I wouldn’t call myself a Trekkie but I’ve seen all Star Trek films prior to this one and quite familiar with its universe. Well, more than a commoner but certainly less than a Trekkie, anyway. As an “origin” story, “Star Trek” clearly tries to bridge the gap between generations and to introduce “Star Trek” into a wider audience. In that respect, Star Trek works, it was an exciting journey for the uninitiated, and it has enough respect toward the classic fan without leaving the new-and-would-be fan totally in the dark. The real test would be in a couple of years, when *presumably* J.J.Abrams and his crew of young and hip USS Enterprise made its subsequent voyages to “boldly go where no man has gone before” in an imminent sequel.
To the classic fan, “Star Trek” needs no introduction. To the uninitiated, “Star Trek” marked the beginning when James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) made an acquaintance with his future crew of the USS Enterprise as well as his long and lasting friendships with Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) and of course, with Spock (Zachary Quinto). The film’s villain is an angry Romulan, Nero (Eric Bana) on his way to destroy every Federation’s planet.
For this review, I chose to comment on how the casts tapped their respective classic roles and I’d say, it was Chris Pine that could really pulled it off and mostly responsible for giving me the joyous experience that warrants this film a Best film of 2009 to date. Kirk is a cocky, if not confident, and yet, in a roughest of time, he proves to be a charismatic and competent leader. Pine is surprisingly great as a young Kirk and it’s fun to see Chris Pine delivers some Shatner moment without entirely mimicking him.
I’ve already heard that Zachary Quinto receives many praise from my friends for his role as Spock. I’d say that he did a good job. However, in my opinion, it was mostly the scripts that made him so. Oh, his physique also helps and he has a slight disadvantage by directly competing against the original Spock on screen. Other than that, he is … decent, far from great, just decent. Karl Urban is a spitting image of the original Dr.Bones, and much like Jason Statham, I’ve had a certain spot for Karl Urban. As well as with John Cho (Sulu). Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov) are presents for mere comic reliefs although Pegg is certainly one of my favorite comedian, so no problem there (at least with Pegg).
Perhaps my only problem with this film is its female cast (or, the lack thereof). I was surprised with a romance scene involving Uhura and certainly don’t remember any of it from the original films. Other than that, the only scene where Uhura made an important scene is when she stripped to her underwear and by I mean with “important” is clearly a mocking statement if you’re not catching. I mean, we’re talking about 250 years in the future here that I found it kinda degrading to see that there are no prominent and important female casts to this film. But hey, I was just nitpicking here. As far as I’m concerned, eliminate Uhura (and all other female roles) entirely, and this film is still an excitement. Unfortunately, Uhura is a part of the original USS Enterprise family and leaving her out of the frame might enraged some fans.
My rating: ***1/2 / **** – In my opinion, time-travels is a subject best laid out on paper (books) rather than celluloid (movies). There’s a certain aspect with “Star Trek” that made my eyebrow raise and it has something to do with time-travels subject. Not terribly executed, but still an eyebrow raiser.