Review: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009)
126 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Starring:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana


Grade: A-

I am not a Trekkie, therefore the review below won’t be biased in any way.  I feel it’s important to disclaim this because my father is a Trekkie and boy did he loathe this film, along with other loyal fans of the franchise.  Why did they hate it so much?  I’ll address that soon.

J.J. Abrams (Lost) did not have an easy task in front of him, trying to relaunch a beloved sci-fi franchise from the 1960’s.  Through its long-term run from a number of television series and movies, a large and passionate fan-base was created.  It’s quite dangerous to tackle a project with such fans, but success wasn’t impossible (just look at Batman Begins and The Dark Knight).

Star Trek (2009) is a prequel… kind of.  It’s taken place before any of the TV-series or movies ever started.  But it’s not a prequel in the sense of Star wars Episodes 1-3, or The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings.  It’s more of a relaunch of the entire franchise.

Right from the start, Star Trek had an incredible opening sequence.  I was on the edge of my seat in suspense, I laughed out loud at a few jokes, and I was on the verge of crying at the conclusion.  All before the opening credits.  That was simply a sneak peak of things to come.

So in that memorable pre-opening credits sequence, we see a pre-Starship Enterprise vessel that is attacked by a Romulan ship.  When the captain of the vessel is killed, George Kirk takes the throne as acting Captain.  He valiantly fights the Romulan ship, saving many lives, especially his wife’s whom gives birth to their son seconds before he is killed.  That baby is James T. Kirk (Pine).  He grows up to be the rebellious, but skilled, young man who enjoys the company of girls and beer.

Meanwhile, on the Vulcan planet, we meet Spock (Quinto).  He’s bullied by classmates because he’s half-human (Mom), half-Vulcan (Dad).  I guess it’s sort of like the way the students treat Hermione in the Harry Potter series (did I seriously just make that reference?).  Anyway, the movie is essentially about these two main characters and how both of them face adversity to overcome the largest of obstacles and to create a bond that will last a lifetime.

Out of all the characters, Dr. Leonard “Bones” was the one who seemed to imitate the original the best.  Now just because I’m not a Trekkie doesn’t mean I’m unaware of great resemblance when I see one.  Bones (played by Karl Urban) had almost all of the original’s personality down and he also delivered plenty classic phrases that had Trekkies smile from ear to ear.  If we were to simply choose a character from physical resemblance to the original, I think Zachary Quinto takes the prize.  As for Chris Pine playing Captain Kirk, he embodied Kirk’s arrogant and confident personality with ease.  Needless to say, the film was very well casted.


So why did Trekkies hate the movie so much?  Well, since the events of this movie happened before the series, people thought the movie would pave the way right to the beginning of the show.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead, the movie dealt with time traveling that greatly altered the future.  To sum it up, because of this movie, a lot of things that Trekkies have followed and loved through the decades of TV shows and movies are now irrelevant.  Bummer, right?


Overall, Star Trek was two hours of space adrenaline that’ll truly have you craving for more to come.  It was a very well made film from the impressive special effects, the orchestrated score, to all the characters.  The plot was bulky but was surprisingly easy to follow.  This is entertainment at its finest.  Although it’s too early to declare that Star Trek is the best film of the summer, I think it’s safe to say it’s most definitely in the running.

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