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For some reason, I have avoided this movie all this time. I've been told to watch it by several of my friends in the past, but I just never got the urge to. Maybe because I subconsciously thought it was geeky or that space combat genre just never interested me, but either way, it was more conventional and mainstream than expected and thus difficult not to enjoy to some extent.
Kirk (Chris Pine) enrolls into Starfleet in order to live up to his father's legacy as a hero who sacrificed himself to rescue hundreds of people, but is met by Spock (Zachary Quinto), a half human half Vulcan, who fights Kirk's brashness with logic. When a time-travelling Romulan threatens the Federation by destroying planets with black holes, the two must see past their differences in order to save the universe.
The opening sequence to the movie was spectacular and I thought that was the most captivating few minutes of the whole movie. From then on, the plot was very streamlined, linear and a little too conventional Hollywood in terms of flow, making it rather predictable. The only saving grace was the time travel element which added a level of complexity and thought, but not enough.
Character building was very shallow for almost all of the characters apart from Spock. His half Vulcan half human element makes him the most interesting character to watch and definitely steals the whole movie. I found his dynamics with others and just the way he is extremely diverse.
The film was nominated for four Oscars (effects and sound categories) and won one for make-up. However, some of the effects were rather uninspiring for such a futuristic/sci fi movie. Perhaps it is making reference to the imagery from the previous iconic Star Trek movies but I don't know- I thought there would be more WOW moments. The Romulan ship was perhaps the one thing that did make me go WOW.
There are also some very unbelievable moments, especially with the combat. Kirk is dropped from about 2 metres and manages to cling on to a ledge which has a shiny smooth surface. Other annoyances include overly convenient escapes which just seem TOO convenient!
As we reached the climax, it was all too predictable and you could see just how it would end, and it does end the way it ends with no surprises. Perhaps there are lots more themes and imagery that Star Trek fans would have picked up on and therefore loved about this movie, but for me, a complete Star Trek n00b, viewing this from a normal movie-goer point of view, was not amazingly satisfying.
Chris Pine- Kirk
Zachary Quinto- Spock
Zoe Saldana- Uhura
Eric Bana- Nero
Simon Pegg- Scotty
Also stars Chris Hemsworth and an unrecognisable Winona Ryder.
Chris Pine annoys me. He always has. I have yet to find a movie where he isn't annoying. For me, he is like the male version of Keira Knightley where he either has no expression, or overacts and when he cannot find a suitable expression, naturally returns to a smug face- perhaps his smug looks got him this role. who knows. but he did NOTHING for me. Even Zoe Saldana who has comparatively little screen time manages to convey a range of emotions which are believable and genuine.
Zachary Quinto was sublime as Spock and definitely stole the show- whilst his character is by default emotionless, he is able to break through when necessary.
Having not seen any Star Trek before this, I thought the movie was bearable and enjoyable mostly, but there are many basic movie things that annoy me such as lack of character development, unbelievable and convenient escapes etc. Perhaps it is because I don't like Chris Pine which dampened the movie for me, but I thought it could've been slightly more complex.
That said, the trailer to the sequel 'Star Trek Into Darkness' does look a whole lot better, and I'll be sure to catch it at some point (hopefully not 4 years later like I did with this).
I would just like to start this review saying that I am a huge Sci-fi nut, my favourite films being star wars, the matrix, avengers etc. Anything with crazy gadgets, spaceships... and I am in love.
Ok, so this film is a bit strange. Its sort of a combination of a remake, and a pre-equal of the star trek series. Basically this films starts off at the birth of Jim Kirk (one of the main captains of the startrek enterprise).
Basically the film starts off with a star fleet vessel being attacked by an unknown vessel, and being destroyed. Meanwhile, the commander in chief's wife is giving birth. Basically, a fight ensues, and the subcaptain and captain die, trying to cover the retreat of the rest of the crew. The baby born turns out to be Jim Kirk, who we then follow for a short period of time of him being a rebel, and then sneaking onto the newly built enterprise. Basically he works his way up by carrying on being a rebel, and finally learning respect.
Overall I loved this film. I had gritty action, cool far flung CGI worlds and space battles, and a sort of cool backstory. Anyway, the film really built on the strong foundations of the previous films, and added something to it, really bringing it into the new century. With lasers, missiles, explosions, and EVEN SAMURAI SWORDS, this is a good film for any SCI FI nut. Some die hard star trek fans might not like all the new stuff, but I assure you I think that you will like this film.
About the film
Star Trek is a science fiction film which was released in 2009 and directed by J. J. Abrams who is well known for TV shows such as Fringe and Lost. The film is rated 12A due to action, violence and some brief sexual content. Star Trek has a run time of 127 minutes.
The film begins when George Kirk takes over as captain of his ship but dies in a last stand against a strange time-travelling alien vessel. The other vessel is looking for Ambassador Spock, who, at that moment in time is actually only a child who is being bullied for being half human. The day that George Kirk dies is also the day his son James is born.
Years later, James has grown into quite the trouble maker and after getting into a huge fight, he is challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to make something better of himself, something that his father would be proud of. However, James makes a few mistakes and isn't living up to the expectations made of him. When there is an emergency at Vulcan, James finds himself on the USS Enterprise even though he isn't supposed to be and finds himself in a situation very similar to his father's but will he suffer the same fate?
Chris Pine ... Kirk
Zachary Quinto ... Spock
Leonard Nimoy ... Spock Prime
Eric Bana ... Nero
Bruce Greenwood ... Pike
Karl Urban ... Bones
Zoe Saldana ... Uhura
Simon Pegg ... Scotty
John Cho ... Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin ... Chekov
Ben Cross ... Sarek
What I thought
I'd been wanting to watch this film since it came out at the cinema three years ago and it's taken me this long to get around to it. I bought it recently is Sainsbury's for only £3. I haven't seen any other Star Trek films although my mum's ex-boyfriend used to watch the TV shows all the time so I did know the characters beforehand.
On the front of the DVD box, there is a quote that claims this is the best action film of the year (2009 obviously). As earlier stated, J. J. Abrams is the director of this film and due to some of his other works, I was unsure about how this would work out. Abrams is known for thoughtful and complex storylines and with this film, it is all about the action and excitement. I'm so happy to say that Abrams gets it spot on with Star Trek. From the very beginning of the film, it is clear to see why these claims were made. With a huge budget, there is plenty to keep action fans happy. As this is a film set mainly in space, there are some fantastic scenes with fighting ships, explosions and all kind of things flying around. With this film, Abrams proves that he is a director of many talents and someone that can pull off a wide range of projects.
The plot is quite simple, although it seems a little confusing to begin with. This confusion is mainly down to the time-travel plot but once you get your head around who everyone is and when they're from, it all becomes quite clear. I really liked the way that James Kirk's story was intertwined with his father's and that there was a question of him having the same kind of fate. What was especially good about the plot was that it didn't take anything away from the great effects that this film has. It is easy enough to follow once you get into it and it is really entertaining. This is where Star Trek is unlike other things that Abrams has done. There are no weird and strange complicated sub plots which are hard to follow but instead there is only a basic but extremely good story.
