Star Trek (2009)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Shannon O’Connor
Shannon’s Grade: A
Release Date: May 8, 2009; Rated: PG-13;
Length: 127 Minutes; Genre: Action, Sci-Fi;
With: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe
Saldana; Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Forty years after the iconic television series Star Trek left the air, J.J. Abrams brings the classic characters, the fantastical story and the world of Star Trek to the big screen in Star Trek. While the titles may be the same, the stories are completely different. In an attempt to not erase all that took place in the classic 1960’s television phenomenon, Abrams took a whole new approach to his reimagining of Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi classic. Abrams created a wormhole within the Star Trek plot, as in he literally created an wormhole that Nero’s (the villain) ship goes through that takes it back in time to the birth of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine).
However, Nero’s ship’s passage through the wormhole changes the events of the future, and immerses audiences into an alternative, parallel Star Trek universe. However the quintessential elements of the Star Trek franchise are not lost in this shiny new revival, as the relationship between Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Pine) gets off on the same foot as it does in the series. The extremely logical half-human, half-Vulcan Spock and the impulsive and daring Kirk often butt heads both in this film and the original series, but in the end audiences realize that they have just witnessed the beginning of a beautiful, age-old friendship.
While some aspects of the Star Trek franchise changed, such as Spock and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), a former student of his, having a relationship, other key characters from the series still appear in the film like the Scottish engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) and chief medical officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) often referred to as “Bones.” Although the back stories of these characters and Uhura were not as deeply explored as Spock and Kirk’s were, audience members did not have to be fans of the original series to sense their importance to the story the second they were introduced.
The strength of the film lies in three areas: the acting, the writing and the special effects.
As the cocky and rebellious Captain Kirk, Chris Pine shines as he redefines the character, making his portrayal of Kirk unique and different from that of William Shatner’s portrayal. Zachary Quinto awes as Spock, whose always logical way of life is often tested in the film causing Quinto to exonerate emotion, which he does with ease and intensity.
Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman did an incredible job of taking a story and group of characters so beloved and creating an entirely new and ingenious plot line that exceeded expectations of diehard fans and film goers alike. In creating an alternate Star Trek universe, Orci and Kurtzman allowed themselves an abundance of creative leeway, as they no longer had to worry about stepping on the toes of the original series because they were not recreating Star Trek, just creating a new chapter in its history.
As for special effects, words cannot describe the feeling one gets watching this film on screen. Even without 3D, Star Trek makes audiences feel as if they are in the U.S.S. Enterprise with all their favorite characters. From the design of the ships to the massive explosions and the monstrous collapsing planets, audiences not only feel imminent peril the characters face, they are immersed in it.
Star Trek fans and movie-goers alike are bound to like this action-packed thrill ride into a world where no man has gone before.