Star Trek Review

by Ed Lau on May 11, 2009

Star Trek

I was a Star Trek nerd growing up. Of course, I’m not old enough to watch the original series but I couldn’t get enough during The Next Generation. I was glued to the TV every week to watch Captain Jean-Luc Picard and crew boldly go where no man has gone before. I mean, I never went as far as to get in costume and attend conventions (those dudes take it too far…) but I loved me some Star Trek back in the day.

That love eventually waned as we were bombarded with additions to the franchise that were mediocre to say the least. I seldom thought about Star Trek other than when I saw friends from back then and reminisced about “Dude, remember how into Star Trek we were?” To be honest, I really wasn’t even excited about the idea of this J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie since it wasn’t based on The Next Generation and the original series was far before my time.

That was until I saw the trailer for it and thought…damn, regardless of what the story or franchise is based on, it looks like a damn good movie. Let’s face it…every Star Trek show or movie is just filled with all kinds of cheesiness but this movie was different. It is first and foremost a summer action movie. It just happens to be about Star Trek.

Star Trek

The idea behind the movie is basically an origins story about how Captain Kirk and his crew are eventually assembled aboard the starship Enterprise. Early on, it’ll follow members of the crew around as they go about their lives at Starfleet Academy until an emergency calls all cadets to battle stations. I won’t spoil any of the actual plotline but from my limited understanding of the original Star Trek, it does not follow much from the 1960′s series. It is faithful to the ideas behind the franchise without borrowing directly from old material.

Of course, there will be naysayers out there that will dismiss this movie as simply sci-fi geek fare and that only dedicated fans of the series will enjoy this film. They would, of course, be wrong. For one thing, the opening 15 minutes is among the most exciting I’ve ever experienced in any action movie, full of explosions that would make Michael Bay’s eyes pop out from mini-explosions (who am I kidding? Nothing Michael Bay does can be described as mini…). It’s that whole heroism-in-the-face-of-certain-death thing that will definitely appeal to everyone. Of course, the rest of the movie doesn’t fall far behind on the scale. The action is exciting without being over the top.

Star Trek

While some fans of the series are already popping up on message boards across the internet with claims that the performances are sacrilegious and that the latest to portray their beloved characters don’t hold a candle to the originals, I found that everyone across the board does their job well. Chris Pine plays Kirk with the edge and cockiness we expect from him and Zachary Quinto is rather convincing as a young Spock. Even John “Harold” Cho didn’t seem out of place as Lieutenant Sulu. I did find Eric Bana going a little too far as Nero but he is also acceptable. I mean, I wouldn’t consider what William Shatner did in the ’60s to be “good” acting, would you?

The movie isn’t without it’s flaws, though. While I’m sure serious fans enjoyed the many references and shout-outs to the original Star Trek, I found them distracting, awkward and unnecessary. “I’m a doctor! Not a physicist!” and other similar lines may bring a smile the first time you hear it but if this is truly a modern re-imagining of the franchise, there’s no place for the ’60s cheese. I also didn’t enjoy the fact that the movie found it necessary to treat the audience like complete morons by explicitly explaining that this was an alternate reality…by actually stating “This is an alternate reality.” C’mon, guys…give us a little credit. It’s flaws like that in the script that kept bugging me as the movie progressed.

However, that isn’t to say that this isn’t a fantastic thrill ride and what I hope to only be the first in a series of modern Star Trek movies. I’d recommend it to those new to the series and old fans alike.

Verdict: 9.0 out of 10.

in Entertainment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Play Games Win Prizes May 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Ahhh Ed, you’re…one of those…:)

I’m just playing. I never got into Star Trek, but I do want to watch the movie because it looks simply amazing and I’ve never even seen an ep where they were on LAND. lol

-Mike

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