Old 05-10-2009, 12:27 PM
J. J. Abrams's Star Trek

Saw this on Friday and am just now getting the chance to sit down and write the review due to a very busy past few days...

Star Trek (2009)

It's been seven years since Captain Picard and his crew took their last voyage in "Star Trek: Nemesis." Now J. J. Abrams brings us his vision of the classic series by attempting a very bold reboot, not only with the actors, but with the entire history of "Star Trek" as we have come to know it. This was indeed a very risky move, but, as it turns out, it was a move very much worth risking.

The film starts as the U.S.S. Kelvin comes across a large Romulan ship. Its captain, Nero (Eric Bana), demands that the Kelvin's captain come aboard his ship. After Nero receives some strange information from the captain, he kills him, forcing the Kelvin to desperately try to escape. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) takes command and orders everyone to evacuate, including his pregnant wife...

Years later, James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) spends his time in bars, getting into fights, and flirting with women, until he is approached by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) about the possibility of becoming a cadet in Starfleet. Kirk takes him up on the offer, leading him to meet the first of the crew members we remember from the original series, Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban). Three years later, there is a distress call from the planet Vulcan and the cadets are called into action. After Kirk cheats on one of his exams, McCoy has to sneak Kirk on board a new ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, where he meets the rest of the original series crew.

I must admit, I was a bit worried about someone like J.J. Abrams taking over the reins of "Star Trek," and even more worried after the first few scenes, which seemed to be using the "queasy cam" technique that was ever-present in "Cloverfield." However, he quickly finds the right style to tell his story. The first few scenes include a lot of action, so a little "queasy cam" was ok.

One of the greatest things about Abrams new "Star Trek" movie is that it is just plain fun. The special effects are top-notch and it includes a great story to go along with them. This part of "Star Trek" history has always been a bit of a mystery. We know all of these characters were at Starfleet Academy, but we never knew how they actually met.....but then again, with this film, I suppose we are meant to take it that this is not the way they actually met.

That was the one thing that slightly bothered me about this film. We are meant to believe it is an alternate timeline of sorts (I don't think that's really a spoiler as long as I don't tell you what actually happens). The screenwriters, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, are basically erasing most of "Star Trek" history. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized, if they hadn't done something like this, there would be no room for more, because the original series has already occurred and there wouldn't be much point in telling those stories again. Plus, I am very interested to see where they take it from here after the events in this film.

The cast does a wonderful job of reimagining the classic characters from the original series. Chris Pine brings a rugged freshness to Kirk as well as the determination we would later see in the character. He makes the character his own without resorting to an impersonation of William Shatner. Zachary Quinto was a perfect choice to play young Spock. Quinto, probably most well-known for his role as Sylar on "Heroes," is able to give that perfect balance of Vulcan and human mentality, showing Spock's two heritages.

The other characters are all here as well; Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin). They are all very affective and convincing as the crew that so many have come to love from the classic show. It was a fascinating experience to watch as they all got together for the first time, which is something the show never showed us, instead throwing us directly into one of their missions.

Eric Bana is also affective as the villain Nero, who is out to seek revenge for the destruction of his home planet. Then there is, of course, the great Leonard Nimoy reprising his role that he hasn't played since "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" in 1991. He has only a few scenes, but they are memorable. His Spock didn't look too bad for someone who is supposed to be 100-something years old (Nimoy himself is 78 and still going strong).

Fans of the show will love it (I'm a trekkie or trekker or whatever the right term is nowadays and had a lot of fun watching it), but it is also a great movie for people who are unfamiliar with it. It can be a great starting point for someone just getting into the "Star Trek" universe as it is actually creating its own history. On top of that, it is simply a great science-fiction film that anyone can enjoy. 3.5/4 stars.

Last edited by Hal2001; 05-10-2009 at 12:35 PM..
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