Movie Review: Star Trek opening on 5.8.09

star-trekFirst off, I would Like to say I am not a Trekkie, in fact I have never seen a Star Trek movie, though I have seen some of the show. My interest was first peaked when I found out that J.J. Abrams (Lost, Cloverfield) was directing the movie, being that I’m huge Lost fan. As the trailers started to surface and the announcement that Zachary Quinto (Heroes) was to play Spock my interest quickly turned to excitement.  When I sat down in the theater and was talking to people before the movie started, I found that most were the opposite of me, they didn’t know who Zach was or had even seen Lost, and if they had, didn’t keep up with it any more. I wanted to cover this ahead of time because things that excited me, in that nerdy way, might be lost on Trek fans.

Abrams starts the movie off with a bang. The hull of the USS Kelvin being ripped from the ship and sucked into the “silence of space,”  my excitement peaks and thoughts of a little TV show called “Fire Fly” seep into my head. This day turns out to be very important in the film as it is the day Kirk (Chris Pine) is born. The battle is not without it’s excitement and emotional moments, and really does a good job of setting up the movie.

After the appearance of the Star Trek logo, we follow the lives of Kirk and Spock and start to see similarities as they grow up. Kirk is running cars off of cliffs and Spock is fighting for for the honor of his human mother. The other Vulcans seem to think this is a weakness in Spock as Vulcans should be devoid of emotion and they take any chance to prove that he is not. Though they are light years away from each other, they find their rebellious ways are what lead them to joining Star Fleet. Though Kirk does this with a bar fight and Spock an argument in defense of this mother, they both end up in the same place, Star Fleet.star_trek_2009-spock_and_kirk1In Star Fleet, they have their first run in as Kirk cheats and defeats an impossible simulation designed by Spock. Needless to say, this puts a damper on their “buddy movie,” and places Kirk on academic suspension. This suspension becomes a hurdle for Kirk to conquer as the whole fleet is off to assist in taking down a Romulan ship. Bones (Karl Urban) comes up with an ingenious way of getting Kirk on The Enterprise along with a little comic relief.

For me, Star Trek shines in the fact that it brilliantly walks the line of deep emotion and not taking itself too seriously. With the comedystar-trek-pegg of Simon Pegg (Hot fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), who plays Scotty, and the accent that Anton Yelchin delivers(Charlie Bartlett), who plays Chekov, this movie is not bare of it’s comic genius.  A scene that still sticks with me is when Chekov is trying to give a command to the computer and is frustrated with it’s inability to understand his pronunciation of the number five.

Though it knows how to make you laugh, Trek also has to be the best looking movie I’ve seen in a long time. This thing is polished, the colors are bright and the CGI is clean. Abrams really brought The Enterprise to life and still gave the sense of a directorial style. I really can’t talk enough about how good this movie looks, even from simple dialog in The Bridge to the large advances of space, your mouth will be open with what Abrams has pulled off here. I may be drinking the Abrams’ Kool-Aid, or in this case, the perverbial Slush-O, but I feel Star Trek puts Abrams in a short list of great directors. He also give Trek fans a one-up in the battle of Star Trek vs. Star Wars, Abrams had the ability to make a good prequel.

Abrams isn’t without help though, the two actors in the leading roles really make the film. Chris Pine gives a brilliant performance as his interpretation of Kirk, he zachary_quinto_spockgives a fun-loving cockiness to the role that I loved. He made me laugh as well as have since of attachment with his character. In a moment of comic relief he even throws in, what seemed to me, a nice little Shatner impression towards the end. Though Chris was good in the movie, Zach really out shined him, giving a sense of emotion to the emotionless Spock. He took Spock and not only did the character justice but made Spock his own. Zach seems to be at the start of a career that will most likely leave his “Heroes” days behind him. In my eyes this TV stand out is just too good not to have a fast jump and even a leap right on to the big screen. Star Trek starts what looks to be an amazing career for both actors and I cant wait to see them reprise their roles.

As I said before going into this film I was not a Trek fan but by the end credits, I was. This movie has it all: action, comedy and even a little unexpected romance. Even though it is the start of the summer blockbuster season, Star Trek is going to be hard to dethrown in the ‘best movie of the summer’ position. So, on May 8th everyone grab a big cup of “Slush-O” and go see Abrams’ Star Trek, you won’t be disappointed.

I give Star Trek 5 big old cups of Slush-O out of 5.

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by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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