Saturday, May 09, 2009

Star Trek

Film: Star Trek (2009)
Dir: J.J. Abrams
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

Let's get this out of the way now: I have never liked Star Trek in any form. It always seemed silly and boring to me, and my affinity for the Star Wars universe never helped either. So I was more surprised than anyone at how AMAZING this movie is. Seriously, I cannot find a single flaw with it. And it has done the unthinkable - made me actually interested in Trek mythology!

What does not surprise me is that Lost creator J.J. Abrams is the man behind this great movie. He has created a modern Trek film that is not only loyal to its origins but also exciting, funny, and smart. If you do not have fun watching this flick, something is seriously wrong with you.

The story begins with George Kirk saving the crew of the U.S.S. Kelvin after a Romulan attack. At the same time, his son James T. Kirk is being born. Twenty-some years later, Jim Kirk is a smart but rebellious Iowa farmboy who gets recruited into the Starfleet Academy. There he meets the members of his future Enterprise crew - Uhura, McCoy, Spock, Chekov, and Sulu. However, the events do not occur quite as we know them, since the aforementioned Romulan attack has altered the course of history. It is now up to Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew to stop the rogue Romulans who are out to destroy Vulcan, Earth, and all the other Federation planets.

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have crafted a clever script that is remarkably consistent, plausible, and surprisingly faithful to Trek mythology despite changing it. They carefully cover their tracks. Even when the events stray from the original series, they explain exactly how this change has occurred and why. The writers also make sure to throw in LOTS of references for the fans. Even an anti-Trekkie like myself picked up on a few nerd references. And I have to admit, even I popped a few nerd boners during the film. It's impossible not to!

Visually, Star Trek is stunning. I love Abrams' style, which has a subtle hand-held quality. Often times, objects gets in the way of the camera, or it zooms in like a home video recording. It feels very unique and personal, and I am surprised it works so well for a big sci-fi action movie. Furthermore, the visual FX are perfect. All the space ships, alien makeup, and blackhole FX looked fantastic.

Now my favorite aspect of the film - the cast. Everyone payed great homage to their predecessors without completely ripping them off. I thought it was necessary to impersonate them a little, since they are playing younger versions of those original actors, but they did not overdo it and brought their own charisma to the roles. Karl Urban is especially fantastic as Leonard "Bones" McCoy, thus proving what I already knew - this guy really has more potential than his choices of roles would indicate (Pathfinder, ugh). I also loved Chris Pine, who nailed the cocky charm of Kirk. I officially forgive him for Just My Luck. And Smokin' Aces. Yes, he's that good. He has great chemistry with Bones and Spock, resulting in much of the film's ample humor.

I could go on forever about this movie, I really do love it. Comparisons have been made to last year's Iron Man, and that is a fair assessment. Both films are 100% excitement, humor and awesome visuals. If an ardent Trek-hater like me can love this movie, it is guaranteed to please everyone.


Shane said...

Yes, Star Trek was a great film, but if you haven't watched the original film series, we need to have a marathon. Skip 1 and 5--watch The Wrath of Khan (THE greatest Trek film ever, and Abrams references it heavily), The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country. Abrams' version of Trek is interesting, but compared to the originals, I just felt like something was lacking.

Daniel said...

Ok Heather I do agree with you on this critic The movie was absolutely amazing. And very true to its origin thank god, but I must admit for a moment there I thought you were going to be bashing on it, cause you said you were never a fan, to be honest I was thinking up a comeback like well if you were never a fan of the series why would you even think about posting a critic of the movie. But you came through on this one and I fully agree nice homework there girl. Sincerely Mustang.Mav