The casting for this film is really what makes it so special though. Quite unknown to me is Chris Pine who plays James Kirk. Although I hadn't seen him in anything before, he does a wonderful job in this role as a rugged and quite untamed character. His delivery of lines was very convincing and while there isn't too much emotion needed, when it was, Pine did well. He has a great chemistry with all other actors involved and appears to be very much a part of the Star Trek family. As a character, James was very likeable due to his past experiences and what he goes through to become someone better in the film.
As good as Pine was, he is easily outshined by Zachary Quinto who plays Spock. Leonard Nimoy, the original Spoke, also has a role in this film as Spock Prime. It was a really nice touch that the original actor was involved with the film and also that Quinto had the opportunity to work so closely with him in order to perfect his own role. Quinto really throws himself into the role of Spock as he prepares for a long time before acting began and also shaved those massive eyebrows which he is so well-known for. Although Quinto brings back to somewhat stiff and unemotional characteristics of Spock, he also breathes new life into such a famous character. I really think that Quinto was amazing in this role and it is so far from Sylar from Heroes or Chad in American Horror Story.
Other cast members unfortunately take a little bit of a back seat to these two main characters. Zoe Saldana plays Uhura, fellow Starfleet member and love interest while Simon Pegg plays (beam me up) Scotty. Both do a really good job but they're just outshined by the story, effects and other cast members. It was nice to see Pegg step slightly out of his comfort zone though in such a big film in comparison to the British films that we are used to seeing him in. Here, he also breaks his stereotypical character expectations which was a good thing and it helped to show his diversity.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and really can't fault it. Star Trek was everything that I was hoping it would be and more and I highly recommend it!
As an introduction, I will admit that I do like good sci-fi. But I think less that 10% of it (in films and books) is good. Proper sci-fi inevitably connects to your philosophical side, whilst the pop-sci-fi is basically adventures with simple formula plots and the most you can expect from it is that someone lost someone dear, someone else is seeking revenge, and on top of it the planet is in danger.
That's why I was not very enthusiastic to watch the Star Trek movie when it came out. Go and watch it in the cinema? Never. Then came quite good reviews (although I haven't read a single one of them in detail) and friends also started saying the film was exceptionally good. By that time we had already missed Star Trek in cinemas and my husband was a bit grumpy at his anti-sci-fi missus. Finally, we got a DVD. And about 8 months later we even found the time to watch it.
I feel like I'm in big trouble now because it's time to write a summary of the film and all my attempts to find it online have led to nowhere: they are all too long. That's already a sign of non-proper sci-fi: the story is over-twisted. Besides, I had never watched any of the Star Trek before. OK, I'll try to explain it in my own words anyway. James Kirk is born on the day when his father dies during an unexpected attack on the spaceship under his command. James grows into a troublemaker with no apparent purpose in life, but one day he is invited to join the Starfleet. Yet, his unconventional attitude to life brings him into trouble again as he "cheats" one of the tests. As a result, James faces his complete opposite - young Spock, son of a Vulcanian and a human driven primarily by common sense and logic. Due to an emergency call from Vulcan (Spock's native planet) James and Spock end up on the same spaceship as part of its motley crew...
I have to admit the film started in a very promising way. Young James Kirk is such a little desperado and young Spock a neurotic that you can't wait to see these unbalanced individuals to form the craziest team in the whole Universe. Unfortunately, Kirk loses most of his craziness while growing and Spock hides his emotions deeply and digs them out only at the scriptwriters' convenience. The potentially loony team, as a result, looks more like Friends and drowns in sad predictability.
The story was quite a disappointment as well because nowadays even children's books authors resort to time travel, so using it is a real mauvais ton. Without totally disclosing the plot (which I wouldn't be able to describe in a few words anyway even if I wanted to), I can say that the film on the whole is not much different from any episode of any sci-fi series. The first X Files movie had the same problem (I haven't watched the second one, but expect it was similar). The Star Trek story goes up and down, action and minor peaks of activity never stop and yet it seems that there is no proper escalation of tension and the story continues on the same level. It's a bit hard to explain, but you know it when the film is nearly over and it still feels like the story is only building up and the real big action is still ahead.
There were a few funny moments in the film (mainly in the first half of it) which made me think that Star Trek could do better as a comedy. At least I wouldn't be so demanding to the plot.
Now a few words about the characters. As I mentioned before, I was not impressed by what James Kirk grew into. Munching an apple on board a spaceship is not the limits of non-conformism, believe me. Spock, on the other hand, seemed a much more interesting character. At least one able to provoke a wider range of emotional response. He may be an annoying bastard with his blind logic or he may be a big child scared of his feelings. Fortunately, the filmmakers did not take Spock's tender side to extremes, although there were some moments when he was a bit sickening, in a Hollywood way. Pavel Chekov though was the non-stop entertainment element in the film. Not that we learned anything about the character, he just helped to keep the boredom levels in control. I am sure Anton Yelchin had to acquire a bit of Russian accent for this part. He didn't have such a strong accent in Alphadog. This is it on the characters from me. Oh well, Eric Bana was hardly recognisable as Nero. He should take up villain roles more often.
Of course, I can't help mentioning the visuals. Again, I hadn't seen the Star Trek series, so don't know what the typical Star Trek environment is like. My husband mentioned something about Babylon 5 while watching the film. Most of the effects were really beautiful. I quite liked the switch from the rich colours of the Universe to the blinding white of the snow planet (although I found the critters populating it to be rather random). I liked the futuristic Earth. But I didn't like these artificial camera reflections appearing approximately every 2 minutes. It is a nice effect. They love it in modern films and music videos, but I thought there was just too much of it. So overall the special effects were used a lot for the sake of special effects in this film.
So... the verdict. Watchable, but with a weak plot not worth a big screen film. True sci-fi, I believe, is clever and simple rather than superficial and soapy. Why four stars then? For a good attempt and glimpses of a decent film.
NB: This review is mirrorer in my blog on my personal website, www.artymind.com
Science Fiction and general TV fans alike around the world would be hard pushed not to have missed an episode, story or film about the gargantuan Sci-Fi phenomenon of Star Trek. The success and familiarity of this tale about the future of the galaxy has influenced many writers, film makers and tv shows ever since it's conception in the mid-sixties. The latest film to try and cash in on the popularity see's a different twist on things, in the shape of a new cast with a modern high octane feel to it. Here are my thoughts on the 2009 Star Trek DVD release, the 11th Star Trek film.
