Star Trek

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Star Trek

Cheerfully bucking the trend for dark, miserablist blockbusters, ‘Lost’ creator JJ Abrams has updated the ‘Star Trek’ franchise for the twenty-first century without resorting to political allegory, moral wrangling or the sadistic violence that characterised similar reinventions like ‘The Dark Knight’. It’s true that an entire planet gets blown up, but the characters swiftly recover on their way to another round of phaser-firing, evasive-manouevring, quip-trading action.

The script details the early years of captain-to-be James T Kirk (Chris Pine) and his taciturn Vulcan sidekick Spock (Zachary Quinto) and is deceptively clever: it works both as affectionate fanboy nostalgia and as a neophyte’s introduction to the ‘Trek’-verse. By employing a time-distorting narrative, complete with mind-mangling multi-dimensional techspeak, Abrams and his writers allow themselves to refit this fictional future completely, keeping the good stuff (beaming up, warp drives, that inimitable ship design) while jettisoning most of the increasingly convoluted mythology.

It doesn’t all work: Eric Bana’s Romulan villain feels too familiar, just another plasticine-headed psychopath with a grudge against the universe. The climax, too, is undercooked: ten minutes of noisy ship-to-ship combat with very little emotional investment.

But these are minor complaints when stacked against Abrams’s many successes. The flawless design wittily updates the ’60s series’ sleek art deco interiors and throws in a few Lycra miniskirts for good measure. The cast are equally strong: Quinto brings wry charm to an otherwise calculating character, while Pine powers through his performance in bullish, if not quite Shatner-esque fashion. The only sore thumb is Karl Urban’s McCoy, whose ‘Damn it, Jim!’ impersonation feels a little too close to pastiche.

The overall impression is one of unbridled enthusiasm on the part of the film’s makers, both for its predecessors and for the brave new universe Abrams and his crew are exploring. Perhaps the best summary of the film comes from Captain Kirk himself, dying on the side of a distant interstellar rock many decades later: ‘It was… fun.’

By: Tom Huddleston

Posted:

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday May 8 2009
Duration: 127 mins

Cast and crew

Director: JJ Abrams
Screenwriter: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Eric Bana
Winona Ryder
Zoë Saldana
Karl Urban
Bruce Greenwood
John Cho
Leonard Nimoy
Simon Pegg
Anton Yelchin
Ben Cross

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:106
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|122
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Tastemaker

As a Star Trek virgin I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this first chapter in the rebooted franchise. The storyline is accessible for those of us who aren't longtime Trekkies, offers plenty of action and even made me shed a tear on first viewing (I think I may have had one or two beers!) There are some excellent good vs evil battles, and on the whole it's a great example of good (relatively) clean fun. My one disappointment? That Winona Ryder has got to the age where she's playing the mother, and that her cameo only lasts about a minute. Let us all mourn the death of Winona Ryder's career.


Oh that's to bad for you "Kazuma" because JJ Abrams is planning shoot the next Star Trek sequel in the August and to be release sometime in summer 2012... checkout the latest news at "trekmovie.com". Awesome!


Sensational a worthy addition to the series of films. If you consider the rubbish that was Star Trek 4 & 5 this is leaps and bounds above them. Great casting in the roles though Checkov is a bit OTT with his accent


There are hundreds of ways Abrams could have gotten it wrong, ruining (for the devoted fans) rather than reviving the fading franchise. Give him credit: he got almost everything right! Hard to follow action scenes with too many jump cuts; a disconcerting fondness for faux lens flares and (just before a smash cut) fading to white. But after the invigorating experience of viewing this film, I feel reluctant to mention what seem like trifling complaints.


This was the best movie I've ever seen. I believed the sincereity and motivation of the characters. I cared about them within the first 2 minutes of the movie. I was truley entertained and thought it was well worth the money.


Excellent film, it was worth watching hope to see more in the future and BTW well said steven matthews about matty uk boring message lol...


clever, funny & down right brilliant. All the old favourites with a twist. The story is so clever that they can now start the the old Kirk, Spock & Bones startrek from scratch. It will keep us original Startrek fans & new fans coming back time & time again. I loved it.


Wow!!!!! The special effects are brilliant so is the story line its star trek in a new image got to see best film 10 out of 10


So far, I've seen this film 8 times and plan to see it into the double figures before it finishes (I assume next week). Brillian film, loved it and I am a die hard Trekkie, even though TNG, DS9 and Voyager are my era, I love TOS just as much and this film blew me away!!! (Hence the many times I've watched it. Karl Urban as McCoy was my favourite of the crew, I just loved his "God dammit man, I'm a doctor not a physicist!" bit, wonderful!!! Main character review I disagree with is Nero, I adored Nero (Eric Bana for the win!) not just because he's damn sexy, but because I really sympathised with him. If you want more Nero backstory, read Star Trek Countdown, I'm sure it can almost be classed as canon.... Once again, it is an awesome film. I took my boyfriend to see it and believe me, he really doesn't like Star Trek and he enjoyed it... he still wont watch the series though! It is certainly a film for Trekkies and non-Trekkies everywhere. Only one sad point... Romulus has no future!!! *cries* I just love the Romulans! Live Long and Prosper.


