Star Trek Movie Review

JJ Abrams Injects New Life into Star Trek

Directed by JJ Abrams, Star Trek is a bold attempt to re-energize one of the most popular franchises in film and television history.

The film opens as the Federation starship USS Kelvin investigates what appears to be a mysterious lightening storm in space. Upon closer examination, it is revealed to be a black hole that has drawn a Romulan mining vessel, the Narada, into a parallel universe. The Narada’s captain, Nero, played by Eric Bana, attacks the Kelvin, killing her captain and leaving First Officer George Kirk in command.

Star Trek Plot Synopsis

Kirk orders the crew to abandon ship as the Kelvin takes heavy damage. Kirk is killed when the Kelvin is destroyed, but in those few minutes he saves many lives, including his newborn son.

Twenty-five years later, James Tiberius Kirk, played by Chris Pine, is a rebellious, but intellectually gifted young man. Kirk is uncertain of what to do with his talents, however, and often spends his time trying to pick up attractive women in bars. When he loses a bar fight with several Starfleet Academy cadets, he finds himself face to face with Captain Christopher Pike, played by Bruce Greenwood. Pike was a lieutenant on the Kelvin and has kept abreast of Kirk’s progress over the years and is aware of his above-average IQ, as well as his numerous encounters with the law. As a result, Pike entreats Kirk to enlist in Starfleet. He promises that Kirk will become an officer and may even have his own ship one day. At first Kirk is sceptical, but eventually decides to accept Pike’s offer and three years later, Kirk and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy are senior cadets. Kirk is about to take the Kobiashi Maru test for the third time.

Long-time Star Trek fans will recognize the Kobiashi Maru test, and Kirk’s solution to it from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Kobiashi Maru test is designed to present Starfleet cadets with an unwinnable battle scenario. Kirk, however, does not believe in the no-win scenario and has reprogrammed the simulator so that it is possible to win.

Star Trek Critique

This scene is a gratifying one, as it allows fans to finally see Kirk’s solution to the theoretically unbeatable test and injects some well received humour into the film. Kirk’s totally blasé attitude, coupled with McCoy’s incredulous reaction and the instructor’s utter bewilderment makes this sequence one of the movie’s funniest elements. Indeed, one of the best aspects of the film is its humour. Kirk exhibiting one strange symptom after another following exposure by Dr. McCoy to an alien virus is another amusing moment.

One of the other pluses of the movie was the casting. The characters of the original Star Trek series in general, and Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock in particular are some of the most iconic characters in all of science fiction. The total penetration of Captain Kirk into the collective popular consciousness is only rivalled by that of Luke Skywalker. Therefore, given the almost sacred nature in which these characters are regarded by Star Trek fans, it was imperative to get the casting right the first time, as they battle with Nero to save the Federation from extinction.

It is this film critic’s opinion that JJ Abrams deserves a large pat on the back for successfully recasting some of the most beloved characters ever created. Credit must go to Zach Quinto, as Spock he bore the heaviest burden. Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and John Cho were equally as well suited to their roles of McCoy, Scotty and Sulu respectively.

Similarly, Abrams successfully made the Starship Enterprise look new and modern, while preserving its sleek ’60s apperence.

Overall, JJ Abrams’ Star Trek is hands-down one of the best Star Trek movies ever made. With GI Joe, the Transformers sequel, and Harry Potter on the horizon , Star Trek a great start to the summer’s slate of blockbusters.

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