This outstanding "reboot" delivers the goods for both Trekkies and general audiences. Director/producer J.J. Abrams helms the engaging story of the young U.S.S. Enterprise crew as the peacekeeping Star Fleet organization seeks to keep the peace in the galaxy. Beginning in the year 2004, this visual voyage takes you through a strong plot full of action, situational comedy, surprises (don’t look at the full cast list), and taut drama.
The plot, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, honors the original characters written by Gene Roddenberry while adding new appeal in an easy-to-follow plot involving some extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Enterprise’s maiden voyage into space. Their collaborative experiences with Abrams really come through because you’re never “lost” throughout the film.
Chris Pine shares the prime role as James T. Kirk with Zachary Quinto who easily owns the memorable character Vulcan character Spock. This pair culminates their famous partnership in a very intriguing and entertaining way, showing how two totally different people can eventually work together with time and effort.
Eric Bana plays the antagonist Nero who helms an enormous mining ship with advanced technology. His vengeful quest bridges the gap between two important figures. Bruce Greenwood is well cast as Captain Christopher Pike while Karl Urban’s performance as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy is very memorable. Besides some forced facial expressions, Urban blends in well in the appealing supporting cast.
Zoe Saldana gets a surprisingly high amount of screen time as Nyota Uhura. This gorgeous actress creates a strong female character who earns her rightful place on the Enterprise along with everyone else… well, almost everyone.
Simon Pegg gets less screen time as Scotty and enhances the enthusiastic crew which also includes John Cho as Hikaru Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov. Ben Cross plays Sarek, Spock’s father, while Winona Ryder co-stars as Amanda Grayson. Kirk’s parents are well played by Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison. Tyler Perry also makes a great impression as Starfleet Academy president Admiral Richard Barnett.
This film has several satisfying references and origin elements like unfortunate circumstances explaining why Kirk withstands punches a little too well, but the main appeal is the plot. Strong ‘friends through trial’ themes come through admirable morals and subtle, yet powerful messages of peace and understanding for all people.
The crew demonstrates amazing talents yielding mutual respect and admiration. The satisfying ending contains peaceful opportunities and how ill will eventually erodes life. The talented filmmakers create considerable tension even when you’re pretty sure certain characters will and must survive. The standard showdown fight contains some unpredictability, but filmmakers could’ve injected more originality in the slightly bland fighting match ups near the end.
The amazing special effects are created by the stalwart Industrial Light & Magic while frequent Abrams composer Michael Giacchino strikes a memorable original music score. Don’t worry, Trekkies, that familiar musical theme plays at the end along with some familiar narration. The foundational film comes highly recommended and is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence and brief sexual content. Look for the planned sequel in 2011… maybe they’ll include a new race besides the Klingons and/or Romulans.