Star Trek Directed by: J.J. Abrams Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Leonard Nimoy Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 mins. Rating: PG-13 Release Date: May 8, 2009
Plot: This is the voyage of the starship USS Enterprise, with a twist. A hell-bent Romulan (Bana) shifts time and is out to destroy Spock (Quinto, Nimoy). A black hole twists the past, but Kirk (Pine) and the rest of the starfleet soldiers are brought together on the Enterprise to defend Vulcan and Earth from a massive, destructive ship.
Who’s It For? Sci-Fi fans who never gave Star Trek a chance, fans of the classic series willing to see new actors in the iconic roles, and those who just love blockbusters ... yeah, put those three groups together, and that's pretty much everyone.
Expectations: I expected big things since J.J. Abrams is involved. Otherwise, that's it. Once again, I didn't see a single preview. I didn't like Pine in Bottle Shock but that could've just been about the hair. It looked like Quinto was born to play Spock though.
Actors: Chris Pine as James T. Kirk: He didn't imitate William Shatner, so that's a positive. Actually, he carries a lot of bravado, and has more emotions to deal with than any other character. Pine is great as the young Kirk, desperate to get into a bar fight and even more desperate to prove he can command. Score: 9
Zachary Quinto as Spock: Quinto is at his best when he's on the verge of emotion, which Spock deals with a lot here when fighting for his mother Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder) and his planet. Plus, a hint of romance goes a long way in adding an extra layer to Spock that we wouldn't normally deal with. In this alternative universe, it's Spock's world, not Kirk's. That takes some adjusting, but not in a bad way. Score: 8
Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy: Even though Pine and Quinto have the bigger roles, I think Urban is the glue here. He, more than anything else, takes the old acting of the first Bones (DeForest Kelley), copies and adds to it. They even give the reason why he's nicknamed Bones. Yes, the classic "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a ..." is there and it's glorious. Score: 10
Zoe Saldana as Uhura: She's a knock-out. Saldana is new to me, even though she's been in Vantage Point AND Crossroads. Kirk loves to flirt with the multi-multi-lingual Uhura, and the whole first name subplot is a fun little addition. And yes, I know I wrote an extra multi ... she's that lingual. The real hook is her new romance. Her work opposite of Quinto is really effective showing his struggle with emotions. Score: 8
Eric Bana as Nero: He's the biggest name in the cast (for me), but I might be suffering from Heath Ledger's Joker here. Bana's part is underwritten, and when he finally has a chance to explain himself, and why he hates Spock, it's the first time the movie slows down. Score: 7
John Cho as Hikaru Sulu: Glad they gave him a sword. That's the thing about this film ... Abrams really did treat it as an ensemble. Sulu joins Kirk on a side-mission to stop a massive drill, and it is one of the most visually stunning scenes in the film. Score: 8
Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov: That accent ... he nails it, but almost at the cost of going overboard. It's fun, but you know you can't take anymore than Yelchin gives. Score: 7
Simon Pegg as Scotty: I assumed Urban, Cho and Yelchin were the comic relief ... but that's only because it took Pegg so long to show up. Sure his little creature side-kick made me think of an Ewok, and it's really convenient old Spock was there to help him with a tricky formula. Pegg can deliver one-liners with the best of them so I just wanted more of that. Score: 8
Bruce Greenwood as Capt. Christopher Pike: I dare you to do better. Score: 8
Leonard Nimoy as Spock: Hats off to him for putting on the pointy ears again. Nimoy is an icon. It's something we forget with other giant movies, mainly because the icons of Star Wars are creatures (Yoda, Chewbacca) or machines (Darth Vadar, R2-D2). Nimoy creates the perfect bridge from the new beginning to the old classic. That's something Star Trek: Generations just wasn't able to get right. Score: 9
Talking: Every single classic line is there somewhere. - Beam me up - I'm giving it all she's got - Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a ... - Engage - Fascinating - Set phasers to stun - To boldly go ... And the great part is, it's not cheesy, it's not forced. There's a good amount of humor as I mentioned above, but it's first and foremost a Sci-Fi adventure. Score: 9
Sights: Any Enterprise fight was flawless. They even brought back the leeches that gave me and millions of others nightmares from Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn. I am curious if anyone else immediately thought about Abrams "Alias" when you found out the deadly weapon is red matter. And those shirts, I need to buy one. Anybody know where I can find it? I love Patagonia Capilene and those uniforms look great (and comfortable). I love all the visual changes ... except one, I'm not a fan of how people beam. The swirling light doesn't look as good as the classic style. Score: 9
Sounds: The score completely brings to mind any classic blockbuster, like ... dare I say it? I dare ... Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. When the Star Trek title hits the screen, you want the music to be cranked to level 11. Even the sound of silence for those few seconds in space hit you in your core. Score: 10
Best Scene: Just when Kirk makes it to the Enterprise, things immediately speed up. There's humor (Kirk's bulging hands, Sulu's parking brake) there's danger. It's a quick way to get everyone on the deck of the Enterprise and it's a joy to watch.
Ending: If Back to the Future II taught us anything, it's that two Spock's can't meet, otherwise unimaginable consequences will happen ... or maybe not. I didn't need the cheesy round of applause that Kirk gets, but everything else makes me desperate for another film.
Questions: Nero and the rest of the Romulans are all that are left? It's a big ship, but I don't think I saw any women. This one is from my friend Stu ... How did that giant canyon happen in Iowa?
Rewatchability: Yes, I have already seen it twice before opening day. There are just so few dull moments. Even when the plot is confusing you can sit back and watch the young crew form, so the plot becomes secondary. There are a tiny few head scratching moments, but the second viewing makes you realize the filmmakers know what is going on.
It's exactly what you hope for out of a blockbuster. And it's the first prequel, redo, restart, alternative reality that actually takes the time to attempt to make sense. This alternative-universe Star Trek gives us action, comedy and just a little heartfelt sadness (as much as Spock can muster).
If only George Lucas could find a black hole, do you think he would take it? Then he could hire a proven young director to take Episodes 1-3 out of his hands. Hang on, I want to live in that imaginary world for just a little bit.
What Christopher Nolan did for the Batman franchise, J.J. Abrams has done for Star Trek.
I can't immediately think of another blockbuster that moves so quickly. It's longer than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but you won't feel it. It just makes me happy that Abrams was able to construct a film that will please every audience-type wanting to see Star Trek. A Trekkie or Trekker will be pleased and you can know nothing and be dazzled with this new world. Star Trek is boldly going where no Star Trek film as gone before ... close to perfection.
Final Score: 9/10