Friday May 8, 2009 6:23 pm
Movie Review: Star Trek (2009)
Rating: *** 1/2 stars
(Warning: The following review contains some spoilers.)
The world of Star Trek in crisis! No, it’s not on the verge of dying due to the release of this film. Instead it’s on the verge of going in a whole new direction. In the 1980s, DC Comics published a mini-series entitled “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. If you are a comic book fan, you are aware of this series and know that it was written in order to say goodbye to DC’s old continuity and create an entirely new one. A new world was born. New stories were able to be told because the previous “universe” no longer existed. That is what has happened to the world of Star Trek.
In this film, there is a Romulan named Nero. Nero and his crew travel back in time and as a result create a new timeline. If you are a Trekker, I’m sure you remember the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) episode entitled “Yesterdays Enterprise” in which the Enterprise C traveled into the future and created a new timeline. The timeline was later corrected and everything was back to normal, but that will not be the case here.
Star Trek as a franchise was certainly in a crisis prior to the release of this film. With the two previous Trek films received poorly by both fans and critics as well as the demise of the series “Enterprise” Star Trek looked dead. Many people felt that Star Trek should stay low for a while and maybe come back much later with an attempt at reviving the series. Paramount said no and went with J.J. Abrams and his crew and they have succeeded. This film was great. Tons of action; humor; heart breaking moments. I really enjoyed this film both as a fan of the franchise and as a movie on its own.
When Paramount Pictures announced that this film would be featuring the original Trek characters with an entirely new cast of actors, I welcomed the idea, but I was worried about who would fill the shoes of the original actors. I think Abrams and company were successful here. Chris Pine who plays James Kirk does not channel William Shatner’s performance and makes the role his own. Zachary Quinto I also believe made the role his own and didn’t try to be Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.
Two actors who did channel the performances of their predecessors are ironically the two characters whose predecessors are deceased. Karl Urban’s Dr. McCoy and Simon Pegg‘s Scotty resurrect the spirits of DeForest Kelley and James Doohan. Urban looks like a young McCoy and is able to dothe same little quirks we all loved from Kelley’s performance. Pegg does not look like James Doohan, but he sure as hell sounds like him. Pegg comes in half way through the film and leaves you wishing he came in sooner.
John Cho plays a much more bad ass Hikaru Sulu and Anton Yelchin does a good job as Chekov although his accent is a little too much and over the top.
Leonard Nimoy also stars as Spock from the future or should I say Spock from the previous timeline. He provides some great moments interacting with a young James Kirk as well as a young version of himself. If there is a weak link in the cast I would say it’s Eric Bana‘s Nero. Bana does a good job in the role, but I felt the script really didn’t give him much to work with and didn’t flesh out his character well enough. I wasn’t really cheering for the crew to defeat him the way I cheered when Kirk beat the Klingons in the old series.
The film ends on a high note and leaves things open for the obvious sequel. I read recently that the writers are already working on it. Although, I’m sad to see the old Star Trek go, I welcome the new one with open arms. In order for a plant to continue to live, you sometimes have to prune the dead stems. Maybe that’s what was needed here. If you are a purest and I tend to be one, you may walk away from this movie and say Star Trek is dead. Some people said that when the TNG crew took over. Some people (my brother) never followed TNG or any of the other series that followed. They stayed loyal to the old series. I hope they will be able to look past the death of the old universe of Star Trek and look at all the strange new worlds they will be able to visit with this “new” crew and new world of Star Trek. Since this is a new timeline, what will the future hold? A new version of TNG? Deep Space 9? Maybe we could see the birth of new television series.
Go see Star Trek. It’s great fun and you’ll have a good time. Live long and prosper my friends.
- Related Tags:
- chekov, chris pine, enterprise, eric bana, hikaru sulu, j.j. abrams, james kirk, jj abrams, mccoy, movie review, movie reviews, nero, review, reviews, romulus, sidefeatured, simon pegg, spock, star trek, sulu, uhura, vulcan, zachary quinto
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