Star Trek Review

Posted: May 16, 2009 in Review
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Star Trek Review

After forty long years of duff (and occasionally great) Trek movies that failed to excite audiences outside the core Trekkie fanbase, can JJ Abrams manage to deliver a new beginning for the Starship Enterprise?

In many ways, he can. What’s most bizarre is that not only is this the first Trek movie that doesn’t feel at all like an extended episode, this also manages to straddle the bridge of being both a retro crowd-pleaser and an exciting action sci-fi.

The film begins a hugely exhilarating opening battle, seeing the Federation’s USS Kelvin is destroyed by a rogue Romulan vessel while a certain James T Kirk is born in one of the escape pods. From here, the film races along from one heart-stopping set-piece to another, pausing only to convey more character than any of the ten previous Trek films managed.

Chris Pine’s excellent Kirk is one of the highlights of the piece. Managing to convey Kirk’s rebellious nature, whilst simultaneously becoming a respected and trustworthy leader in his own right, the performance is downright, well, human. Likewise, Zachary Quinto makes the leap from TV’s Heroes with class and style, giving a delicious coldness to Spock’s Vulcan roots and bringing out occasional flashes of comedy gold for the more human parts.

There are some weaknesses here, though. Simon Pegg’s Scotty – noticeably absent for most of the film – is basically Pegg’s routine from M:I 3 just with a Scottish accent. Also, some action sequences feel crowbarred in for the sake of it – like Kirk’s chase by a monster and Scotty’s trip through the water pipes.

On the whole though, this is the best possible way to reboot a long-dead franchise – by bringing it right back to the start and reminding us all why we bothered watching Star Trek in the first place.


  1. This AWESOME film had more of a vibe from the original TV show than any of the films before it. A refreshing surprise !

  2. Alex says:

    For me the original Kirk was an interesting insight into the character of a man whose nature was passionate and indeed rebellious to an extent but one who had suborned his impulsive desires to get to the one place which he wanted to be more than anywhere else – the command chair.

    He was a man who had worked very hard indeed to become an officer and advance to the rank of captain. His two halves – intense, in fact ruthlessly, disciplined half and his passionate humanity constantly checking each other until one was the more called for. I think that is why many people imagine spock and mccoy to be two halves of his own personality. And there is some accuracy there.

    The Chris Pine Kirk – whilst still Kirk like – is convincing as the product of a broken home his casual flippancy is…. not as believable as the original background of kirk being – a walking pile of books at the academy. Such a background led to a more believable character as his womanizing could be viewed as snatching moments of pleasure from his intensely focussed life. His obsession with commanding a starship.

    The “Whatever” Kirk is acceptable in the parameters of this newly defined, or rather redefined Trekverse and due to his youth. Let us see where his character progresses in future sequals.

  3. Alex says:

    For me Karl Urban was the best performance. Bones was perfect. The spirit of Leonard H McCoy distilled into a wonderful performance.

    I thought his was the closest to the original character as well, this seemed appropriate as he was older than the others and had a more set character. Again showing the intelligence of the casting.

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