Review by Vives Anunciacion, Inquirer Libre May 08, 2009
Directed by JJ Abrams
I’LL by pass the usual, “This movie has a long history behind it, it started a whole generation of geekdom” yadda yadda. I don’t have enough space, which, as this series has told us many times over, is the final frontier.
Star Trek is an origins movie depicting the beginnings of the crew of the Starship Enterprise and its most famous captain, James T. Kirk. It’s the 11th in the Star Trek series of films based on the iconic 1960s show that created nerds out of normal people worldwide.
HERE BE SPOILERS, stop reading and just see the dang movie!
The movie begins, appropriately, in space, in the middle of a confrontation between a large, obviously superior alien vessel and an earlier Federation Starship and the birth of James T. Kirk. Appropriately, the movie ends where the TV series begins (you’ll know it when you hear it.)
Nero, the rebel Romulan (Eric Bana who is so good to be unrecognizable) is tracking down the destroyer of his planet. In his rage, he destroys everything that gets in his way. Kirk grows up to be quite the young rebel but manages to get recruited into Starfleet Academy where he meets everyone who will be his crew in the Enterprise, including the Vulcan Commander Spock, who would later on (in the TV shows) become his best friend. Spock’s dual nature of having a Vulcan father and an Earthling mother is key
to the story, and his past, present and future has something to do with Nero’s nemesis. END OF SPOILERS.
This isn’t the first time Star Trek has toyed with a storyline that jumps in time and it probably won’t be the last. But there’s no denying it, the new Star Trek movie is vastly enjoyable and family-friendly. Fans will freak out. Guys will like it. Girls will like it. And it has a healthy combination of camp, cheese and seriousness.
Just before the press screening, the movie was inaccurately introduced as a space drama. While Star Trek has its mild emotional moments, it’s not Battlestar Galactica (currently the gold standard for sci-fi drama.) Star Trek is an adventure through and through.
It is really fun to see how the newly minted cast distilled, absorbed and sublimed the essences of the original characters. In every scene, I keep thinking that Zachary Quinto will assume the body of Leonard Nimoy in the future, or that Chris Pine really played the young James T. Kirk back in the 1960s. I’d say each character had a scene-stealing moment, but really, that’s the young Uhura (Zoe Saldana), that’s the young Dr. Bones McCoy (Karl Urban, Eomer from The Lord of the Rings). Even the accents drive me crazy — that’s as Scottish a young Scotty would be (Simon Pegg) and a teenage Pavel Chekov (played by Anton Yelchin) who says Wulcan instead of Vulcan. To some degree, the voice of the first captain at the beginning of the movie even sounded like Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: The Next Generation.)
I’d pick on the plot holes just to say Star Trek isn’t a perfect movie, but who cares? Star Trek is the perfect summer movie for this year’s blockbuster season. But the best part is that it stands mighty fine next to the classics of the franchise.
Beam me up, Scotty, I’m going back for another ride.