Cert: 12A Runtime: 127 mins Director: J.J Abrams Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy
Dammit, man! I’m a doctor, not a physicist!
With my impending review of Into Darkness, I thought we would go back to 2009 first. I am not a real Trekkie, but I am aware of the Star Trek universe and it’s inhabitants. J.J Abrams to me is the new Spielberg, he truly is a blockbuster master and now possessing the two biggest franchises in the world right now Trek & Wars this man is powerful. Back in 2008 everyone was holding their breath for Star Trek, A-List cast and all this film was a highlight of 2008. On the day of James Kirk’s(Chris Pine) birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien time-travelling vessel looking for Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan disdained by his neighbours for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. Challenged by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to realize his potential in Starfleet, he comes to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto). Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and even Kirk himself, thanks to Leonard McCoy’s(Karl Urban) medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever as a new version of it begins.
Abrams shows his talent for storytelling as well as his understanding of the Star Trek lore and mythos. Even though this is an entirely new Trek based on an old Trek, it still has that outgoing, adventurous Star Trek feeling that really makes it stand out from all the other films. Simple but, this is a film Gene Roddenberry would be most proud of, for it showcases his brainchild in a new shell and in a new light. All our favourite Star Trek characters have their place with James Tiberius Kirk and Spock leading the pack. Of course, Kirk is more troublesome and slick in this version, but he still retains the leadership and benevolence of Shatner’s Kirk and the ability to take on the command chair. Spock is also much more emotional and aggressive this time around, but still retains what made the character stand out to begin with and he even gets a few pointers from the old Spock, played brilliantly by the legendary Leonard Nimoy. All the other characters are spot on as well. Uhura is the sassy chick with a skill for communications, Bones is the ill tempered medical expert, Sulu is the high flying swordsman, Chekov is the mathematical wiz, and Scotty is the rambunctious engineer who loves to shout and run around like a loon.The main villain of the film, Nero, played by Eric Bana is also a highlight, delivering that perfect balance of tyranny and determination to take out the good guys. He’s one dude you don’t want to pee off and when you do, he’ll impale you with his sharp staff of terror.
As I said before, the great Nimoy is in this picture and he portrays the prime Spock in a dignified, wise manner. He tells his younger self to put aside logic and do what he feels is right and persuades him to stay in Starfleet, saying that he can’t deprive him of his inevitable friendship with Kirk. The special effects and sound effects are also something to write home about. The man behind Star Wars’ sound effects, Ben Burtt did the sound effects for this film and they are very Star Trek like and fitting for each scene they are in. The space battles sound like Star Trek space battles and when characters are beamed off the Enterprise, it’s the classic transporter sound from the 60s TV show. I also like the Phaser sound effect, not exactly like the classic sound from the show, but really intriguing and sci-fi like. I also admire the new design of the Enterprise, which is obviously much bigger and more advanced than the one in the original show. The bridge also doesn’t have all those massive buttons and levers, it looks much more advanced and technological. Although this film is well loved, many Trekkies were offended by this flick, feeling that it was less of Star Trek and more of a mindless action flick. Abrams did however reboot the franchise in a way that it doesn’t ignore the other Star Trek series, but you’ll have to see the movie yourself to understand what I’m talking about. It really is an excellent movie and it doesn’t require you to know about Star Trek to get into it.