Film Review - Star Trek
Starring - John Cho, Ben Cress Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Rider, Zoe Salana, Karl Urban, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy | Directed by J.J. Abrams | Paramount DVD WS PG-13 126min 2009
Review By Juliet
The film opens aboard the USS Kelvin, which has been attacked by a strange vessel whose captain is searching for Ambassador Spock. George Kirk is put in charge of the Kelvin and sacrifices himself to save the rest of the crew including his pregnant wife who gives birth James T. Kirk. We get glimpses into the childhood of Jim Kirk on Earth and Spock on Vulcan. Years later we meet Kirk as a young man in a bar trying to hit on a young Star Fleet cadet named Uhura. After getting to a barfight, Kirk meets Captain Pike who challenges him to join Star Fleet and embrace his legacy. Kirk and Spock's first meeting occurs when Kirk is accused of cheating on a test, but that's cut short when it's reported that Vulcan is under attack. The Enterprise and several other ships go to rescue, but Kirk (who snuck on the ship) suspects that it's a set up. When they arrive at Vulcan, they meet the same strange vessel from the day of Kirk's birth, piloted by a Romulan named Nero. Captain Pike is taken hostage, and Vulcan is destroyed leaving Spock to captain the Enterprise and deal with the loss of his home and mother. Kirk is eventually kicked off the ship and meets up with Scotty and another Spock. This Spock is from the future and explains that Nero has come back in time to seek revenge for a mistake that destroyed Romulus. It's up to Kirk to take control of the Enterprise from the younger Spock and defeat Nero before he destroys all of the planets in the Federation.
I'm morally obligated to tell you that when I was younger, I was a rather huge Trekkie. If you happened to be in a movie theater in Dayton when the teaser-trailer for this film debuted, I apologize for squealing rather loudly the first time they showed the Enterprise. Although I'm not usually a fan of franchise re-launches, I have to say, I was really intrigued by the way they were going about it (more on that later)...plus it's the first Star Trek in 7 years. So did this film live up to my unreasonably high expectations? I'm pleased to report that it did.
The young cast was stellar with Chris Pine playing an excellent Kirk with almost James Dean-esque presence on screen. However, it was Karl Urban who stole the show as Bones McCoy. He played the character perfectly without seeming like a parody or that he was overacting. It was also so great to see Leonard Nimoy back on the big screen playing Spock.
Speaking of Spock, they handled the whole time-travel/two Spocks issue really well. It was a vast improvement over what they did in Star Trek Generations to bring Captains Kirk and Picard together (no disrespect to Generations, it was just a bit clumsy in spots). I also think it was a great homage to the Star Trek franchise that they used time paradoxes as a means to launch the new franchise. As a fan, it made me a lot more comfortable with the idea of doing additional films. Plus, after being rather glued to the screen, I could go for another installment.
Star Trek was really well shot. The space scenes are particularly beautiful with really great contrast and color saturation. The Enterprise looked great on the outside, and I appreciated that the interior of the ship looked comparable to bridge from the original TV series.
DVD extras on the two disc set include deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette, gag reels, commentary and a digital copy of the film.
I really enjoyed this film, and it'll probably make it onto my best of 2009 list. Save for a few risque moments on Kirk's part, this is a fun film for the entire family. This is one you'll want to buy because once you've watched it, you'll want to see it again and again.