--For God's Sake Jim, I'm a Dwarfer not a Trekkie!--
Although I am a big fan of Sci-Fi, Star Trek was one of the shows that, despite it's huge following, I found a little too overblown and serious. Especially compared to the darkness of Alien & Silent Running or the humour of Hitch Hikers, Red Dwarf and Dark Star. Maybe because I grew up with Patrick Stewart's 'Next Generation' (TNG) and subsequent series', I missed the frivolity of Gene Roddenberry's 'Original' 60's series. Watching TNG seemed a little boring compared to Red Dwarf, which is my favourite Sci-fi series. I can certainly understand how it has became such a recognisable and valuable franchise. From the basic concept story, the boisterous leader and the whizz-wow of star ships in space, to a multi-cultural cast and poignant morals placed into every story, it has the ability to connect to a lot of people, despite the constant techno-babble of the 90's episodes.
During the noughties however, the interest waned for Star Trek outside it's die-hard Trekkie following, and a much needed injection of anti-matter was needed to spice up the franchise, with sci-fi hits like Heroes and Fringe taking the plaudits, the producers decided this was the way to go. I always thought that after the rather dire 'Enterprise' series, it was either time to retire Star Trek or give it a re-birth for a next generation (glup!) of fans. Planning for a new film started in the mid-2000's, with an objective to bring this new interest into the Star Trek world. With the risky choice of replacing the entire cast and changing the continuity, thus maybe upsetting the hardcore fans, this film was unleashed to a big response and was a global hit. The clever compromise that the producers did was to create an alternate timeline within the narrative. You can choose to either take this as a total reboot, or as part of the original story taken in a vastly different direction. I personally go for the former, as it seems to work better as a reboot in my mind, and this is a tricky thing to do with such a popular franchise, but Christopher Nolan did this brilliantly with Batman, and so does JJ Abhams with this, as I will explain in due course.
After a rather nice and low key introduction sequence, we are trust into the future aboard the Starfleet vessel USS Kelvin, where George Kirk is the first officer. Upon discovering a black hole, a giant Romulan ship emerges and engages the Kelvin in an unexplained fire fight. After the captain of the Kelvin is killed, the ship is evacuated of all crew and families, including George's wife who's in labour. To ensure the successful escape of his wife and crewmates, George stays on the bridge to fend off the advancing Romulan ship, and is left with no alternative but to crash the Kelvin into the enemy craft, thus sacrificing his life. Just before this, he has an emotional talk with his wife, and they agree on the name of their baby. Jim Kirk is born.
This is the genesis of the alternate timeline the film follows, removing the events of all previous Star Trek adventures, and we follow Kirk, Spock and other familiar names through their young lives to aboard the newly built USS Enterprise. The story then revolves around the themes of trust, revenge, friendship and the revelation that time has been changed, leading to a predictable, but satisfying ending. Whilst the plot may seem a little confusing for non-sci-fi fans, I feel it's a rather simple tale of coming of age and outright revenge on the part of the antagonists. It's an easy to follow narrative, with lots of the usual Star Trek technical chatter kept to a minimum for the newby. There are very few surprises along the way though, just good ol' morality sequences and space-blaster banter. Whether you choose to include this film within the original timeline is your choice, as it can be taken as a complete reboot, which is what I did even before watching.
--Cast and Performances--
Highlighting Zachary Quinto of Heroes fame, the performance of Spoke he gives is by far and large the best portayal of the film, especially considering the massive differences between this and his great psycho Sylar that he made his own. I read somewhere that he prepared methodically for the role, and it shows on screen. His dialogue, tone and manner all fit what a Vulcan is scripted to be like, and also shows Spock's struggle between logic and emotion brilliantly. Leonard Nimoy is just too familiar as 'older' Spock, but strangely makes a good disconnection from the older films, making the vision that Quinto would become Nimoy in this setting. Casting for the other well-known's is on the whole good, with a wonderful take on Deforest Kelly's Dr McCoy by Karl Urban, getting the accent and temperament just right. The actors for Sulu, Uhura and Chekov all the fit the bill nicely, with just a tad of over enthusiastic pronunciation by Anton Yelchin, emulating the classic Chekov to a more comic effect then usual. Chris Pine however, in my view does not do Kirk justice with his high tempered, gung-ho american kickabout style. He looks the part yes, and some scenes are played out well and can make you forgive this, particularly the fights scenes with do hark back nicely to the original Kirk's style. But his display of arrogance and lack of empathy tend to annoy, just trying to hard I feel. Finally, I had serious concerns about the casting of Simon Pegg as Scotty. I'm not the biggest Pegg fan, because, I feel he just plays himself in most things, with little change from Spaced to Hot Fuss, but I'm glad to report he does a good job. A cheeky Scottish accent delivered well with the fresh wide-eyes face of a young man with wisdom makes him believable as the king of starship engineering.
Chris Pine - James Tiberius Kirk
Zachary Quinto & Leonard Nimoy - Spock
Eric Bana - Captain Nero
Karl Urban - Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Zoe Saldana - Nyota Uhura
John Cho - Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin - Pavel Chekov
Simon Pegg - Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
Bruce Greenwood - Christopher Pike
The major positive for me with this new Star Trek is that the 'feel' of the film is so familiar, but new and fresh at the same time. As said before, I take this as a reboot of the franchise, I feel It works better like that, as trying to filter through all the possibilities, errors and plot-holes of matching it up with the previous films. Forget that, and just enjoy this new beginning. The story itself does hold your attention for the most part. After an explosive start, things settle down a bit to become acquainted with all the regular faces. Whilst this is done well to bring in a new audience, older 'Trek' fans may find this tedious and maybe dull. Things liven up when we see the Enterprise in all it's glory however, and from then on, it's pretty much a non-stop, fast flowing film which is surprisingly easy to follow. No Matrix or Vanilla Sky type plot confusion here.
Apart from the performance of Pine as Kirk, the other thing that doesn't float my boat about this film is the presentation of the Romulan's. Not instantly recognisable, either by look or ship appearance, or even by the way they talk, they are like a new breed of alien completely. I don't like their tattooed faces, grimy dark ship interior and lack of code and seem completly alterered from the classic Romulan villain, who were ordered, mannered and more menacing as a result. It may have been better to create a new enemy altogether.
The heavy technical dialogue associated with Star Trek may put some people off watching, but bare with it, as this has been toned down considerably, following more straightforward solutions rather than the wild, perplexing and sometimes nonsensical ideas of TNG and Voyager. Breaking the intricacies of the plot down, it is a rather basic revenge and acceptance tale. This is good thing however, as it doesn't distract from the general engaging entertainment and action, and there's plenty of that.
The space sequences, internal ship scenes and other planets surfaces are extremely well done, with lovely camera angles and motion to admire the effects put in. Whilst the general look of starfleet is familiar, darker tones, metallic movements and a more industrial 'real' look have been put in, making this possible future a less clean and perfect vision of other Star Trek shows. This is a great benefit to the film, gaining a more believable aspect even though the craziness of warp engines, phasers and of course, teleporters are still present. The CGI effects are of the highest quality, and the first look of the Enterprise at space-dock may give a fan a goose-bump or two, as it is brilliantly re-imagined with all the typical design asthetics that made the 60's one so famous. A favourite sequence of mine is the camera tracking behind a shuttle-craft, into the aft of the ships cargo bay doors. Very stylish and slick.
