Star Trek, the name rings bells but you’re sure you’re not interested. 2009 marks the 43rd year of our relationship with the franchise, grown so familiar that we just shrug it aside. Nonetheless, every few years, it puts on a new outfit and twirls around with a hopeful bid. We wished the Franchise no ill will, but at the same time we think: Give it a rest, honey, you're showing your age.
Not any more. Director J.J. Abrams' version of Star Trek, 4the 11th movie to spin off from the original 1966 television series, catapults us into the Land Before Star Trek, a innovative and inventively entertaining prequel, with a light spell that makes us consider renewing those vows. It's relatively light on the violence and funny without going over the top; even with some touching moments. The movie is targeted enough toward the mainstream that someone with zero Trek experience and Trekkies alike would enjoy it, turning what was once strictly nerd fodder into a wild action movie, establishing the film as ‘what a reboot should be’.
So how exactly is this Star Trek movie different? Or rather, how does a prequel that establishes the origins of characters hope to surprise us in any way? We know that Captain Kirk will end up to be a venerable paradigm of military prowess. We know that the planet Vulcan will remain protected from harm by the power of plot necessity. So how can JJ Abrams pull any punches without altering the fabric of space and time itself? Simple: cheat.
You know one of the best narrative advantages of creating a science-fiction universe? You can get away with anything, especially alternate universe theories that give us a justifiable reason to deconstruct the universe as we know it (or known), sending Kirk's past/future trajectory into an entirely different space quadrant.
Much of the cheesy charm and spineless jokes of the past films have been sacrificed in this more action-oriented entry. But hey, there’s still lots of precious gems to discover. After viewing the film, fans are likely to be left feeling an ultimate sense of nostalgia for a future that will now never happen.
With impeccable timing, Abrams welcomes the rest of the old crew of the Enterprise, young and fresh again, one by one to his dance floor. We see the rain of insults Spock (Zachary Quinto) must endure on his home planet, Vulcan for having a human mother ( Winona Ryder ), and come to understand why he should feel more at home as a hot-shot commander in Starfleet Academy. The storylines of Spock and Chris provide the film with its spine, — one driven by emotion, the other ruled by logic.
By the time Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban) introduces himself to Kirk on a transporter full of new recruits, my grin had settled in for good. The...