Mosaic / Reviews / May 13, 2009

Star Trek for the next generation

For the first time in quite a while I have seen a movie that actually caused me to say “whoa” repeatedly during its duration. For the first time in a while, I have seen a movie where I didn’t get bored during the middle of it.

The new Star Trek movie, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lost), did both of these things, and much more. This newest movie in the Star Trek franchise resets the Star Trek universe in a parallel timeline featuring the crew of the original series, played by a much younger cast.

The movie explores the crew’s first mission on the Enterprise, delving deeply into the tried and true material provided by Kirk and Spock’s relationship, following each character from childhood until their ascendancies to their positions on the Enterprise.

The plot, like many of the best Star Trek movies and episodes preceding this one hinges on time travel. A truly diabolic Romulan, Nero (played by Eric Bana), has come from the future and is out for all manner of diabolical, world destroying vengeance in his ship the Narada, which, as it cruises around the screen in a space lightening storm, seems to have been built from pure evil.

Of course, this new threat is met by the newly constructed Enterprise, updated in this movie to be sleek and shiny, while still retaining the basic form factor that is to be expected from the Enterprise A. Through a series of complications Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban), Mr. Sulu (John Cho), and Mr. Chekhov (Anton Yelchin) all wind up on the Enterprise and quickly warp to Vulcan where things are heating up with Nero. The battle that ensues involves spectacular ship-to-ship combat and a hair raising orbital parachute jump onto a platform miles above Vulcan’s surface.

Without giving any more away, the movie continues at a whirlwind pace as the crew of the Enterprise is finally completed by Scotty, played by Simon Pegg (“Sean of the Dead”), and Kirk has a chance encounter with Spock, played by none other than Leonard Nimoy himself (who narrates, the closing of the film “to boldly go” to great effect).

To the credit of the screenwriters, even with all of the complications that stem from an alternate timeline, there are few if any continuity errors between this film and the original series or earlier movies. The only real blemish in the film is a rather strange relationship that is presented between Spock and Uhura (though it seems much more like Spock is Uhura’s type rather than the other way around).

This is in many ways is the perfect Star Trek movie. J.J. Abrams did an excellent job in approaching the movie as something new, a departure from previous Star Treks, updating it, while retaining the fundamental aspects of Star Trek. All of the phrases that are to be expected from the characters are there, as well as many subtle jokes that fans will find amusing.

The visuals of the movie are truly spectacular, eliciting a constant stream of gasps from the audience and even the prop work was new and engaging (the phasers, for instance, are super cool). This, coupled with spot-on acting from a cast that has truly taken ownership of the rolls, has helped to create a truly spectacular movie. When the film ended, it actually received applause from the audience.

Our final evaluation of the movie is that it is awesome and badass. It is well worth the $6 for a ticket, and if you go on Tuesdays, you can even get free popcorn.

Ben Reeves

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