The future begins.
Running Time: 127 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United States
If I was to place myself somewhere on the Star Trek fan scale, Id say I was maybe a 5, 6 tops. I know who all the major players are, I get the occasionally in Trekkie joke, and in high school, my best friend Danny got us the boy and girl versions of the Enterprise crew uniforms, but Im not full on wearing the pointy ears to the premiere. I say all that to say that even if I werent familiar with the Trek mythos, Id have enjoyed this film immenselybut I think knowing a little something helps. Its good no matter what, though, so even if youve never heard of a Tribble or dont know what the T stands for in James T. Kirk, this is still a worthy beginning to both a classic franchise AND the 2009 summer movie season (a little early).
Basically, were introduced to Captain Kirk in the first scenesCaptain George Kirk, Jamess dadmoments before his heroic death. We see little Kirk being born then fast forward to his rebellious years. Meanwhile, off in another section of the universe, young Spock is going through his own tough times, taunted by his peers for being half-human. Eventually, James (Chris Pine) grows up to be a cocky slacker with potential, Spock (Zachary Quinto) grows up to be, well, Spock, and the whole crew of the Enterprise gets their first stab at adventure as they try to save everybody from those mean, tattoo-faced Romulans.
Unlike the new X-Men film that delves into the history of Wolverine, this is a prequel that engages us from the first scene and re-invents its franchise. Often, one of two things happens in a story trying to tell the story of where established characters come fromtheyre either totally unrecognizable and youre left scratching your head as to whether the writer ever saw the originals, or theyre like little Mini Me versions of themselves, offering no insight into how they became the people we know. Here, Kirk and Spock are NOT the guys we know, but theyre on their way there, and the progression makes sense. Quinto, especially, is a different Spock, for sure, and its absolutely believable that, at this period in his life, he might have a few emotional blips. Also, one more performance noteloved Simon Pegg as Scotty. My only character gripe was with Chekhovthe accent thing was funny kinda, but I often just plain couldnt understand him. Story-wise, the conflict with the Romulans has just the right balance of sci-fi tech and accessibility, so whether youre a die-hard space freak or a casual watcher, you can be swept in and entertained. Overall, a fun, exhilarating start to the Trek mythology.
It's Got: Accessible story, spot-on characters, humor, spectacular effects.
It Needs: Tone down Chekhovs accent.
Alternatives:Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Sunshine
One of the most fully enjoyable movie-going experiences Ive had in awhile, Star Trek is exciting, funny, looks great, and offers the perfect balance between re-inventing history and paying homage to its roots.