It was inevitable I guess. After a long hiatus the Star Trek movies are rebooted, this time in the form of a prequel. But not falling for the trap that Star Wars fell into Star Trek uses a clever plot device to create an alternative reality and so this movie and its inevitable sequels are not bound by the story-lines that have been featured in the TV-series or in the movies. So anybody expecting to see a movie about something they already know, leave your expectations at home and boldly see what no Trekkie has seen before.
The new Star Trek features a young new fresh cast and has no direct ties to any of the many, many series that are or were on TV. That, together with the latest state of the art special effects and the fact that King Midas is directing this movie, that would be J.J. Abrams who seems to have that touch to turn everything in Box Office gold, makes it possible that the so loathed reboot/remake-trend finally results in a critically acclaimed movie that actually is up there with the best of the other Star Trek movies if not even better.
For those familiar with the original characters there are a lot of in-jokes and set-ups for new storylines among the characters. The friendly hostility between Bones and Spock is still intact, but this time Spock and Uhuru have a reltionship together. Those are just small changes, but it doesn’t stop there. Through the aid of time travel nothing is safe in this parallel universe and so it is possible that a certain planet can be destroyed which was heavily featured in the other movies. This is a fresh take on Star Trek which not only can lead to even fresher sequels because the writers don’t have any restraints left but also will probably piss some people off.
Next to the visual style of the movie which of course has been heavily improved since the last installment featuring Kirk and crew, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the casting seems very fresh as every cast-member is new to the Star Trek franchise, all but one that is. It’s not a big secret that future Spock is in the movie and of course he’s played by Leonard Nimoy.
I’ve always found Kirk to be a tad bland and Chris Pine’s Kirk is just the same, he doesn’t make a real impression here and it’s the co-stars that make a real impression. Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes) plays Spock and fits the role although there is only one Leonard Nimoy of course. I found that Karl Urban as Bones resembled much of the DeForest Kelley’s Bones. John Cho is a suitable replacement for George Takei and they’ve sexed up Uhura very much. Zoe Saldana portrays her as a sexy young woman constantly bickering with Kirk and who has an affair with someone we never see coming. Chekov resembles the least of his earlier incarnation as he now has blond curly hair. Scotty is being played by Simon Pegg, who brings a lot of humor to the story.
Eric Bana plays Nero, the nemesis of the film and he’s a fairly average one. He does his duty and gets to be mean a lot but he didn’t leave much of an impression.
Star Trek, despite being over 40 years old, feels fresher than ever. Action scenes are way better choreographed than in earlier movies and the movie looks great. The makers deserve credit for really creating an alternative time-line which gives us an unknown future. However this remains a Star Trek movie so that means lots of scenes of people running through corridors on a ship as well as a lot of scenes on the bridge. I would’ve liked it if they shed some more light on Kirk’s youth instead of simple glimpses. That would also be a good excuse to show us more of daily life on Earth because in the world of Star Trek we all know how life in space is, I would love to see more how future life on Earth is. Maybe in the next movie it could go there: Earth, where no Star Trek movie has boldly gone before.