Review by Jason Donner
It's time to boldly go where ten movies and five television shows have gone before with a brand new Star Trek movie! The problem is, what more can you do to an old horse if you've beaten the poor thing to death?
The answer is, you get a faster horse, a better looking horse, feed it a bucketful of steroids, and then you beat it within an inch of its life and make it want more. That's what you do to inject new life into Star Trek and, believe me, after seeing this new movie I can tell you that there is a whole lot of life left in this beast that I once thought was dead and that I can say something that has not crossed my lips in ten years.
Star Trek is f**king awesome.
I have to say that one more time because, as a fan, it just feels so good to honestly say it again.
Star Trek is... F**KING AWESOME!!!
A half prequel and half reboot, Star Trek goes back to basics with the O.C. (original crew) of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and all of the characters that we all grew to know and love while shunning the outdoors from our parent's basement. They're basically the holy pantheon of everything that is science fiction, only now there's a twist: Thanks to a time-traveling baddie named Nero, history has been altered and the events in this movie and the many more that will hopefully follow take place in an alternate universe free of cannon and continuity where anything can and most likely will happen with a freedom that Star Trek hasn't experienced in a long time. the movie is only too happy to demonstrate this freedom with an event that is both amazing and frightening at the same time, an event that forever changes the Star Trek universe - or multiverse if you want to call it that.
All bets are off as far as this film series is concerned.
This new Star Trek keeps all of the elements that work while ditching everything that doesn't, namely 40 plus years of clunky continuity that has stagnated the fan base and alienated anyone wanting to join in. This is a movie you can go into even if you've never seen Star Trek before and enjoy it. I took my mother-in-law (and yes, I take my mother-in-law to movies, what of it?) and she was giggling the entire time, she was having so much fun. The woman had never seen an episode or movie in her life.
That being said, if you are a stringent and unyielding continuity fiend - a continuity pornographer, if you will - this movie will likely cause your head to explode so it's probably best to stay home. For us normal folks, however, this is the movie we've been waiting years for and it's well worth the wait. Take my advise, dump all memory and expectations of Star Trek and enjoy discovering it all over again.
Chris Pine takes over the role of Kirk and does William Shatner proud, turning the good captain into an egotistical devil-may-care ladies man who is so full of confidence, I would imagine that it would leave skid-marks in his underwear.
As Spock, Zachary Quinto brings the cold and logical Vulcan back to life, but with a vulnerability and streak of emotions that does wonders for this character.
Karl Urban channels DeForest Kelly perfectly as the grouchy country doctor while Zoe Saldana brings forth a brand new Uhura who delivers a passionately hungry Uhura in what has to be the character's biggest and most important role since her birth 40 years ago.
Somewhere, Nichele Nichols is stabbing a pillow in frustration.
As Scotty, the brilliantly cast Simon Peg brings a wee bit o' genius insanity to the character making every Scotty scene in the movie a load of fun.
John Cho is Sulu who really didn't get a lot of character moments, but Cho does bring it in the action scenes.
The only member of the cast that doesn't quite work out is Anton Yelchin as Chekov, but that's through no fault of his own. It's that darned accent they saddled him with. You know the one I'm talking about: nuclear wessels? No one on the planet really talks like that and, in a movie where the writers and directors took great pains to rid the franchise of everything that didn't work, I'm a little shocked they left this in.
How Walter Keonig got it to work for all those years is beyond me.
Great Bird of the Galaxy, that is the only negative thing I can really say about Star Trek other than the fact that I wish it would have lasted longer. I honestly believe that there was not a moment in this movie that I didn't have a gigantic fanboy grin plastered on my amazingly good-looking face.
Everything about this movie looks and feels epic. The sets, spaceships, and locations are all deservedly hug and Eric Bana chews the set happily as the villainous Nero who, in my mind at least, ranks just below the likes of Khan in the Star Trek tree of terror and the Enterprise has never looked better as she is back at home on the big screen.
The dangers, victories, and losses of the Enterprise crew felt more real than they have in decades. This new Star Trek movie is like getting the first car you ever loved back, only with a bigger and meaner engine under the hood and you now have XM.
I loved this movie. Loved it! I loved every single glorious frame of this film! How sad that, after loosing Majel Barrett earlier this year who said that there was the potential for a major Star Trek blockbuster if Paramount would just invest the money, it looks like she's been proven right.
God bless you, Majel.
May this franchise live long and prosper and prosper and prosper because that means we'll get sequels.