Star Trek

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startrek.jpg

The future begins.

2009

Genres:
Sci-Fi, Action

Starring:
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Summary:
In the 23rd century, the Federation has cemented its role in the galaxy as a respected organisation dedicated to space exploration. The newest batch of Federation cadets, including the wayward Kirk (Pine), logical Spock (Quinto), fiery Uhura (Saldana) and sardonic McCoy (Urban), find themselves stationed on the sparkly new Enterprise. Their first mission seems simple enough- travel with a fleet of Federation ships to answer a standard distress beacon.

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly for the sake of a film more than 15 minutes), all is not as it first appears. The Federation warps straight into a trap, and if it weren't for Kirk's quick reasoning, the Enterprise would no longer have remained nearly so sparkly.

The threat comes from a mysterious Romulan named Nero (Bana) who is hell bent on taking revenge on Spock for destroying his homeworld. Oddly enough, Spock doesn't even seem to know Nero and to his knowledge hasn't destroyed a planet recently. Since Spock is a Vulcan/human hybrid, Nero decides that it's only fair for him to obliterate both of Spock's homeworlds. With the help of their fellow cadets and some (really) old familiar characters (Nimoy and Pegg), Kirk and Spock set out to stop Nero and forever change the course of history (and the original series).

Response:
I suppose I should preface this review by pointing out that I'm Trekkie enough to have married someone who thought that Star Trek pips would make appropriate tie pins for his groomsmen, but I'm not Trekkie enough to think this was a good decision. Anyway, I've been intending to write reviews for the Star Trek movies and television series for a long while now, but it wasn't until this movie that I've felt inspired enough to do it.

After watching this latest incarnation of the Star Trek franchise, I think director J. J. Abrams is an absolute genius for successfully catering this film to a wide variety of audiences. Star Trek is a treat for those that have never even heard of Tribbles or Borg all the way to those that think Klingon is a legitimate language and green is a desirable skin colour for women. The wide appeal of this movie lies in its ability to balance elements that would appeal to any Star Trek fan while also reinventing the franchise for younger viewers. Star Trek has gotten a sexy new makeover without losing the wonder and appeal of the original series.

The cast is remarkably effective and believable, especially considering the iconic shoes most of them had to fill. No one reverted into a caricature- the cast was true to the original characters but also brought their own styles to the movie. Pine is perfect as the cocky but intelligent Kirk. His role could have easily degenerated into a caricature of William Shatner's Kirk, but Pine somehow managed to pay homage to Shatner by retaining some subtle mannerisms (e.g. the Captain's chair slouch) but avoiding ones that would have been ridiculous (e.g. Shatner's peculiar speech pauses). Quinto was great as Spock, almost robotic most of the time, with just the right amounts of emotional flickers. Saldana brought a bit of depth and intelligence to Uhura, showing what this character could have been in the original series if she wasn't constrained by its 60s notions of femininity. Urban and Pegg both delivered their lines perfectly and provided a lot of the humour in the movie, one steeped in sarcasm and the other in absurdity. Bana, although he didn't have many scenes, certainly made the ones he had count. And finally, Nimoy. Well, I'm not going to anger the Star Trek gods by criticising a legend. Besides, there's nothing to criticise.

For the Trekkies, there are lots of in-jokes, all the familiar catch phrases, and a storyline that ensures inconsistencies between the new film and previous versions are well-explained. For the non-Trekkies, there are some great special effects, big action sequences, and a plot line that doesn't require any knowledge of the Star Trek universe.

Point Blank:
If you're a Star Trek fan, you'll probably love it. If you're not a Star Trek fan, you'll probably love it.