This leads on to something which will have loyal Trek fans nodding in approval. Many references are made to the classic series' and film, focusing on character catchphrases and technology in the most part. The interier of the Bridge is faithfully re-created with a modern twist, following on from what our currant technology achievements are, but little things are their too. A brief shot of George Kirk's wife holding an original flip-style communicator, with the accompanying sound effect is an example of this, and brings wry grin to my face. Bones', Scotty's, Chevkov's and Spock's catchphrases are in there too at suitable points, and for the real Star Trek geek (I mean that fondly), a green lady at the Starfleet academy, echoing episodes back in the 60's. This all makes for a fun watch for the fan, and mostly goes amiss on the new-watcher, so nothing is lost in either party. There is even the tragically comic 'redshirt' stereotype included, who predictably meets an abrupt end.
Sci-Fi has a long tradition of a fine musical score to accompany the visuals, and with not a great deal can be heard over the classic Trek sound effects of the view screen scanner and transporter, the primary music is a re-arranged version of the classic 60's theme, with a bit of the TNG version chucked in for good measure. Again, this goes unnoticed and as such, blends well with the films ebb and flow, and ending with an extended Star Trek theme, headed by the legendary words spoken by Spoke.
--Presentation and Production--
The menu screen is lively, turning your TV into a starship control screen with the normal Star Trek designs of shaped boxes with the options inside, with a non-distracting wire-image of the Enterprise in the background. Easy and simple to navigate around.
Year of film Release - 2009
Year of DVD Release - 2009
Region - 2, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen
Age Rated - 12
Discs - 1
Languages available - English
Sound - Dolby Digital
Total Feature runtime - 122 mins
Film release by Paramount Pictures/Spyglass/Bad Robot Co
DVD release by Paramount Pictures
Produced by J. J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof
Directed by JJ Abrams
--Packaging and DVD Extras--
Standard single DVD plastic box, with a sleeve of Kirk, Spock and Uhura in grayscale tones with the Enterprise in warp-speed in the foreground. Clear DVD information on the back, unlined by a colourful image of one of the Romulan's weapons. DVD extra are basic on this single disc edition. An interesting featurette of the new style of this Star Trek and a out-take reel are included. No complaints with this.
Whilst this could have been a massive failure if it didn't hit the right notes with the 'Trekkie' fraternity, it comes across as a well written and throughly planned movie, the producers taking into consideration all Star Trek related aspects. Wanting to gain a new, younger audience to be immersed in Star Trek is a good idea to continue the faltering franchise, and does this well and at the same time will please the regular watchers. With it's high octane action, fantastic effects, simple but engaging story and some fine performances, particularly Quinto, Star Trek has been reborn successfully, despite a few niggles with Pine and the choice of enemy. Fun to watch for all fans old and new, and not something to 'warp' your brain either.
To Boldly Go where 10 films have Gone before... well, sort of.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
The 2009 movie Star Trek has such a complex story, that to even attempt to summarise it would take far too long, and would be terribly boring. Instead, let's just say that this movie is basically about how those famous characters from the original TV show Star Trek, came to become the crew from the USS Enterprise. Yes, I'm talking about Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, Uhura, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Chekov and Sulu. There they are, as young men and women just starting out - which is just what a reboot of the Star Trek franchise should be. And what a voyage it is! Sure, some purists are upset that over 40 years of Star Trek history have been rewritten here, but the question is, was this movie meant for just the trekkers/trekkies out there, or was it meant to appeal to a whole new generation? Personally, I'm for the latter, and certainly for them, there's nothing here that doesn't appeal.
First of all, we have lots of great action scenes, which give us both real, hand-to-hand physical fights as well as the mandatory futuristic dog-fights in space. All this was done so splendidly that the audience will have just enough 'edge of your seat' moments to keep them from feeling cheated. Then we have all those great aliens with truly fantastic make-up effects that never cease to amaze us, or keep us wondering which ones are actually done by hand and which are the CGI ones. Let's not forget all the amazing scenery and sets they've got here - not the least of which include the various interesting planets and most importantly, the starships, beautifully done both for the internal and external views.
However, being someone who watched the original series on TV as a kid, I'm sure there are things that were gained by having that background. For instance, one thing that is notably well done here was how they matched almost all these young actors' looks to the original cast. In particular, Zachary Quinto's portrayal of the young Spock was completely believable. And since Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) makes an appearance here as a future Spock, this was particularly impressive. The only person who didn't actually look quite enough like his predecessor was our lead - Chris Pine, who played the young James Tiberius Kirk. Still, everyone else was pretty close to looking like younger versions of their 1960s counterparts.
But none of this would have helped this film if the script wasn't up to par, and this is what many of the more traditional watchers have objected to. The basic concept here, according to IMDb, is that the writers used a time-travel ruse that caused a parallel universe to exist. With this, we have the history that the TV series and first franchise one timeline, while the creators of this reboot can come up with a whole new set of stories that follows these new, completely different pasts. This gives this franchise the opportunity to truly innovate and therefore stand apart from the previous ones. Even so, this could have been a step too far, since we're still using the same characters we know and love from the 60s. Thankfully, the writers did their homework well, and included as much of the personalities and characteristics of the original cast's characters to help them not only look like them, but act like them as well.
The only place where this didn't come through was, once again, with Chris Pine. William Shatner (the original Captain Kirk) has a very distinctive pattern to his speech. He has a way of putting in odd pauses and unusual emphasis into his lines where others might not, and then speeds up other parts of the lines. However, Pine apparently made a conscious decision not to attempt to imitate Shatner's line delivery, so that he would not make the part look like a parody, and this was actually a good idea. More amazing was how they got Eric Bana to not look or act at all like Eric Bana with nothing more than some facial tattoos was nothing short of miraculous. With all this, one can surmise that both the acting and the direction here were done with such balance and careful thought so that the old mixed in with the new to keep it all feeling fresh, while still holding on to some traditions.
Finally, and probably the most important element that worked here, was how a very complex story line was made to feel very understandable and included just the right amount of humour, with some added sex. Again, the faithful trekkers/trekkies have expressed anger about this. They would do well to remember that there was always something in the TV series that one could laugh about, and not one of the 90 episodes didn't include at least one double-entendre or hint at some slightly steamy innuendo. This just means that the script is what made this movie really shine.
All told, this is one all-round fun film that has something for everyone. From the most elaborate parts of the production down to the smallest lift of Spock's winged eyebrows, it all comes together with the perfect combination of finesse and wow-factor. In fact, I enjoyed this so much, it gets my full five stars out of five, and I highly recommend it.
Davida Chazan © August, 2010
Available new from Amazon - on DVD for £4.99 (1 disk) and £8.99 (2 disks) or through their marketplace from £2.48
Classification - 12
Runtime - 122 minutes
***FILM ONLY REVIEW***
In 2009, J.J. Abrams took a bold step in releasing Star Trek, a new movie with a new cast for the much-beloved sci-fi franchise. There were noises of discontent, worried Trekkies, everything you'd expect...but did it work?
