Star Trek (2009)

Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana

Director: JJ Abrams

Hollywood is running out of ideas. Right? That may be so but there is no arguing that the idea of a STAR TREK franchise would not have happened without the countless reruns of the original show during the 1970’s. Then the popularity of a small movie with space battles, warriors, good guys to cheer for and bad guys to boo at appeared in the guise of STAR WARS. With the unprecedented success of STAR WARS, Paramount decided that they needed to cash in and produce their own big space movie. Around this time, Paramount was planning to develop a new STAR TREK series with the original crew minus Spock. With a big screen version of a product that is part of every day pop culture, the STAR TREK movie franchise was born.

If you have not watched STAR TREK before, you are probably asking yourself, “Surely I need to have followed the STAR TREK movies to know who is who and whether up is down”. Not at all. This is a reboot handled in the cleverest of ways, which will not be revealed in this review. The characters are reintroduced to the audience as we see events such as Kirk’s birth to how a young Spock was treated as an outsider on his home planet Vulcan. We see how these well-loved characters became the people that we know and love. We see Kirk running into trouble with the law, even from an early age and he will push boundaries to the limit. Not even when he becomes a young adult, trouble is never too far away from him as he tries to pick up women at bars and provoke fights with those that dare to stop him from having a good time.

Kirk (Chris Pine) is convinced into joining Starfleet Academy and along the way, he meets Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban). They strike up a friendship and Kirk eventually graduates from Starfleet when he manages to outsmart the final test, the Kobayashi Maru that Spock (Zachary Quinto) created for Starfleet. News reaches Starfleet HQ that an unknown vessel has appeared near Spock’s home planet and is attacking it. Starfleet sends out what they have to Vulcan. The Enterprise under Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) arrives at the scene late only to find that all the other Starfleet ships have been destroyed. They identify the enemy to be the Romulans, headed by Nero (Eric Bana), bent on revenge over the destruction of his home planet. But why pick on the peaceful Vulcans?

So, what does JJ Abrams’s version of STAR TREK bring to the table? First of all, he goes back to the heart of STAR TREK, the crew and he makes us care for them all over again, through this new set of actors. One of the reasons why fans love the original STAR TREK is because the main characters are likeable and thankfully we experience the same here. The Enterprise is made even more real as we see what the engine room in all of its full glory and it resembles a 23rd century version of the sort of engine rooms you might see in submarines and ocean liners. As for the bridge, it is all high tech computers and gleaming screens. In fact, there is so much CGI going on, you kind of ignore it all after a while. The movie moves along at such a decent pace that plot holes are not given enough time to dwell over. The performances all round are solid, has the right level of humour and there is enough here to keep old and new fans happy. At one point in the movie, die-hard fans will realise that this is a different take on what has come before and the clever story device will make any future TREK movies boldly go where it has never gone before. Warp speed TO STAR TREK 12.

5 out of 6 stars

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