Star Trek [Movie Review]

Quick Opinion:
J.J. Abrams has successfully rebooted a franchise full of potential. Star Trek is a spectacular science fiction adventure is filled with eye-popping visuals, features a lively cast, and has a sophisticated yet accessible plot that guarantees a large appeal and, more importantly, a safe venture into the future.
Clusterf*ck Score: [A]

Full Review:

Anybody remember the good old days of Star Trek? The ones where the show served as a metaphor to the Cold War and cultural diversity and tackled racial prejudice head on? Well I hate to say it, but God those days were boring. I could never like Star Trek in its old iteration and often found myself sleeping through reruns that I would only watch because I really had no other option. Of course I was not even born when the show started so maybe I am not in a place to speak about this issue, but to the mainstream that is what the classic TV show had become over time: irrelevant and flat-out boring.

This is where J.J. Abrams comes into the equation. His production company, Bad Robot, previously handled TV shows such as Felicity, Alias, and most recently Lost before jumping on to the big screen with attempted franchise reboot Mission Impossible III and last year's skillfully made monster movie Cloverfield. Now the man that many hail as a visionary director works his magic on one of the most influential TV shows of all time by turning it into a fun and accessible reboot. Does he succeed?

Yes. Yes he does. By a lot. Not only is this new Trek an exciting adventure movie in its own right, it is by far the best movie this year and probably this Summer. There are a lot of ingredients in Star Trek that make it a truly delectable treat. First off is the charismatic new cast that is burdened to fill the shoes of such great character personalities. I don't know many of the quirks behind each character, but I am familiar with Kirk's, Spock's, and Sulu's personalities. Luckily, these three were more than enough to prove that this young and fresh cast is worth watching.

Chris Pine delivers an entertaining performance as the arrogant, adolescent, and immature James T. Kirk, rivaling Shatner's legendary work as the captain of the Enterprise. Zachary Quinto, best known for his work on Heroes as resident head chopper and watch fixer Sylar, is superb as the restrained and powerful Spock, a member of the alien race Vulcan who is also half human. Other stand out actors include Simon Pegg as the hilarious and charming Scotty, John Cho as the well intentioned Sulu, and Anton Yelchin as another charming character, Chekov (who is in another hotly anticipated Summer reboot: Terminator Salvation). These are just the ones that I enjoyed, but nearly all of the casting choices made in the movie are brilliant.

Just as lively as the new crew of the Enterprise are the simply gorgeous special effects displayed throughout the film. Featuring some of the best CG and artwork of the year so far (unlike moments in Wolverine that were simply laughable) Star Trek makes intergalactic war engaging to watch. Ships filled with details swift past the screen at lightning speeds, unusual and foreign planets brim with life, and all kinds of diverse aliens work alongside humans.

But however important a well rounded cast and striking special effects are to making a memorable Summer blockbuster, nothing is as integral as the plot that ties it all together. Luckily, the writers behind this reboot have mustered together a sharp screenplay with a novel narrative device that actually functions within the universe of Star Trek without sabotaging its rich history: time travel. I cannot elaborate on specific details without spoiling a major part of the story, but what has happened is that the whole timeline to which the classic TV show took place within is gone. The film has hit the reset button and only moments before James Kirk was born, an alternate reality took over resetting all of the show's history. This provides a near limitless amount of potential for future iterations of Star Trek as there is no need to retell past stories or stay true to them. Instead the writers are free to do what they wish and this creative freedom is exactly what the franchise needed.

Star Trek is by no means flawless as there are some pacing issues midway, many could argue that Nero (the main Romulan nemesis of the film as portrayed by Eric Bana) is underdeveloped and a bit one-note, and that the plot only serves as a starting point for the next in the series. However, this reboot of the classic franchise gets little wrong the first go around and promises a bright future for Trek fans with a sharp and spunky new cast, a visionary director at its helm, and stellar production values.

I would insert a cheesy line from the classic series like, “Live Long and Prosper”. Instead I will quote one of the funniest moments from Scotty in this new Star Trek that can accurately convey what I think about this rebirth of a franchise:
I like this ship! It's exciting!


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