Star Trek follows the characters of the original Star Trek TV series in the days before the show was set - it is a prequel for Captain Kirk, Spock, Uhuru, Bones and the gang. All hell breaks loose when a rogue Romulan travels back in time and start blowing stuff up. Having lost his father on the day of his birth to Nero, the aforementioned Romulan, James T. Kirk is a rebellious cadet, friends with the slightly paranoid Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy and enemy of the Vulcan Spock, and finds himself on the USS Enterprise in the midst of everything.
Firstly, I think I ought to tell you a bit about me and Star Trek, as of course that affects how I view new instalments in the saga. I like Star Trek, but I'm no Trekkie - I define Trekkies as the slightly mad ones who go to conventions and speak Klingon. I like it as a TV show, it's good enough entertainment but that's all. I'm more of a Star Wars girl. My favourite incarnation of Star Trek is Deep Space Nine, I also like Voyager and Next Generation, but the less said about Enterprise the better (it was doomed from the moment they chose that theme song). However, I've never been much of a fan of the original series, as it is now known. It was first broadcast before my time, and now it looks far too dated for me to enjoy, but I do know the characters to an extent (they tend to pop up in later incarnations of the show occasionally).
Star Trek opens with explosions, trouble and screaming women. It throws you right into the action from the start, which is a good thing, but I had noticed within minutes that it really would have been better on a larger screen. My TV isn't tiny, but it's a bit old now, and it just wasn't doing the rather impressive special effects justice. However, as the film is no longer in cinemas, this is something which can't be helped. Unless you have a huge TV.
Visually, I was very impressed. The effects were good, better than good compared to the usual Star Trek fare. The effects used in the various TV series aren't bad, but they tend to be much the same - when something explodes, it looks the same as the last explosion. Star Trek uses different effects and different shooting angles, which keeps the action fresh. In addition to the special effects, the film struck just the right note in other areas. This is a bang up-to-date film, but based on a TV show first made in the 1960s. It had to appeal to a modern audience but also stay faithful to the portrayal of futuristic technology created over four decades ago. It does this perfectly, from the uniforms to the transporters to the lifts. It is a modern yet retro film, appealing to present viewers such as myself who find the TV show dated, but also keeping those retro 60s touches. Those elements were portrayed in a rather fun way, and made me smile when I noticed familiar things make an appearance.
In terms of the story, on the whole it was very good but hit a weak point when a certain elderly Vulcan turned up - old Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy who played him on TV and in the various spin off movies. The story got a little shaky when he appeared, and it felt a little bit like they'd written it around having Nimoy appear. It could have been a perfectly good film without this connection to the original series, and in fact would have been better as we would have been spared Nimoy's cheesy acting.
The story did confuse me in one area though. There is a pretty major event takes place which had not happened in the original TV series- trust me, even if it had happened before the show's timeline, we would have known about it. Now there is a bit of time travel in Star Trek, so I was wondering if it would be one of these rubbish "everything set back to rights and none of this ever happened" endings. It was not. I eventually came to the conclusion that Star Trek has been set in an alternate timeline, and J.J. Abrams has actually commented on this "The idea, now that we are in an independent timeline, allows us to use any of the ingredients from the past - or come up with brand-new ones - to make potential stories." (source: IMDB.com) Having thought about it and figured it out, I think this is probably a good thing. They are tied to a much-loved franchise and can use as many elements from it as they want - but they also have the option of breaking free.
Perhaps it was simply the comparison to Nimoy which made the rest of the cast look good, but I thought the acting was brilliant. The young cast fell into their characters perfectly, and simply shone next to the cheesy Nimoy, who hasn't changed or moved on since 1960s sci fi - which called for cheesy acting. I thought that Chris Pine as a leading man in the part of Kirk was brilliant. Karl Urban as Bones was just perfect from what I have seen of the original character. There was something very familiar about Urban throughout the film, and I actually thought it was because he had captured the character so well that he reminded me of the original Bones (DeForest Kelley) but having looked him up on IMDB I've realised he was Eomer in The Lord of The Rings, one of my favourite film series. Oops. Also impressive was Bruce Greenwood as Captain Christopher Pike, the cadets superior and captain of the Enterprise. He struck exactly the right note to place him alongside other Star Trek captains - strict but fair, daring and brave. Part of that is of course down to the writing, but the character of Pike could stand easily alongside Picard, Janeway and Sisko.
One point of contention on the films release were the accents, in particular that of Simon Pegg as Scotty. His Scottish accent was trashed as rubbish. But what people seem to forget is that he was not playing any Scotsman, he was playing Scotty as played by James Doohan, whose Scottish accent was atrocious. So Pegg was not aiming for a Scottish accent, he was aiming for the accent used by Doohan. Personally though, I think he missed. I think his attempt at a Scottish accent is still bad, but it's better than anything Doohan ever managed. Pegg does not deserve to be slated for a bad accent - he was playing a character with a bad accent! As Scotty, Pegg also brought some laughs to the film. I don't know if the original character of Scotty was a bit of a joker or always getting in scrapes, but the younger one as played by Pegg is. Similarly Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov, employed a terrible Russian accent because that is what the original Chekov (Walter Koenig) had. Yelchin was born in Russia, but is listed as American on IMDB having grown up there from 6 months old - I think it's safe to say the accent was put on. I especially loved Chekov's attempt to access the voice activated computer with a code including the letters "VV", or "Victor Victor" - it came out as "Wictor Wictor". The accents are part of the charm of Star Trek - the original actors couldn't do accents, so that's just how the characters speak.
Star Trek is, of course, very much a Star Trek film. However, I think it would appeal to non-fans as well, and I don't think you need much prior knowledge to enjoy it. I would expect that most people know a little about Star Trek anyway, as it is one of these things which has entered our culture. I am a fan, but not of the original series, yet I thought it was a great film, and as it was a prequel, I wasn't missing any knowledge essential to the story as nothing which had happened before the time of the film's story was known to any viewer. Visually the film is much better than its predecessors, and looks like a film rather than an extended episode of one of the TV shows, so this will also appeal much more to non-fans.
I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek. I thought it was a great sci fi film, and a great Star Trek film. It looked good, the acting was great, the story was good and it had humour alongside the action. A sequel is being made for release in 2012, and I have mixed feelings about this - Star Trek was so good that I want to see more, but on the other hand it was so good I don't want there to be an inferior sequel; I'm looking forward to it though.
My other half had been going on for weeks and weeks about this film. Yesterday after spending some time on the moneysavingexpert forums I found an amazing freebie, £10.00 to spend on blinkbox.com, a site where you can rent and download films to your computer. Therefore to please my other half I immediately downloaded this film for him and we sat down to watch it last night. He was like an excited little kid eager to watch the film and I was ready to be bored out of my brains for a couple of hours.
