Directed by J. J. Abrams
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana, and Leonard Nimoy.
Well, here it is, my most anticipated summer blockbuster of 2009. I’m a huge trekkie, and the thought of a Star Trek reboot was one I approached with an open mind. The more I learned about this project, the more I was reminded of a scenario played out in the book Star Trek: Phase II — The Lost Series. It asked “What if Star Trek was just another fondly remembered TV show and just now was being turned into a movie?” That’s really what is seems like Abrams and crew set out to do with the original series. I booked a day off work so I could see it opening day. Did it meet my expectations?
A mysterious rift opens up in space, and out comes a Romulan ship of advance design, which promptly destroys the U.S.S. Kelvin. During the evacuation of the Kelvin, a child is born…James T. Kirk. We flash forward 25 years. Kirk is now a brash young man who is dared to join Starfleet. While in the academy, he makes his friends with a rising medical officer named McCoy, and enemies with an undergraduate instructor named Spock. But, before things can be settled, a distress call is sent out, and these cadets are called into action! That mysterious Romulan ship has returned, and it has a mysterious connection with Spock. Will Kirk and the rest of these young cadets made to command the Enterprise be able to stop this mysterious threat?
What I Liked
Ever since the Star Wars prequels and Lord of the Rings, this is the Star Trek movie I’ve been waiting for. Finally, all the special effects technology at our disposal was used to tell a truly epic Star Trek story. This doesn’t feel cheap, this doesn’t have a 2-hour special episode of Voyager vibe. This is a Star Trek movie. The characters are as close to I remember them, with Karl Urban’s McCoy being very dead on. And there’s lots of clever in-jokes to the rest of the franchise if you know what to look for.
What I Didn’t Like
Well, despite all their attempts at something new, they still manage to fall victim to some of the cliches of the franchise. They made one change to a certain character relationship that just kind of comes out of nowhere. The space scenes are darkly lit, making it tough to figure out what was going on. And who the hell decided that Chekov should have the same accent as Borat?
This is Star Trek writ large. We’ve never seen it on this scale, and it looks good on this scale. A fine beginning to what will probably be the latest Star Trek series.