Star Trek (2009) Reviewed

Star Trek
Directed By J. J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg

I don’t like Star Trek. I don’t understand the obsessive Trekkies. The first, the original Star Trek series was old before I was even born, and my dad forcing me to watch it just repelled me. The cardboard sets and acting, the men-in-costume monsters, and the different forehead per species just didn’t endear the series to me. The Next Generation improved and developed the Trek universe, and Picard was a decent captain, but it didn’t really interest me, it still had the stigma of Trek. Deep Space Nine is probably my favourite series, because it’s the least Trek-like. Voyager I wasn’t a fan of, although this series opened out and further developed the universe with a number of new creatures and species. Enterprise was barely a blip, with that bloke (Scott Bakula) from Quantum Leap.

The film were always better than the series, but I’m a silver screen kinda guy. Although I lost interest completely when the Generations lot took over.

I was a Star Wars baby, so liking Trek went against the grain, and my dad’s fascination put the nail in the coffin of me liking it during my teenage years.

So, I wonder why I am actually paying to sit in a cinema to watch the latest, eleventh, in a series that I’m not particularly enamoured with? Did I come here hoping to hate it? No, I would have waited for someone else to buy the dvd so I could borrow it if that was the case. There’s nothing else decent at the cinema, so it’s the new Star Trek movie or nothing. My limited options have driven me here.

Live long and prospect, to boldly go, Captain’s log, the Vulcan v-fingered salute, McCoy (played brilliantly by Urban) Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Spock and James T. Kirk are all present and correct. This film is at once comfortable and familiar to all those aware of the Star Trek legacy, and who in the civilised world is not?
But this is not the reality we are all comfortable with, something is very, very wrong.

The film starts with the death of Kirk’s father at the hands of a huge Romulan ship from the future, and Kirk being born in a escape pod. The Romulan’s are after a Ambassador Spock, but there is no Ambassador Spock, not yet.

The Romulan’s have come from the future and upset the universe’s continuity, which is course means that nothing is what we are familiar. So this is not traditional trek territory after all? Marvellous!

A few years later and now a troubled twenty-two year old, Kirk enlists in Star Fleet, along with Spock after being offended by the Vulcan Scientific Council over his half human mother, and the rest of the team. McCoy smuggles Kirk onto the USS Enterprise after Kirk cheats to beat a test and is suspended, as the entire fleet head out to stop an attack by the mysterious time-travelling Romulan ship, on the Vulcan home planet.

The Enterprise is under the command or Captain Pike until the Romulan’s force him to enter their ship, so Commander Spock takes over with Kirk as his “Number one”. And so the battle begins…

Of course there’s a lot more to it, but to fill you in completely would spoil it!

The time-continuum has been distorted by the Romulan ship coming back and killing Kirk’s father, allows the writers a freedom they would otherwise not have had, giving them the opportunity to play with our perceptions of the traditional Trek universe and offering something new whilst still playing to the strengths of the Trek universe. We are at once given both the new and familiar. This allows us to smile at the familiarity: Kirk solving most problems with his fists and being an unstoppable womaniser; the Vulcan death grip and aforementioned v-fingered salute; and the rest of the crew, looking a lot younger and hotter than previously.

Special mention should also go to Simon Pegg and Karl Urban for their portrayals of Scotty and McCoy, respectively, lending true acting skills to their parts and playing with the duality of existing characters from a new perspective.

A timely intervention by Leonard Nimoy with his expert touch just seals the deal.

This is Star Trek, but not as we know. This is the new Star Trek, a brighter, fresher, younger, upgraded model. An action-packed, thrill-a-thon, that’s new and yet oddly comfortable. A Star Trek going boldly where it hasn’t gone before, which is excellent!

Can’t wait for the next one!

I don’t believe it, I’ve been converted into a Trekkie!

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One Response to “Star Trek (2009) Reviewed”

  1. As a hard core Trekkie (and star wars fan too!) I agree. The movie was great! I can’t wait to see it again and again and again.

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