The film follows the very beginning of the characters who came to crew the USS Enterprise. The film begins showing the USS Kelvin investigating a storm in space when they are attacked by a Romulan ship. The Kelvin is taking a lot of damage and an evacuation of the ship begins. The acting captain George Kirk whilst running the ship keeps in constant contact with his wife who is in labour. Realising that the escape ships will not be able to escape with the Romulan's attacking Kirk sets the Kelvin on a collision course with the Romulan ship.
The film fast forwards a few years so that we can see the lives of Spock and James Kirk as children. We get to see the rebellious nature of Kirk and how Spock deals with being half human. We only stay in their childhood for a short time before again we are moved forward in time a few years to see how both Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) end up joining the Starfleet. The two characters at this stage do not get on and we watch how their relationship grows throughout the film as they are sent out in to space on the Enterprise due to a distress signal being sent out by the planet Vulcan.
Visually the film is stunning with lots of special effects. The acting is also very good and I did particularly enjoy watching Pine as a feisty, young Kirk. Simon Pegg also made me chuckle a few times playing Scotty. I did also like the fact that the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy) also makes an appearance in the film. However, I would like to know why they cast Winona Ryder as Spock's mum! For me the acting and special effects of the film were really good and it was the storyline that let it down, as contained bits that I didn't really like and rushed through others parts of the story, leaving me with a few questions (I wont tell you what because I don't want to spoil it for you). However, the film is action packed with bits of comedy and even a bit of romance thrown in there.
After watching the film both me and my other half agreed that this film had the potential to be an amazing sci-fi film. However, it feels like they have tried too hard to try and please the Star Trek fans and for people with only a minor interest in Star Trek, the film just lacks a certain something to make it a great film. My other half came away disappointed, probably because he had hyped it up in his mind too much. On the other hand I didn't mind watching the film, probably because of my low expectations and almost enjoyed it.
The film is rated a 12 which is about right and because I downloaded this film I did not get any extras.
We bought this film effectively for free from blinkbox.com. However, you can currently buy it for around £5.00 on Amazon, which is a good price. Star Trek is by no means a bad film and it is definitely watchable but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're really into your sci-fi or Star Trek.
Boldly Going Forward 'Cause We Can't Find Reverse
A young Kirk and Spock are on a collision course, they are chalk and cheese, and take a dislike to each other. However, when an emergency from Spock's home planet of Vulcan happened Kirk and Spock are thrown into the mixer together.
Nero has a machine capable of destroying entire planets, but will Spock and Kirk put their differences aside before it's too late?
I've always had a passing interest in Star Trek, I'm not a trekkie, but I have enjoyed the original series and some of the never ones too. I went to see the latest Star Trek film on the strength of the trailers which looked very impressive. I am very glad I did. At the helm (cough) as director is JJ Abrams who most will be familiar with as the man behind the very long running Lost series.
This film has had a lot of stick from Trekkies, at the end of the day this is not ruining the Star Trek legacy, it's just a spin on it.
The casting here is inspired. Almost every character looks and acts like they did in the original series. Zachary "Sylar" Quinto however outshines them all as spock. It's amazing what a bowl hair cut and some pointy ears will do. It's not all cosmetic though as he really gets into the skin of spock.
James Kirk, not captain yet, is played by Chris Pine, not a name I'm familiar with, but who cares as he is Kirk. He nail the character, I'm sure Shatner (who is missing from this one) is proud of his portrayal.
He get's the youthful mischievousness of young Kirk just how you'd imagine him to be.
Zoe Saldana who was blue when most people saw here as Neytiri in Avatar perhaps won't be easily recognised as Uhura. Her character is not a major one, but she does look the part, and is certainly no nonsense here as she was it Avatar.
Another fine choice in terms of looking and acting like the original series characters is Karl Urban as McCoy, a fantastic performance and casting here, he even manages to get in a couple of the famous McCoy lines, DeForest Kelly would be proud.
The worst character I'm afraid to say is Scotty, played way over the top by Simon Pegg. He's not in it enough to ruin it but he does ruin an otherwise flawless cast. Sorry Simon, you played the fool a bit too
much for me here.
Eric Bana plays bad guy Nero, he was good but not nearly menacing enough. He is certainly doing bad things but does not back it up with sufficient fire and madness. He's not the most memorable of villains. He should have taken some tip off Zachary Quinto on how to play a bad guy.
The special effects in the film are excellent, most of them will be CGI but aren't they all now. This is a film where the Director has not relied on the effects to get bums on seats but used it to enhance the story.
Summing up, despite a few shortcomings I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek. I was surprised I enjoyed it so much to be honest. Watching it on DVD I still enjoyed it and found Simon Pegg's Scotty to be less an annoying the second time around. I liked the use of the old classic title music over the end credits too. Definitely worth a watch, even for non Trekkies.
Main Cast List
Chris Pine - James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto - Spock
Leonard Nimoy - Spock Prime
Eric Bana - Nero
Karl Urban - Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Zoe Saldana - Nyota Uhura
Simon Pegg - Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
John Cho - Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin - Pavel Chekov
Directed By : J.J. Abrams
Running Time : 127 Mins.
Certificate : 12A
While might be what you consider a geek, ok i'm totally a geek, but i was never a fan of star trek. I'm too young to really have seen the original series and never really got into all that followed. So when this new Star Trek film was announced i wasn't really that interested. That all changed the day i watched the trailer. It peaked my interest so i figured i'd give the film a watch when it came to the cinema. What i saw was possibly the best sci-fi film i have seen in a long time.
Abrams has been the creator of some of tv's greatest shows including Alias and Lost. This was his big jump to cinema and he nailed it. The action is over the top but in the best possible way, the acting spot on and mixes just the right amount of humour with danger. The story has nods to the original series but deviates from the time line when a ship from the future comes back and destroys the ship that Kirk's father is on. This event causes a ripple affect meaning everything in this universe is familiar but at the same time different. What i loved most about this concept is that is doesnt cancel out everything that comes before it, it establishes the world and everything in it but makes it clear this is a different reality. Opening up the scope for new takes on old themes which i can't wait for.
This film works because first of all, they got rid of the 'nerd' style writing and directing and brought in Roberto Orci and Alex Kutzman (writers of the Transformers films and 'Ailias) to write, and JJ Abrahms (MI:3) to direct. Straight away, this film is transformed from what was a good sci-fi concept with flaws into an outstanding sci-fi film.
The story starts with a large spaceship coming back in time as Captain James T. Kirk's father commands another ship sent to investigate. Following a fight, James Kirk's father is killed and his ship blown up by the time travelling Romulans (another alien race), though James Kirk survives. The alien ship remains in this time, and is laying wait for something or someone.
Cut to several years later, and we meet a young James T. Kirk, who is rebelling because of the lack of a male role model in his life. He soon gets into a fight as he meets a young Uhuru (the lady who does communications on the Enterprise ship). He subsequently enlists, and also meets 'Bones' McCoy, who we learn has been through and expensive divorce and has also has to sign up to earn money.
At the same time, we meet a young Spock, who we learn is half human and shares some of your traits, making it impossible for him to work solely on Vulcan. He also enlists.
