STAR TREK (2009) MOVIE REVIEW - The Movie Messenger
J.J. Abrams reignites the popular franchise Star Trek for Trekkies and new fans alike with surprising success.
Not really familiar with the franchise, I didn’t know what to expect, or more importantly, whether I would enjoy it or not. But the movie did something I really didn’t expect, clench my attention in the opening sequence, and from there, it didn’t let me go ‘til the credits rolled.
The movie begins from the origins of Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), and how their paths led them to the USS Enterprise. This was an excellent way to introduce new audiences to the franchise, because most people, including myself, were wondering if non-Star Trek fans could enjoy the movie without knowing much about Star Trek or its characters. This is of course a prequel, and it does a very nice job making us care about the characters, especially Spock, who seemingly comes from a culture where Academia is most important and failing is not an option, yet because of this culture, he represses emotions in all circumstances.
When the characters finally reach the Enterprise, the movie becomes more enjoyable than it was in the first half hour. The ship is a reimagining of the Enterprise from the original series, but keeps the same overall look and feel. It was like the filmmakers created the ship to look like what Trek fans saw with their imaginations in the original series years ago.
Kirk and Spock have conflict with each other throughout the film and simultaneously have to work together to confront Captain Nero of the Romulan Race, who plans to destroy Kirk and Spock’s respective homeworlds. Minor spoiler here, but the movie does jump into a storyline dealing with time travel, and may get confusing if you’re not really paying attention to what the characters are talking about.
The crew on the Enterprise all speak with heightened language, not the Shakespearean kind, but highly intellectual conversation that makes them seem more intelligent than the average human being, maybe except for Kirk, who’s intelligence is almost overshadowed by his cockiness and lust for women, but when under pressure, the leader in Kirk comes out in full force.
The things I may gripe about are small, like some of the casting of recognizable faces. You may thnk Sylar from Heroes for a split second in Spock, but it goes away quickly. I’m talking about having Harold from Harold and Kumar as Sulu, English funny man Simon Pegg as Scotty, Winona Ryder as Spock’s mom, and for the the avid movie goer, a cameo of filmmaker, playwrite, and actor, Tyler Perry. Eric Bana, on the other hand, is almost unrecognizable as Nero. Seeing these faces are the only times I was kind of taken out of the story. There is one familiar face in the movie you will be more than happy to see, especially if you’re a die-hard fan, but I won’t ruin the surprise.
Star Trek is the kind of prequel movie studios dream about, the type that totally reguvenates a franchise. What it does best, is that it welcomes fans of the franchise while also introducing a new audience to the likes of Kirk, Spock, and the USS Enterprise. It is not just a popcorn flick, but a great film, with nice touches of cinematography and a noticeably awesome script. What I’m most interested to know is what die hard Star Trek fans thought of the film, whether or not it lived to their expectations, because back when I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation on television, it was nowhere as exciting, thrilling, and eye-catching as this movie was, but after seeing this, I am more interested in learning about the old Star Trek series than I ever was, but for the fans that were their all along, how was this version of Star Trek for you? An epic, well told space opera? Or a big convulted mess only to appeal to a broad audience?
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