As everyone takes in the excitement of this weekend’s theatrical release of Iron Man 2 (I still haven’t seen it yet – BOO!), let’s not forget that at this exact same time last year, another much-anticipated franchise film blew up the box office: the ultra-stylish and adventurous reboot of Star Trek.
Director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe) introduces the origins of Captain James T. Kirk, Spock, “Bones,” and the rest of the beloved Original Series crew by resetting the historic timeline of Trek universe, truly going where no man has gone before. However, it seems that even the most hardcore and earliest Trekkies weren’t alienated by this change, thus contributing to the acclaim, buzz, and success of this reboot.
The film follows a group of newly graduated Starfleet Academy cadets as they beam aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Chris Pine portrays the young James Tiberius Kirk as a cocky farm boy who is convinced to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a heroic space captain. Aboard the ship, he clashes with the half-Vulcan and half-human commander Spock (Zachary Quinto), whose logic-based thinking and lack of expression (Due to his part-Vulcan heritage) does not fly by well with Kirk. But when Captain Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future, threatens to endanger other worlds, Kirk and Spock must learn to work effectively together to lead the crew of the Enterprise to victory.
The very lively and colorful ensemble cast – which includes Pine, Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin – brings new life to old characters. Trek vet Leonard Nimoy has a very special role in the film as an older version of Spock, the role he created and made a cultural icon. The sets and special effects are polished and pleasing to the eye. The script is well thought out and witty and not only includes action and drama within selves and among others, but also many humorous and light-hearted moments (Exhibits: Pretty much any scene or dialogue involving Urban as Bones or Pegg as Scotty) and even a little bit of romance. Additionally, the score by Michael Giacchino (Who won an Oscar this year for scoring the animated film Up) is gorgeous and emotionally engaging. There are a few plot holes and the time travel concept can be a bit confusing for anyone to understand and process (It actually personally took me three or four viewings to really get it), but overall, the new Star Trek is extremely entertaining, well-rounded, and deserving of any praise that it receives.
As Scotty would say, “I like this ship! Ya know, it’s exciting!” Yup – being in outer space has never been so exciting, and has never looked this good.
OVERALL SCORE: 9/10