Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Movie Review: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek has been a part of pop culture for over 40 years and like anything thats been around that long it needed a tune up. That's what J.J. Abrams set out to accomplish with this summers Star Trek. The cast is young and fresh, the effects are state of the art, and the heart that made Star Trek a phenomenon is kept intact. Coming out of this film I can finally call myself a Star Trek fan. From the first ten minutes until the credits rolled I was thrilled by what I was seeing. As a side note I've seen this film twice once in a normal theater and once in Imax. The sound design really comes through in Imax so I implore you to seek it out if you have a Imax theater available to you. 

It's hard to talk about the films plot without bringing up spoilers but it's safe to say the way they are able to make this film fit into the timeline is quite solid. If you were to dissect the story you would find holes in it but for the most part it's smarter then your average popcorn flick. The first half of the film is about re-establishing the crew of the Enterprise. They do a tremendous job of fitting all the pieces together in such a short amount of time without it feeling forced. They even manage to get in a bunch of quotes and references some subtle and some not. Most of the references and winks work but the best come from the more subtle ones. Like a reference to the red shirts that could easily be missed if you don't know about Star Trek (if your a fan you'll know what I'm talking about).

For the most part the entire cast puts in fabulous performances, some that arguably (don't kill me) surpass that of the original. Chris Pine doesn't do a impersonation of William Shatner which would have been hokey but instead just plays it more like a young Han solo type. Zachary Quinto is just about spot on as Spock as one could hope for. He occasionally gets a bit too emotional but again this is a young Spock who has yet to learn to control his emotions. The rest of the cast is filled out nicely by Simon Pegg who gives a great comedic performance. Karl Urban who just embodies McCoy and has a great dynamic with Kirk and Spock. If there is one disappointment in the film it comes for the main villain Nero played by Eric Bana. Honestly the role could have been played by anyone, as he adds nothing to the character. When reading up on the making of the film I learned about this whole back story about Nero and his crew, but virtually none of this is conveyed on the screen. This makes it hard to believe in the reasoning behind why Nero is set on creating Genocide throughout the galaxy.

The New Star Trek did exactly what it set out to do, reboot a tired series and make it fresh. The summer would be a much bleaker place without this film. It will be interesting to see where they go from here now that the new cast and universe has been established. 

5 out of 5

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