Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Living long and prospering over 40 years later
No matter what you currently think of or how much you know Star Trek and/or its characters, when you see Star Trek, you will be blown away. If you know nothing about the series, you’ll love the film. If you don’t even like the old series, you’ll love the film. And if you’re a die-hard Trekkie or Trekker, you’ll really love the film.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek is unlike any Star Trek movie you’ve seen before. Not only does it take you back to see the origins of it’s original crew, but it exposes you to a new past where the future is unknown, not locked in to the Star Trek universe already established over the last 40-something years.
Abrams opens Star Trek much in the same way he opened Mission: Impossible III – the first scenes are huge. They show the epic size, intensity and emotion of the film that you are about to watch. They hook you, reel you in and keep you on the end of the line until the closing credits. Without giving anything away, what you witness in the opening sequence completely changes the the history of Star Trek from that the Trekkies and Trekkers can recite to you – creating an “alternate reality” for the young crew that we meet.
Because I do not want to risk giving anything away, I will simply tell the plot in one vague line – the new and inexperienced crew of the starship Enterprise set out on their first mission to stop rogue Romulans (whose leader is played by Eric Bana) from immanent danger.
For those who love Star Trek, a big fear from this project has been the cast. How can you possibly cast someone to play the most iconic television character, Captain James T. Kirk? Abrams cast a nearly unknown actor, Chris Pine, for the role. And much to everyones surprise, Pine is perfect. And nearly every other crew member cast is perfect too. Heroes villain Zachary Quinto plays a perfect young Spock battling between accepting his human or Vulcan heritage. Also unknown actress Zoe Saldana perfectly plays a sexier, more sassy version of communications officer Uhura. Alpha Dog’s Anton Yelchin plays a spot-on Pavel Chekov, unintelligible thick accent and all. Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg adds a great layer of fun as young Scotty.
If any actor doesn’t live up to the original crew’s standards, it’s Harold and Kumar’s John Cho as Sulu. Given how great the possibilities are for him to shine, he doesn’t add any classic Sulu to his performance and comes across as mediocre.
On the other hand, there’s Karl Urban (best known as Eomer in the Lord of the Rings movies) as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Nobody perfectly carries across the true spirit of their character like Urban does with Bones. For those who know and love Bones from the original series, his performance will be one of the highlights of the new Star Trek experience.
But don’t mistake my remarks as giving off the impression that the cast is the only thing Star Trek has going for it. The film is filled with the perfect balance of story, action, comedy and character.
For those Star Trek fans, keep your eyes peeled for classic fan favorite throw-backs, from classic Khan moments and tribbles, to the ill-fated crew members dressed in red.
All in all, Star Trek is made just for the fans. It’s made for everyone. It’s a people-pleasing movie, one thing that J.J. Abrams sure knows how to make.