They are soon in Space, and are sent to investigate a mysterious signal, that turns out to be the waiting Romulan ship. As the Enterpise rushes to the scene, we learn that Kirk and Spock didn't initially get on as friends, and in fact can't stand each other. The keep question each others motives, and following the destruction of Vulcan, Kirk takes over the ship. We also meet a young Scotty, and the older Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who has also come back.
There is a rush to Earth between the Enterprise and the Romulan ship as it turns out the Romulan wants revenge for something the older Spock did in the future. There is a huge fight, and it's at this point that Spock and Kirk become friends as they save Earth.
The time travel does make this a little difficult to follow, but other than that this film is very entertaining, with vastly superior special effects, a sharp, witty script and JJ. Abrahms wonderful actions scenes. Well worth watching whether you're a fan or not, because it's not like the originals at all.
I always found the Star Trek television series incredibly boring, so when the film came out I didn't move from my sofa specifically to see it at the pictures. We rented the film from Lovefilm at the weekend and I have to say I was entirely wrong, the film is superb and really watchable on every level.
James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) is born as his father, the temporary captain of a starship, dies saving hundreds of people, this sets James up as a rebel from his younger years, he has the ability and a never say die attitude but does not have the application to make a success of himself, one day after a bar room brawl he is approached by a captain of the Starship enterprise who knew his father and told he should apply to Starship academy because of his attitude. Kirk thinks better of it but is dared to outdo the exploits of his father and as anyone who watched the original series knows, you don't dare James T Kirk to do anything.
Kirk joins the academy, meets Uhuru (Zoe Saldana) a smoking hot linguist and Bones (Karl Urban) the loquacious, continually grumpy, wise cracking medic who becomes his closest friend.
Kirk meets a confused half Vulcan, half human in Spock (Zachary Quinto) who he immediately hates and who takes an immediate dislike to him, however as a race of people led by Nero (Eric Bana) set out to destroy Spock and Starfleet in general, everyone from the academy is forced to fight this enemy, making Spock, Uhuru and Kirk put their differences aside and work together as the crew of the Starship Enterprise and stop Bana destroying Starfleet, Earth and the universe in general.
Chris Pine ... James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto ... Spock
Leonard Nimoy ... Spock Prime
Eric Bana ... Nero
Bruce Greenwood ... Christopher Pike
Karl Urban ... Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Zoe Saldana ... Nyota Uhura (as Zoë Saldana)
Simon Pegg ... Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
John Cho ... Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin ... Pavel Chekov
Ben Cross ... Sarek
Winona Ryder ... Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth ... George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison ... Winona Kirk
Rachel Nichols ... Gaila
I thought this was an excellent film, it brings together all of the main characters from the Star Trek series, in a believable way much like Batman Begins, the story is enthralling, the CGI looks awesome and the story is thoughtful and intelligent rather than a vehicle for the effects, the thing I enjoyed most was the cast and the script, I felt they really brought out their characters and stepped far enough away from the originals to make this fresh and exciting. Pine is excellent as the gung-ho Kirk, revelling in his ability to take a kicking, get up and start all over again. Quinto as Spock is thoughtful and confused whilst being incredibly bright, his back story is interesting and shows slightly more emotion than Leonard Nimoy's original. The fact Nimoy plays a part as the older Spock is welcomed and really develops the narrative properly, Nimoy is excellent in his role and knowing enough to be funny in the ultimate straight role.
Saldana is excellent as Uhuru, the object of Kirk's lust and devoted to Spock, she is a strong woman who rules as much as the guys and looks awesome. I enjoyed Simon Pegg's turn as Scotty although did feel it was a tad overdone, while Urban is perfect as the disgruntled Bones.
John Cho is good as Sulu and has a bit more get up and go than the laconic original, whilst Anton Yelchin as Chekov has an amusing accent (Apologies if that is real!). The team work well individually and as a whole and their development is enjoyable, but it is Pine and Quinto who take the honours as the two stars of the piece breathing new life into their roles.
The baddies are nasty, but their story reveals there is an emotive reason why they want revenge and you do feel somewhat sorry for them in the circumstances. Erik Bana is unrecognisable as Nero and it took me thirty minutes before we googled to see who he was, his role is shocking in how well he plays somebody else.
Overall the film has action, humour a great script, enough knowing comments and actions for original series geeks whilst having accessibility for people like me who never liked the series. I got totally lost in the film and accept my prejudices were unfair, this was a great success and thoroughly enjoyable on every level.
The DVD is available from Amazon for £4.99 and includes a making of, outtakes plus trailer.
Curiosity led me and my partner to watch the 'new' Star Trek, well, that and the incessant ramblings of our Trekky friends!
As a huge fan of Heroes. I was excited about seeing Zachary Quinto in his first huge movie role. Quinto didn't let me down, his portrayal of icy Spock was one of very few high points in the film for me.
I confess I am not much of a Star Trek fan (I am now sat here waiting for a line of angry trekkies to turn up on my doorstep) but I was bored almost to tears by the end of the film, my other half didn't even make it that far.
For Star Trek fans I imagine this has a high novelty factor, and those who know considerably more about the back story and the characters have enjoyed it.
As a one-off though, put simply, not enough happened. A great deal of scene-setting took place and I foresee a barrage of sequels, but as a stand alone film, it just didn't live up to my expectations.
If you know your Star Trek, then go, seek and enjoy, but if you don't and are simply looking for a good bit of sci-fi, I suggest you keep looking.
Now let me state this from the start I am not in any way a trekkie and never have been and never will be. So it was on the basis of various reviews, some recommendations from friends and nothing else on at the cinema that I ended up seeing this film. Now all the trekkie speak and knowledge I know nothing about and passed me by in the film, but I never in any way felt left out. What I ended up seeing was an excellent film that didn't need any prior knowledge or geekdom.
The film was directed by JJ Abrahams of Lost fame and is billed as a prequel to all the other Star Trek things that have gone on before. The film introduces us to James T Kirk (played by Chris Pines of the Princess Diaries 2) who is an aimless trouble maker with no future plans, he meets a Starfleet Captain, Christopher Pike, who knew is father (a hero who died the day James T Kirk was born). Pike persuades Kirk to enlist where he is a nuisance at the academy with huge potential that seems to be able to rub all his instructors up the wrong way, including a young Spock (played by Zachary Quinto of Heroes fame).
A sudden emergency on Vulcan means that Starfleet and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is brought into action to answer the call and a host of new recruits including Kirk are brought together to include McCoy, Uhuru, Sulu, Chekhov and Scottie. For those familiar with these characters it provides the back story to how they came together. The film even includes an appearance by Leonard Nimoy.
The action and special effect scenes in battle and in space are pretty spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed them, even although I wasn't expecting to. I am sure hardcore fans will be able to pick holes in the film and there was plenty of inside reference that would also appease them but for a Star Trek virgin I really enjoyed the film. In isolation it was a great film, good story, great action scenes, a good cast and several laughs along the way. I for one can't wait for the sequel which isn't due to start filming until 2011!
