Many people who know me are surprised to find that I was not a an avid Star Trek fan before now – I did watch a little bit of the show, both the original and “The Next Generation” but I myself am not a huge fan of sci-fi. I am, however a fan of sprawling movies with scale to them and this, my friend is a true epic.
Now I know even the previews tell you that this isn’t your daddy’s Star Trek, but the first thing that impressed me about the film was the way it maintained what charm there was in the original TV show. All of the same hokey catch-phrases that you know and love from the original appear in the film. J.J. Abrams did a phenomenal of crafting a story that both Trekkies and Human movie-goers alike will enjoy by having both the edgy, effect-driven, adrenaline-pumping action scenes and the comical nods to the original – like one brief scene where we find Kirk in bed with a green woman, at which point even I, with my near-zero tolerance for thematic material, had to chuckle.
The movie starts with an event that takes place roughly 25 years before the rest of the plot. We see a federation starship being attacked and the 1st officer forced to take command. To save most of the people on the ship (including his wife who is giving birth as the attack is happening) he is forced to stay on the bridge while all others board escape pods so that they will get away safely while he kamikazes his way into star-fleet history.
Fast-forward a few scenes and about 20 years later and we find that that man’s son has grown up to be an arrogant, smooth and talented young James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine who will be one of Holly Wood’s sexiest men this year – mark my words. After a scuffle in a bar with some star fleet cadets A recruiter grabs Kirk and in a matter of minutes convinces the young rapscallion to enlist in Star Fleet. We’re introduced to all the Iconic characters one by one. First Uhura then Dr. McCoy who immediately befriends Kirk. Karl Urban, who plays “Bones” McCoy has a name you don’t recognize, but a face you will – considering he had principal roles in two Lord of the Rings movies and one of the Borne movies. His portrayal of Dr.McCoy is nothing more than an impersonation of the original Actor, and I loved it.
We’re also introduced to Zachary Quinto portraying perhaps one the most recognizable characters in all of Science Fiction, that lovable vulcan, Spock. Quinto’s name might not ring a bell for you, but if you, like me can’t miss an episode of that Monday night shamless X-men rip-off known as Heroes – you might know him by his other name: Sylar. You’ll probably be surprised to know that Quinto does a phenomenal job of actually making the character of Spock quite . . . well . . . human.
The Rubber hits the road when a distress call is sent out from the planet Vulcan and, since the primary fleet is engaged elsewhere in the galaxy, the cadets at star fleet have to take point on this assignment. The enterprise, the fleet’s newest flagship, is no different, and all at once we meet the rest of the crew. This element of having most of the major characters being rookies forced into action is a great way of handling the otherwise improbable course of action that lands Kirk the position of captain two-thirds of the way through the movie.
We find out that the same space craft which initiated the attack resulting in the death of Kirk’s father has returned, and as the plot thickens, we discover that they are actually from the future and so all the events that take place in this movie are, you guessed it, are a deviation from normal-space time, resulting in an alternate reality. If that was too heady for you let me put it this way: in one fell swoop the writers have not only explained what has taken place in the plot, but they are also explaining to all the Trekkies that it is perfectly acceptable for this course of events to be inconsistent with those in the existing Star Trek canon. Brilliant.
Appropriate for all ages? No. I’d say that the rating is quite accurate that children under 13 should probably wait a few years, but all in all the movie doesn’t ever go over-the-top with any of the ‘big 3′ (sex, language, violence) I’d say that I was impressed with the level of propriety and that I wouldn’t discourage anyone with a moderate stomach for violence from seeing it based on content. It is all handled fairly well and is no worse certainly than once should expect.
Over all Star Trek has the full package: Great effects, good acting, pithy dialogue, lovable characters and the most die-hard fan base this planet’s ever seen. Perhaps the only thing that I was slightly disappointed in was the lack of even a brief cameo from William Shatner. But in all reality, this movie wins, through and through. Don’t wait for the blu-ray. Go see it now, because weather you like it or not, its the next big thing. Move over sliced bread- you just got owned by Star Trek!