The movie starts with the birth of Starfleet’s most infamous captain, James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) and follows his beginnings in Starfleet. Along for the ride are Capt Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Spock (Zachary Quinto of Heroes), Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (Karl Urban); linguist Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Helmsman Sulu (John Cho) and a 17-year-old Russian navigator named Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Halfway through the movie, Scotty (Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead) drops in too.
Although Uhura, McCoy and Kirk are still cadets at the academy, they are ordered into space to help man the few ships Starfleet has in Earth orbit to respond to a distress call from the planet Vulcan. When they arrive, they discover it is a trap and all but the Enterprise are destroyed. Pike, Kirk and Sulu launch an attack to save Vulcan and deal with the marauding Romulan Nero (Eric Bana).
Star Trek starts off with a bang and races along right to the end of the movie, without any noticeable lulls. The acting is great, especially Quinto as a young Spock, fighting to suppress his emotions. He loves, fights and rages, all the while trying his utmost to suppress them. Instead of the always logical and almost mechanical Mr. Spock played by Nimoy from the TV series and films, we are greeted with a Spock who must constantly battle his human emotions. It was an incredibly refreshing take on the character. Pine is in fine form as Kirk, the irrepressible and reckless rule breaker. His constant willingness to fight the unwinnable fight is right on par with the original Kirk. The scene when he takes the Kobayashi Maru test is particularly enjoyable. The film has tons of homages to Star Trek lore, with explanations why McCoy is called Bones, rationale why he doesn’t like Spock, Kirk’s willingness to sleep with hot green aliens, and so on. There are tons of great one-liners and jokes as the cadets learn their jobs.
I can definitely see some Star Trek faithful upset at the liberties J.J. Abrams has taken with the franchise. It strays far from the accepted timeline of the Star Trek universe, the Enterprise is a far more powerful ship, armed with weapons unseen before, and the events of the movie leave the Star Trek universe far different than the one most of us grew up watching. Despite all of this, the movie keeps most of the canon intact.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest Trek fan. I watched the TV series, and enjoyed a lot of it, with the exception of Voyager, but when it came to the feature films, I only thought three were especially good; The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and First Contact. IMHO, this film blows them all away. This is one of the best movies of the year and should do huge business and totally revitalize Star Trek, which has been a dormant franchise since Nemesis and Enterprise.
[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmJO3ppLBsk [/youtube]
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