I went to see this film with Trekkies and was a bit worried that I wouldn't understand it or like it much. But I thought the film was so great, I'm now working my way through the Next Generation series! The film stays loyal to the spirit of the characters, and although I'm sure a few references went over my head, I still enjoyed it massively!


Anyone that cannot make the leap required to enjoy this movie has failed to grasp the point. Star Trek was visually mindblowing when it began, and thank god for Eric Abrams as he has invited a whole generation of would be trekkies to come and join the fun and wonder. All you "aficionados" out there should stop trying pigeonhole this film with it's predecessors. This is as bold a move as the franchise needed, it doff's it's cap to it's family and then boldly goes..... Fabulous film, my hot dog was left to go cold, my chocolates were left unopened. Top quality SciFi, daft plot, high spec effects, ham acting (Simon Pegg in particular), and Uhuru is gorgeous. can't wait for the next one.


Its one of the best films ive ever seen! If you are thinking of seeing it and u cant descide just GO!!!!!!!!! It is the best action film ever! i never have watched a star trek episodes before but i thought that was AWESEOME!!!!


This movie gets all my 6 stars since it's most brilliant with blow-up action (What's Red Matter anyway?), very funny (Can I have a towel, please?) and a very careful development of characters (All I have left is my bones.). It’s true that Leonard Nimoy’s dentures are sort of in the way (Good luck!). What I don’t understand is how Spock and Spock meet in the same time frame and simply stay there. The ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy in the 1980’s taught me that this time paradox can be very dangerous though I must admit that they had 3 different Michael J. Foxes in the same time frame at one point - and we’re all still here ... But to change the entire timeline like that is a truly brilliant move (We have to be unpredictable!) and opens the door for a whole new First Series (Scotty, beam me up!), movie-wise at least. Mr Quinto could have copied Mr Nimoy’s wobbling short-paced gait and his impersonation would’ve been perfect (I could say it’s against regulations but you would simply ignore me!). And why shouldn’t Spock fall in love with Uhura (what IS her first name anyway?)? But she would probably ask him: ‘Will you still respect me in the morning in 7 years’ time?’ May I coin the term ‘Trookkie’ for Mr Technoguy on this page? He can’t have been with the Trek world for long, so he’s a rookie as a Trekkie, hence Trookkie. Never mind. The name is Pike not Spike (though Chris Pike could mutate into Chris Spike if you pronounce it fast enough; but he always gets addressed as ‘Christopher’ not as ‘Chris’), and it’s Nimoy not Nimo. About Nimo or Nemo or maybe Nero (what? Romulan! Not Roman ...) as the name for the Romulan captain Eric Bana, I don’t know since I’ve never seen the name written down. But, Technoguy, I’m very glad about your comments and I agree with all of them! So, no hard feelings, ok? The casting was very elaborate. Not only do the young ones very much look and talk like the original ones (Dammit!), they succeed in impersonating the originals very nicely (Fencing!), and where they don’t (Do we, I don’t know, fire back?), the new timeline can be held responsible. The new Chekov’s accent needs some getting used to but he brings a lot of freshness to the set when he has trouble authenticating himself on line to address the crew because he has a hard time differentiating between ‘v’ and ‘w’. It’s funny how almost all characters have a definite American accent (which I love by the way but I might be the only one ...), even Spock and Nimo/Nemo/Nero who come from really alien places. With the notable exception of Simon Pegg of course (Do they still have sandwiches in the future?). Sorry, this got so long but I’ve watched the movie 4 times so far and pick up something new in every session. I hope there’s no editor in this here forum to just cut my comment in half and gets on with life, the universe and everything. But even if, live long and prosper anyway.


The best film I have seen in a long time - brilliant - I cried at the end and wanted to stay and watch it again


OMFGGGG, WHAT A FILM, BLOOODY OUTSTANDING. WE'VE NEVER WATCHED THE EPISODES BECAUSE WE THOUGHT AHHHH THEIR RUBBISH. BUT WE THOUGHT THE FILM WAS INCREDIBLE. X


Ok, I loved it, i'm a fan from way back, too long to mention, we only had 1 TV and i had brothers, anyway.... I just enjoy reliving the origional, I never got into the next generation stuff. just fo rfun I would have liked a camo by William Shatner, grandfather or something? Would have loved to hear some of that over acting re-lived. Gona see it again tonight on Imax


It was brilliant! Zachary Quinto played spock as good as leonard Nimoy did! I say see it, if you have go see it again! I loved it!


Excellent movie, definately buying the DVD when it comes out. Was not a fan of Star Trek before i watched this. Excellent, 6 stars


Even though i am not a trekkie or a star trek fan i was totally impressed with this film it was amazing - the graphics were amazing and i definatly will be buying the dvd


CHECK OUT THIS FILM! It's fun, exciting and has a good story that never gets boring. 'Star Trek' -Whoop! -Whoop!


