MOVIE REVIEW – ‘Star Trek’

Written by J.T. Johnson

4-12-stars

DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dan Mindel
WRITERS: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
MUSIC: Michael Giacchino

J.J. Abrams brings audiences a new look and a new timeline with his re-imagining of the “Star Trek” saga. Eric Bana plays the Romulan Nero who travels back in time in search of Ambassador Spock. Along the way, he kills James T. Kirk’s father, destroys a well-known planet in the “Star Trek” universe and changes the timeline that all trekkers have come to know and love.

The cast of the new film is perfectly cast in their roles. Chris Pine is great as the young and reckless Kirk who, on the suggestion of Captain Christopher Pike, joins Starfleet Academy. Zachary Quinto is also great as a young Spock who is trying to decide whether or not to adhere to his vulcan or human halves.

It is fun watching Spock and Kirk duke it out and eventually become friends through the course of the film. One of the highlights of the movie that sets them against one another is Kirk taking the no-win Kobayashi Maru test and beating the program. This program was developed by none other than Spock himself and that’s why he initially has no trust in Kirk.

The supporting cast is mostly spot on as well. John Cho is good as Sulu and Karl Urban is great as Dr. Leonard McCoy. Simon Pegg, however, steals the show from the rest of the supporting cast as Montgomery Scott. He is enjoyable and humorous to watch when he is on screen and the audience cannot wait for him to come back when he is not onscreen.

Bana’s Nero, the villain who has disrupted the well-known timeline we all once knew, reminds me of Khan. The character has come back in time due to an accident that sent his nemesis, Ambassador Spock, back to the 23rd Century. Bana might not reach the same level as Ricardo Montalban did with Khan as far as performance, but he does prove to be a formidable foe.

And speaking of Ambassador Spock, seeing Leonard Nimoy in the role he originated over 40 years ago is fun to see. It also acts as a great passing of the baton to the new actors who are now serving on board the Enterprise.

The special effects and action sequences are some of the best put to screen. Whether or not it is the Enterprise fighting the Romulan ship or Kirk and Sulu free-falling to a platform and then fighting Romulan soldiers on said platform, the action this time around does not disappoint. The only thing that might annoy trekkers is the fact that the plot of the story changes the entire timeline and destiny of the characters.

They might complain that the history they have kept up with for 40 years has been virtually thrown out the window. Still, the fact is that by destroying the timeline everyone knows, the movie contains genuine suspense and there were times where I did not know who would make it out alive. This even goes for the main characters such as Kirk and Spock.

Finally, there are several throwbacks and references to the original series. A couple of examples include a guy in a red suit getting killed like the other red shirts from the original series and also referencing Sulu’s fencing training.

In the end, the film was a great reinvention of the series with a mostly solid cast and great special effects. “Star Trek” also has great action sequences and a solid story that sets up a new series for one of the most famous sci-fi franchises in the world.

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