Star Trek (2009) (PG-13)

J. J. Abrams can seemingly do no wrong. This young director has been selected to direct the new "Star Wars" movie after rebooting the "Star Trek" franchise in such a stylish way. After hearing the news of the up and coming Star Wars sequel I was skeptical at who was going to be the guider of such a project and then when Abrams name was released I was pacified. If there's anyone that can do it, it's him. This is proven because of his success in the sci-fi realm that culminated with "Star Trek".
This Trekkie's dream movie is somewhat of a prequel to the original series. The film open to a federation ship being bombarded by Romulans. The enemy has far superior weapons and they quickly destroy the ship and only handful of the crew survive, including Kirk's mom and himself, being just newly born. We are introduced to our villain within the first ten minutes—a revenge filled Romulan named Nero (not really breaking the creativity banks with this name) from the future. He's here to destroy Spock for reasons which are not told until much later in the film.
But then, the bad guy goes away for a while and we are told the story of how James Kirk grows up. He gets into all sorts of mischief, stealing his step-dad's car and driving it off a cliff when he's younger and when he's older, getting into bar fights and harassing women. He's the typical 1950s man...but he's stuck in some far off time.
He enlists in Star Fleet because he has nothing else to do and quickly brings all his mischief to the academy.
Then we are given Spock's backstory. This half-human/half-Vulcan boy was picked on in school because of his Earth mother. He too, applies to Star Fleet as a metaphorical thumbing of the nose to the Vulcans who put him down for being only half blood.
Spock quickly ascends the ladder of success while Kirk is more interested in having a good time with his classmates. The two paths soon cross and that leads to interesting jabs and remarks that give way into a hate relationship.
Chris Pine plays the young Kirk and even though he's not exactly like William Shatner, it's a pretty good fit for him. There are times when he doesn't quite convince us of everything he should be feeling, but this isn't an actor's movie.
Zachary Quinto plays Spock and although he was really good in the television series "American Horror Story" he's in top form here. The Vulcan/human emotions that fight inside him are clearly seen in his eyes and nowhere else. It's hard to be emotionally unemotional.
Karl Urban plays Bones and like Pine, he's good but not great.
Zoe Saldana plays Uhura...enough said.
More enjoyable are the secondary characters like John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Chekov and the hilarious Simon Pegg as Scotty.
The cinematography leaps here and there and includes some really interesting angles and Michael Giacchino's score is good as always.
"Star Trek" is a remarkably solid movie. It's not perfect and doesn't always explain the time loops and jumps that its characters endure. Under scrutiny, it might fall apart.
Although Eric Bana can be imposing he's really not that frightening as Nero to do the picture any good. He needed to have more Health Ledger in his act to pull it off and he didn't.
The new "Star Trek" movie looks intensely amazing and it has Benedict Cumberbatch in it, which is reason enough to see any movie. Although "Star Trek" was good it could be that its sequel gets everything right...we shall see.
There are times when the script uses old cliches that have been in films forever but there's also a freshness to the film. The "Star Trek" franchise got some Botox and a nose job with this film, it's brighter, younger, and visually stunning.
Thoroughly enjoyable and deafeningly state-of-the-art.

Score: 3 and half stars out of 4

1 comment:

  1. I greatly enjoyed this film, though I hope it's just a set up to make "Into Darkness" super spectacular.