10. Fail is right. Mister and I only watched the new ST for the same reason and were sadly (but not surprisingly) disappointed. Harry Kim again. Asian man needing rescue. -_- <---that's me tired of getting angry
    And DS9 rocks by a landslide and can have my $$. I love all this Star Trek coverage.

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  11. And DS9 rocks by a landslide and can have my $$. I love all this Star Trek coverage.

    Glad to hear it!

    And glad to see you back!

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  12. "...and that POC shouldn't be so critical of Hollywood"
    http://www.racialicious.com/2010/06/11/of-hollywood-and-%E2%80%98the-american-people%E2%80%99-how-status-quo-is-maintained/

    Yeah, fuck those people.

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