Lately, rebooting a franchise has been a popular phenomenon in Hollywood. From the Hulk to Batman, Hollywood is taking franchises left and right and giving them the reboot in hopes of drawing in new and larger audiences. In what many have seen as attempts to reinvigorate a franchise, some see as treading on sacred ground. Nowhere is this more prevalent then in the Star Trek franchise. In case you’ve been living in seclusion for the past 40 years, Star Trek has developed a rabid following. Its fans, Trekkers, are known as some of the most devoted of any following. So it’s to be expected that some people are going to feel a bit uneasy when they hear that their beloved Star Trek is receiving the reboot treatment. Luckily, director J.J. Abrams, along with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, have done an outstanding job with the latest Star Trek. From start to finish you’ll be drawn in to what has to be the most exciting Star Trek to come along in a long time.
Star Trek is a prequel of sorts, it tells the tale of how the original U.S.S. Enterprise crew came together. Yet the road its taken is different then anything any fan of Star Trek will remember. This is because of the meddling of the 24th century Romulan Captain Nero. He’s traveled back in time to prevent the Federation from ever becoming powerful in hopes of saving his home planet Romulus from an apocalyptic Super Nova. It’s the job of the crew of the Enterprise to stop Nero and save the Federation. Now I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible so you’ll have to excuse me from getting to in depth. It’s best to see it for yourself and be spoiled by the excellent acting, superb effects and fun story.
Over the years, Star Trek has lost its punch. From a waning film series and television series, Star Trek has needed an injection of fresh perspective. It’s needed to appeal to a wider audience then past films ans series. Without a new audience Star Trek will die a long, slow death. It deserves a lot more then that, and it’s gotten that from Abrams and the writing crew of Orci and Kurtzman. A balance has been found where even people who have written off the franchise can enter with a clean palette.
Just because a movie has a good script it doesn’t mean it will be a good movie. You need good actors to pull of the the parts if you want it to shine and luckily Star Trek has just that. From Kirk to McCoy, everyone is given their time to shine. Chris Pine does an excellent job as the cocky and spitfire James T. Kirk. Zachary Quinto’s portrayal of Spock is a highlight of the film. While nobody can replace Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, Quinto does an excellent job capturing the essence of Spock, from his logical Vulcan side to his emotional Human side.
Also standing out is Karl Urban’s portrayal as the cynical Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy. His portrayal of McCoy was probably the most spot on accurate of the group. It was as if you were watching a young DeForrest Kelley on screen. Also notable were Simon Pegg as Scotty and John Cho as the gallant, sword wielding Hikaru Sulu. Unfortunately Anton Yelchin’s role as Pavel Checkov was short, but it was extremely memorable. Rounding out the main cast is Zoe Saldana as Uhura, who gets probably the biggest ever Uhura role in Star Trek. The entire bridge crew did an excellent job capturing the spirit of their characters. It also has to be said that the supporting characters were also well acted, from Bruce Greenwood’s Captain Pike to Ben Cross’ portrayal of Spocks father, Sarek. Eric Bana’s portrayal of the Romulan Captain Nero was also done very well, although I wonder whey he played it with an American accent and not just go with his native Australian one.
Story wise, Star Trek hit the nail on the head. It was neither convoluted nor confusing. A bit more action packed then previous films, it had the perfect blend of incorporating the Star Trek mythos into an action film. It was definitely made to appeal to a wider audience and bring in new fans. To say it has accomplished its mission would be an understatement. While I may be gushing over the film, there are a couple things that stood out a little. Captain Nero’s back story is extremely vague, and if you have read the Star Trek prequel comic, then you’ll wonder why he’s on a course for revenge. Nero’s story could have been fleshed out a little more, but to be honest that’s my only real gripe. Orci and Kurtzman did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Star Trek and its characters.
Visually, the movie is an absolute treat. From the great special effects to the re-imagining of Starfleet and its ships, everything looks like something that would progress from todays technology all the while keeping a lot of the feel from the original series. From the uniforms for the crew to the look of the Enterprise, everything felt like Trek. Yet it had a more real world feel to it, from the innards of the starships to the look of the aliens, things looked like they belonged there. The sound effects were also well done, ratcheting up the drama and action. One thing that really stood out for me was how they depicted space. In a couple of scenes, when people were in space everything was eerily quiet, there were no sounds. That’s the way it ought to be. For fans of Abrams work on Lost and Fringe, you’ll notice a few items taken from the two excellent television series. Don’t worry because they work perfectly in the movie.
Star Trek has opened itself to new adventures, but more importantly new fans. JJ Abrams has breathed new life into a faltering series, one that will bring new energy to future projects. Fans of the original series, or Star Trek in general, shouldn’t fear the movie. It still captures the wonder and excitement that Stat Trek has brought to thousands of fans. This is definitely a movie everyone should see.