Star Trek

Movies, Science fiction
5 out of 5 stars
Star Trek

Geeks will rev their engines, but the unexpected elegance of director Abrams’s reboot of the franchise comes in its large-scale disavowal of easy nostalgia. Working with screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Abrams has done more than roll back the clock on the original crew of the Enterprise, dewy cadets of Starfleet Academy. The director has also stripped his brisk proceedings of the earlier movies’ glacial pomp. Of course, we recognize these kids: Brash, horndoggish Kirk (Pine, no worse than Shatner), quiet Spock (Quinto, beautifully concentrated), a surly rejecter of patronizing Vulcan schoolmasters; cool-as-ice Sulu (Cho); the 17-year-old whiz kid Chekhov (Yelchin).

Abrams milks Gene Roddenberry’s egalitarianism for all its timeliness; today’s optimistic postracial crew is inconceivable in an alternate political moment. (Yes, they so can.) A galloping, occasionally vertiginous story—involving a black-hole time warp and something do to with planet-consuming “red matter”—has been devised to propel Kirk, a cheater on his exams, into the captain’s chair, as well as keep our minds off the inevitable survival of all involved. Eric Bana, capable of delicious menace in Chopper, has less to work with as an underwritten Romulan warlord in a dark cape; you wish the script found a way to refresh its antagonists. But certain plot developments produce a real jolt, like an Uhura kiss too good to spoil and a hurled insult from Bones that pushes fidelity perversely close to profanity: “Are you out of your Vulcan mind?” Directorially speaking, Abrams has, without doubt, boldly gone where no one has gone before—you should, too.

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Thursday May 7 2009
Duration: 126 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
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