Friday, May 8, 2009

Review - Star Trek

The Star Trek origin story chronicles the early life's of James T. Kirk, Spock and other Starfleet recruits as they go through the Academy and venture into their first real mission for the United Federation of Planets. The young group is put to the test after a distress signal from the planet Vulcan reaches Starfleet, forcing the Federation to act. The new recruits assigned to the U.S.S. Enterprise while in route, come to realize they are headed into a far more dangerous threat than anticipated. The crew of the Enterprise must band together in order to defeat a devastating threat that could potenially destroy entire planets at will.

J.J. Abrams has successfully revived the Star Trek brand! There will always be the Trekkers who would do anything for Star Trek, but J.J. Abrams was able to take the concepts, cannon and lore of the original series and create a viable film that is witty, action-filled and intelligent while also remaining easy to follow. More importantly, "Star Trek" is fun for all ages whether you are a Star Trek fan or not. Abrams powerfully reveals very early on, that this new Star Trek, is not your father's Star Trek. The scene, which was included in the first trailer, shows young James T. Kirk drive a stolen 1960's Corvette of the edge of a cliff narrowly jumping out right before it is too late. This scene is a nice metaphor that illustrates Abrams is definately moving on from what fans may have been use to with Star Trek films of old. Luckily, Abrams pulls off the update in a near flawless manner.

"Star Trek" does a fantastic job of introducing the original characters in a fresh way. Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Krutzman wield a story that allows new viewers and also dedicated fans to enjoy the film, fans familiar with the original characters will particularly enjoy all of famous lines and mannerism's from the original characters of the previous films and episodes. Without giving too much away, the writers were able to create a device within the film, that allows for some of the original character's backstories to change. More importantly, it allows for this new cast to move forward with more J.J. Abrams Star Trek films, and I for one could not be happier.

J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" is kick-ass! The film is action packed and really puts all of the previous action scenes in any of the Star Trek films to shame. There is quite a bit of hand-to-hand combat throughout, all of which is highly energetic and well executed. Loved the space jump scene, brilliant! The starship battles of the old Star Trek films always bored the hell out of me. They never seemed to do much other than say, "taking evasive action" or "engage," push a button and then some cheesy laser effects would follow. This is not the case in J.J. Abrams film. While the same lines are still there, the CGI that follows is wicked and something you would expect from the given stardate. No more seeing the U.S.S. Enterprise slowly crawling, the update instead has the Enterprise maneuvering the way fans always wished it would. All of the special effects companies that worked on "Star Trek" did a fabulous job of creating an all around flawless Star Trek Universe.

The cast of "Star Trek" is perfect. I was actually surprised how well each and every one of the new cast fit into the original characters. Chris Pine makes for a great leading man and does a terrific job of playing the rule-breaking James T. Kirk. Zachary Quinto is an immaculate update of Spock, however some hardcore fans may be frustrated with some of the liberties J.J. Abrams took with his character. Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov and Karl Urban playing Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy were exceptional in their performances and really provide some hysterical laughter. Karl Urban, who in the past has been somewhat unimpressive, nails Bones to a T. He delivers Dr. McCoy's dark satire wonderfully, providing a good laugh almost every time on screen. Simon Pegg was also unblemished as Scotty, although like in the original films his character seemed very minor. Zoe Saldana as Uhura and John Cho playing Sulu round out the original characters, and as previously stated, everyone did a outstanding job taking on classic roles and giving them new life.

The rest of the cast was very good. Eric Bana did a good job with what he was given to do as Captain Nero. The disappointing part to Nero is, his character spends most of his time glaring and sulking and not enough doing. That said, Bana's action sequences are spot-on and he is definately intimmidating as the evil Romulan Captain. Bruce Greenwood always plays a good leader, and here in "Star Trek," nothing has changed as Captain Christopher Pike who mentors young Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew. Leonard Nimoy's return as Spock in the film was an absolute joy to watch. Nimoy shares some amazing screen time with Chris Pine and everytime onscreen, he provides a looming esence of his legacy as Spock.

"Star Trek" is everything you could ask for in a Blockbuster Summer Movie. It is thrilling, weaves a quality story, has great action, amazing special effects and most of all delivers a breath of fresh air into a once thought dying franchise. The film runs at a great pace, never slowing down throughout the 126 minutes running time. J.J. Abrams created one of the best Star Trek films to date, one that can be enjoyed again and again. Like Christopher Nolan did with Batman Begins, J.J. Abrams took a branded franchise and made it viable again. Here's to more new adventures with the U.S.S. Enterprise crew!