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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Star Trek”

(Paramount. 2 hours, 20 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence and brief sexual content. Directed by J.J. Abrams.) Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Younger Spock), Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Ben Cross (Sarek), Winona Ryder (Amanda Grayson), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott), Bruce Greenwood (Christopher Pike), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy), Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov), Eric Bana (Nero). Music by Michael Giacchino.


Fantastic. Exciting, funny, nostalgic, new. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III) was the right man to bring this wheezing franchise (43 years old!) back to life. As a self-admitted non-Trekkie, he surrounded himself with Trek geeks while developing this project, which takes us back to the “classic” show origins and how Kirk, Spock and the rest of the gang met at Starfleet Academy. Don’t worry, it’s not all classroom assignments: they end up on an unexpected space mission and get a chance to show their stuff against a Romulan baddie named Nero. A young, attractive cast plays our intrepid space travelers, with Nimoy the only holdover from the original ’60s TV show. (No Shatner here, although Abrams considered it.)

These characters aren’t yet fully formed, but part of the fun is seeing the beginnings of what they would later be. Kirk’s a thrill-seeking rebel farm boy with a genius IQ and an eye for the ladies. Spock’s dual nature is explored at length here as he dares to break from Vulcan traditions and find his own way. Uhura (still in that miniskirt) gets to do more here than say “Hailing frequencies open, Captain.” “Bones” McCoy is cantankerous even then. And so forth; I don’t want to spoil it for you. Capt. Pike from the original TV show pilot is even worked in very cleverly. I loved Simon Pegg’s Scotty; actually I loved the whole cast. I do have a few quibbles about the movie. There’s a central relationship introduced that I didn’t quite buy, amusing as it was. Also, Abrams’ go-to composer Giacchino’s music could have used some more prominent themes (either his own, or more of the established Trek music made famous by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage; you do hear these at the end of the movie). Plus critics should have been shown the IMAX version. Still, even standard widescreen projection was very impressive. The film works best for supergeeks steeped in Trek lore (you’ll catch all the references), but should be quite enjoyable for casual fans, or the merely curious looking for a great action movie. Live long and prosper.

(Jared’s Note: I got to see this also, and I wholeheartedly concur. Trek-veteran Wil Wheaton put it best when he said “Star Trek has been reborn, and it is SPECTACULAR.”)