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May 18, 2009 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Star Trek

There is a certain stigma attached to Star Trek. Something about the franchise which has pushed it into the extreme levels of nerdiness. A lot of people are not going to see Star Trek based purely on the perceived sci-figeek/internet fanboy image their friends will tease them about if they admit 1) having seen it, and 2) actually liking it. These people are missing out on an extremely entertaining film. Against all logic, J.J. Abram’s rebooting of the Star Trek franchise (à la James Bond and Batman) has delivered a Star Trek film that will be one of the most successful blockbusters of 2009 and appeals to a universal audience.

The story opens with the heroic destruction of the USS Kelvin at the hands of an evil Romulan who has travelled back through time. There is an epic beauty to watching this starship get destroyed, and combined with the haunting score makes for one of the most engaging opening sequences I have seen for a long time. Jump forward about 20 years and James Kirk (Pine) is recruited into Starfleet, gradually meeting the characters we come to know and love from the original TV show, such as Dr McCoy (Urban) and Spock (Quinto). The rest of the plot revolves around these characters aboard the newly-commissioned Enterprise, responding to a distress call from the planet Vulcan, which kicks off a complex chain of events which work perfectly in the film.

The tight, well-paced script delivers on both humour and action in ways previously unseen in Star Trek films. Playing young versions of characters who are now iconic is always risky, but all the performances are remarkably convicted, taking Abram’s film beyond its genre origins. The vocal and physical similarities to the characters from the 60s are remarkable. The special effects are pitch perfect, from CGI aliens to starships adding further realism to the already solid script.

The only problem with the film was the constant lens flare (literally about 80 percent of the film) which started off as merely distracting and became incredibly frustrating. I love the technique but they should have used it sparingly. That however is a very small complaint for a film as enjoyable as Star Trek. Abrams has delivered an origin story that will be great for new viewers and fans alike. Star Trek has smartly rebooted a franchise with a great cast which I sincerely hope will “live long and prosper.”

Directed by J. J. Abrams
With Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto


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