I would definitely recommend this film - if you like me have never seen an episode or previous film of Star Trek do not be put off, make the brave decision and watch the film i don't think you will be disappointed.
You can purchase this on DVD with the recommended retail price being £19.99 however you can buy it on Amazon at the moment for £9.98.
I remember being invited to go and watch Star Trek by my friend last year and laughing in their face saying, why would I want to see Star Trek? For me, anything to do with Star Trek, Star Wars or anything along those lines bores me to tears, I've had friends and family trying to get me to watch it over the years saying as a Film Student you should watch these classics. It wasn't gonna happen however. When my mom rented out Star Trek XI however I decided it couldn't hurt to sit on my laptop whilst the movie was on in the background.
After 10 minutes I found myself with my laptop off and I was deeply engrossed with this movie on in front of me, who knew that I would enjoy Star Trek? A mystery indeed.
The film follows James T Kirk a young rebellious man who is following in the footsteps of his father who died on the day of James' birth saving everyone. Kirk is convinced to enrol in the Star Fleet Academy and shows his potential however pissing off Lt Spock in the process. When an unforced attack strikes Vulcan, the USS Enterprise try and save the planet. Can they help save Spock's planet and in the process stop the man that murdered Kirk's father.
Chris Pine- James T Kirk
Zachary Quinto- Spock
Eric Bana- Nero
Zoe Saldana- Nyota Uhura
Simon Pegg- Scotty
Leonard Nimoy- Spock Prime
I hate to say this, but for once my gut instinct was wrong. This film was very enjoyable and it proved me wrong that anything to do with Star Trek was going to be terrible. This review is from the opinion of someone that only knows very little about the original series, so I'm not going to be able to compare it at all.
For me the reason why this movie worked was because of the cast, Chris Pine is someone I've only ever seen in Teenie films before and I was surprised to see he was actually a really good, he is very, very hot, which is always nice in a film like this. It's always nice to have a bit of eye candy and when they can act as well it's always a plus. I think any Heroes fans, or at least most love the character of Sylar and in this movie; we get to see Zachary Quinto who plays Sylar in a very different role. He and his huge eyebrows play Spock, and with the original Spock in the movie as well, I think it's very good to see that they have really got someone that looks like Leonard Nimoy. Quinto is fantastic in the role, he plays the part brilliantly, he is aloof throughout the movie but you get to see the soft side of him towards the end.
It was very nice to see an Englishman, especially one from the same neck of the woods as me in the movie, Simon Pegg is a brilliant well known actor here in the UK so it was nice to see him showing off his talents in a big movie like Star Trek. He of course plays Scotty (this is from my mum who said he couldn't have played anyone else), and he provides us with quite a humorous performance and plays the script he is given to the best of his ability.
For me the shock of the movie was Nero played by Eric Bana. I had no idea he was in the movie and prior to watching this one, we had watched Time Travellers Wife again on DVD. We went through about 20 minutes of the movie before I went, oh my god, that's Eric Bana. He really looks very different; his performance is very strong especially considering he wasn't relying on his good looks like usual. I'm not a huge fan usually of his acting skills, but I thought he really delivered within this movie.
Zoe Saldana is an actress that seems to pop up in everything but I haven't learnt her name until she stared as the lead in Avatar. She plays Quinto's love interest and there was good chemistry between the two in the movie. Her character didn't have too much depth to it, but for what she was given she delivered.
JJ Abrams is a Director whom at one moment I think we all want to shake his hand for his brilliance, his artistic direction and the fact that he and others have come up with some amazing shows, however, he is also someone that I find myself wanting to scream at, because he makes me addicted and then drags shows on, and on, and on and then in the case of Alias ruins the ending completely. When I heard he was behind Star Trek, well to be honest I was expecting Giant Polar Bears in the desert and mist eating the Starship Enterprise.
Abrams stayed away from all of the things that makes his shows slightly annoying and just stuck to the story and showing us what a terrific Director he really is. The film runs mainly on the fact that it's an action film and Abrams takes the big wad of cash he has obviously has been given and gives us a high action and high special effects film. The film does have a lot of CGI but to be honest it came across quite believable and it really was lovely to see the Enterprise and all of the work that went into it.
Okay at times it was a little bit confusing, but to be honest I really didn't care. It was a lot to take in very quickly and I think it could have been one of the faults in the movie that so much was thrown at you at once, but as long as you have a good imagination you should be fine. The story despite small problems is very strong and more importantly very interesting. I never thought Star Trek would be anything like this movie was, and I think between Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman you have a film which is full of amazing new things, which should have really turned us all to sleep, but it didn't. The sometimes confusing storyline was delivered by some amazing actors and to be honest, it wasn't important about getting the most elaborate bits of the plot, but as long as you got the basics then the film will keep you entertained throughout.
The cast is very strong; I thought Quinto was just amazing, him and his eyebrows of course. He really delivered a strong performance, all of us Heroes fans new it was possible but I think it is always nice to see TV stars come out of what they know and show us they can do something different. The only problem with Quinto was I was expecting him at any minute to try and kill the people around him, he does have quite an evil look about him and after Heroes I think it'll always be with him. Chris Pine is an actor that I've only seen in a few roles before, and most of them are teenie shows like Princess Diaries and Just My Luck but thought he played the role of the rugged Kirk brilliantly. He delivered a fantastic performance which kept the film going throughout.
The action throughout the whole film was strong, from the first scene you are pushed straight into the mist of things, straight into the action and you never really find yourself being able to come out of it. I was very impressed with everything to do with most of the movie, the visual effects were just amazing, the Starship Enterprise is really interesting and I think the whole set design was very well done.
I'm not sure if Trekkies are going to like this film, I think it's more aimed at people like me or just people that watched the original series but didn't care too much about it. I have read quite a few reviews today, where they are pulling everything to do with the film and comparing it to the original, I think because it's not the same it's disappointing to them so of course they don't appreciate how well done this film actually was. If you are a Trekkie then it might not be for you, I would recommend at least giving it ago, but don't expect too much as from what I've seen most 'Trekkie's hate this version. If you are not, then ignore the reviews from Trekkie's saying how bad it is, and make your own mind up.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this film, I know quite a few friends who have had the same opinion, they were not expecting much at all but got quite a very good film. The action was brilliant and the acting was very good. It was nice to see Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in other movies/television shows we have seen them in before. The Direction of JJ Abrams was brilliant, I was seriously expecting him to put a giant Hamster on the ship which went around eating all of the people, but he kept it simple (unlike most of his shows) and Directed what was a very enjoyable movie.
Conclusion: If you are a Trekkie then this version won't be for you. If you are not a fan then this film will probably be for you. It's full of action and is very enjoyable.
Hope this helps.
(C) Kirsty 2010
(Started my new job today, so this might be my last review for a while. I hope you enjoyed it, if you get the chance please r/r/c. Thank you)