This is exactly "a parallel universe story after all." Perhaps you missed that part...


"Great Movie", now with a different timeline,Hope to see another Star Trek movie in the works.


Just saw it today and must say that it was a well-made, highly entertaining film. The visual effects were impeccable. The acting, though far from award-winning, was fast paced and always injected with humor. Hardcore Trekkies might cringe, but a host of new generation fans will be delighted... as was I! Here's hoping there will be more like this to follow.


Star Trek the film was preety damn good. The seasoned Trekkies in the audience all applauded at the end. Live long and boldly go!


funny, dramatic, moving, inspired casting, flawless effects...the first bona fide blockbuster of 2009.


WOW this film rocks, i am a trekkie and proud of it, i think nothing could be done to make this better, i thought it was about time we had another star trek film and this was worth the wait, everything was great from the cast to the fx, i cant wait for the next one, bring it on JJ dont keep us in suspense any longer. nice 1


WOW! Die hard fan here and I LOVED IT! This movie is the first to go where no man has gone before in creating the bond between all the characters of Enterprise, and it exceeded my expectations. McCoy and Scotty were the Bomb! "Good God MAN...Have you lost your VULCAN MIND!"...Priceless. Only Negative: Checkov character...bad casting on that one....very bad. This kid is not believable at all, at least find a someone that doesnt sound like a six year old trying to sound like a russian...eww. Spock and Kirk characters were spot on...and I could not be happier with the casting and acting there. Ohura...well, she could have been a little less clingy, but I could see her and Spock in a fling, good one. So....WHEN do we get a sequel!!!! I can see many spawning off this movie! Great JOB JJ> Thank you so much this day has been long overdue for Trek fans. SEE IT! Live it...love it! Best Star Trek Movie of All time in my book! All I can say is ....Live Long and Prosper!


i thought this film was great, plenty of action and bit of humour, to all those moaning trekkies, things move on and a new generation of star trek is here, hopefully this is the first of many


Great film. They've taken a musty stale franchise and breathed new life into it. As Russell T Davies did for Dr Who so JJ does for Star Trek. Its fast and it's fun, go see it.


This film got right what the Star Wars prequels got so very wrong. It wouldn't surprise me if the makers actually used episodes 4,5,6 as a template...no dull politics, just a great buddy-space-movie. Good vs evil. Plus some mini-skirts. (not on captain Kirk - no, On Sulu)


The movie was awesome. It took what we loved about Star Trek and added the pieces that were always missing - the space action. The Enterprise has always been part of the series, and this movie actually brings realism to the space ship itself, as well as the characters. The storyline helps in the transformation by making it clear that Star Trek as we all used to know it has been changed - for the better.


I'm 53, an original Trekker who first got to be cool at school because I could talk about the original series. Expected this to be a disaster, and am giddy from the fact that it's not. There are things I could quibble with in the story, but this was just Act I -- the 'big ideas' are down the road. Actors, effects, characterizations in the script are all top-notch. I get to be cool again! Don't listen to the haters, see it . . . it's as fast and fun as the original Raiders of the Lost Ark.


I think it was great fun. I was prepared to loathe it, loved it instead, want to see it again now! I thought the cast did a great job following in such iconic footsteps as they were and yes i too though Bones was brill. Havent seen such a good action packed movie for ages that also managed to touch emotions and had decent acting too. To hear the closing original score was great.


As an original sixties trekker and in the knowledge that this film idea has been knocking around since the 70's (working title was "Starfleet Academy" I believe) , I have ben excited but realised that no film could live up to my level of expectation. I've seen such rubbish lately (Watchmen, The Day The Earth Stood Still) that I was ready for a let down. No ! It was brilliant ! The old characters were delightful.. played to a tee by a young talented cast. The action was awesome - and little flashes of Spielberg thrown in - but not too much ! The philosophical moments Roddenberry used so well were there again and the humour without wrecking the plot pace or making it childish. My teenage daughter is a bit anti-Trek but came and said "Not Bad" !! wow! what an accolade! Go see it friends.. nothing too gorey and little swearing, no nudity .. so take the family ! Live long and.... T


Absolutely brilliant - great characters, fantastic storyline and great script. Disagree about Carl Urban, who was great as Bones. Will be seeing again at the first opportunity. Loved it!


Absolutely amazing! All the original characters were played to perfection, especially Bones. This film takes the franchise down a more action driven route, but it works and the intricate Star Trek world is not compromised. Being a bit of a geek there are obviously a few things I would change, but I haven't been this happy with a Trek film for a good few years. Can't wait to see it again!


I am an original star Trek fan I started watching star trek when i was in college in the 60's can't wait for the new movie


Love the previews, I look forward to watching it at the cinema. Probably watch it twice on the same day, because you see the scenes you somehow miss the first time!


... I too 'can't wait' - April is ticking by too slowly with this on the horizon. Was good to read an optimistic review.

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