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Now or Then: Star Trek or The Replacements?

Star Trek or The Replacements?” width=”560″/>

Now: Star Trek
Then: The Replacements (2000)

“They all have something unique to bring to the team.” That line is from the 2000 sports comedy The Replacements, about a bunch of scab football players hired to play for the Washington Sentinels when a players’ strike hits. But it could easily be from J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek reboot, which takes the classic scifi franchise and turns it into a cross between Star Wars and an underdogs-make-good heartwarmer. True, the two films would ordinarily never be spoken of in the same sentence, but it’s still worth checking out the ways in which they’re similar — and to see which underdog flick takes the gold at this particular big game.

Our Reluctant Hero With a Past
Star Trek: The hero father of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) was killed by the Romulans on the day of Kirk’s birth. Left without any real authority figures, Kirk stopped caring and now spends his time puttering around on his motorcycle through the Iowa flatlands.
The Replacements: Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) was once
a promising college football star. But after he lost the Sugar Bowl by 45 points,
he stopped caring and now spends his time puttering around on a boat in the DC Harbor.
The Winner: Star Trek. Come on, it’s Kirk we’re talking about here!

An Unruly Ringer From the Isles, a Japanese Athlete, and a Love Interest With Gams
Star Trek: Montgomery Scott, aka Scotty (Simon Pegg) is a brilliant but somewhat bumbling engineer. Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) is a brilliant but somewhat bumbling engineer, who also happens to be an expert fencer. And Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is a communications officer with a penchant for showing lots of leg.

The Replacements: Nigel Gruff (Rhys Ifans) is a drunken Welsh gambler known as “The Leg” for his powerful kicks. Offensive lineman Jumbo Fumiko (Ace Yonamine) is also a former sumo wrestler, “an expert at pushing people around.” And Annabelle Farrell (Brooke Langton) is the team’s head cheerleader — who is never not in a mini-skirt, even off the field.
The Winner: Star Trek. This one has to go to the original melting pot of sidekicks, and their modern-day counterparts.

Our Hero’s Struggle for Leadership
Star Trek: Although his destiny is to be captain of the USS Enterprise, Kirk must overcome his own recklessness, as well as a challenge by his chief rival, Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto).
The Replacements: Although he’s been hired to Quarterback the team, Falco must overcome his own lack of assertiveness on the field, as well as a challenge by the team’s original quarterback, Eddie Martel (Brett Cullen).
The Winner: Star Trek. Let it never be said that Mr. Spock is not a formidable opponent.

Fear-Mongering Mumbo Jumbo
Star Trek: The infamous Kobayashi Maru Starfleet training
exercise is designed, in Spock’s words, to make a potential captain
“experience fear — fear in the face of certain death.” Because fear is
necessary for leadership.
The Replacements: “A real man admits his fears” is Coach
McGinty’s motto. So much so that he makes his team discuss what scares
them on the field during a team meeting. Because fear is necessary for competition. Or something.
Winner: Star Trek. Barely.

Bar Fight!
Star Trek: When Kirk hits on Uhura at an Iowa bar, all hell breaks loose.
The Replacements: When the striking players come into a bar where our heroes are having a post-game drink, all hell breaks loose.
The Winner: Neither. Can we just retire the bar fight plot development from movies altogether?

The Winner: Star Trek. Breathe easy, fanboys.

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