Monday, 13 May 2013

Star Trek (2009) Review

I've been a Star Trek fan for many years, and although I grew up watching Star Wars (still preferring it), I have since became a Trekkie, loving most of the TV series (Next Generation, and Original series mainly), and films. I'm excited over the upcoming Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness, and felt that it's only fitting that I re-watched, and reviewed this masterpiece.



James T. Kirk, and Spock don't get along, but when the time travelling Romulan, Nero, who killed Kirk's father returns, attacking Vulcan, and kidnapping Captain Christopher Pike, they must work together to take down this threat.


I have to admit, prior to seeing this film for the first time I was sceptical, as the previous Star Trek film, Star Trek: Nemesis wasn't great, and re-boots themselves are dodgy, as you get the odd good one, with ton's of bad ones. This one however was amazing, and probably one of the best Star Trek films ever, and although some of the classics like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan are still among my favourites, this may actually be better than that. What I like most about this film, and the thing I keep telling my friend who hates this film, is that it's a parallel universe, which easily allows the story to go right back to the start, whilst also having freedom, and freshness. The other big thing that made this film so good was J.J. Abrams, who directed this fabulous film. To be honest Abrams' involvement to start with made me more sceptical, as although I loved some of his TV series like Alias, and Fringe, others like Lost I found unappealing (though I have since given Lost another chance and liked it... but not the ending). I did however have to eat my words as he made this film awesome, and I'm glad that he's directing the sequel, and hope that he can bring this magic to the Star Wars franchise.

Abrams and Crew of the USS Enterprise
The other thing that made this film so good was the cast, which was perfectly chosen. Again prior to seeing this film I was sceptical on some of the choices, either having not seen much of their work, or not seeing them fit into their respective roles, but after seeing the film I was blown away, and felt that some of these actors may have done a better job than the original actors. Chris Pine was just perfect as James T. Kirk, and though this was one of the actors that I hadn't seen much of their work prior, I felt he did a fabulous job. Spock was also in good hands, as Hero's star, Zachary Quinto did an fantastic job of the logical Vulcan, and although he wasn't as good as Leonard Nemoy was in the originals, he was still amazing in the role. To be honest the whole cast was perfect, as Karl Urban did a brilliant job of Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, as did Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura, John Cho as Hikaru Sulu, and Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov. There was however one actor that stood out, and was only rivalled by Pine, and Quinto, and that was Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. Pegg just owned this role, and although I've loved him in such things as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, this had to be one of his best roles, as he really gave the perfect comic relief.

Before this film got right into the main part of the story it would show the origins of Kirk, and Spock. I found this brilliant, and although some could say that this may have slowed the story down a little, I personally felt that it gave the prefect perspective on these two character's, and what better time to go into their early life than a re-boot. Now although the younger Spock scenes were probably the more emotional, also showing his characteristics, as half human, and half Vulcan, I still found the younger Kirk scenes much more entertaining, especially just before he joined the Federation, as it had humour, as well as action, making something that was truly entertaining.

This Never Happened to Shatner
Although they disagreed at times, Kirk, and Spock were always friends in the original series, but that wasn't the case in this film. For most of the film the two character's have a strong disliking for one another, which started when Spock felt Kirk cheated at his Kobayashi Maru test (which he kind of did). Both character's have very different characteristics, so it's natural that they'd not get along, and I loved that, as it added animosity to the film, giving for drama, and entertainment whilst outside action, whilst also adding much more depth to the film, and it's story. I also found some of these scenes humours, and others genius, as it was the perfect thing to add in the re-boot, making for entertaining viewing.

The CGI, and special effects in this film was amazing, and truly epic, as all the digital editing looked amazing. Although sometimes I look into films to find out how much of it's actually CGI, and what's not, I haven't done so for this, but having seen many CGI films over the years I'd like to think that I had a good idea of what's CGI, and what's not (although I am caught out from time to time). Anyway most of this film seemed more like the classic special effects methods than CGI, as a lot of it appeared to be studio, or model work, and the only real obvious bits of CGI were the scenes in space, planets, and maybe even the space ships. Besides this the special effects were amazing, and I really loved seeing the USS Enterprise again, and was happy that there were no changes to it. I also really loved the bike that Kirk had with no spoke's, which really looked cool, and the Romulan ship, which looked nothing short of epic.

Live Long and Prosper
This film didn't feature one Spock, but two, as Leonard Nemoy would make an appearance as an older Spock from the future, credited as Spock Prime. The appearance of Nemoy was amazing, and having him in this film alone is a brilliant thing, but the way he was used him was just perfect. It also really helped with the story, as well as setting in the fact that this is a parallel universe, which was nice. The interaction between the Nemoy Spock, and the few character's he interacted with including, Kirk, and Scotty was also brilliant, and really made his appearance more interesting, and entertaining. Overall although there were many fans that were upset that William Shatner didn't appear in this film, I personally think that Leonard Nemoy was the better choice, especially given the way he was put into the story.

I Thought I Taw a Romulan
This film also had a brilliant villain in the form of upset time travelling Romulan, Nero. Now when I first watched this film it took me a while to recognise that Nero was played by Eric Bana, who played Hulk in the terrible Hulk film, and Hector in the phenomenal Troy film. Even the way he spoke threw me off, as he spoke very differently as to how he usual speaks, whether in or out of films. Anyway Bana did an amazing job, and he was a perfect villain, something that I wouldn't think of after seeing his performance in Hulk, and Troy (as well as other things , but he really pulled it off, and was really sinister. I also loved that like all great villains Nero had a motive, and that this drover him into doing what he's doing, as I always love it when the villain believes he's in the right.

The action in this film was amazing, and really dynamic, and entertaining. What I liked most about the action was that although this film didn't add action for the sake of action (although there was always going to be some), when there was action it was great, as the action scene where Kirk, and Sulu fight a couple of Romulans on a drilling platform near Vulcan was great, and really entertaining, whilst the fight near the end of the film, as well as the small fight between Kirk, and Spock was also brilliant. What probably made all these fights so good was that they were all very different, and unique, feeling very spontaneous, and fresh, whereas you get some films were the action scenes are very similar.

Just before I finish I though I'd add that the fact the end credits had the music from the original series, as well as the Spock played by Nemoy doing the, "Space, the Final Frontier," line was also a nice touch for fans.

Final Verdict

This was a truly epic film, and a great way for people who've never seen Star Trek before to become fans, as it's exciting, and entertaining, and although it's fairly different to the original series, that's a good thing, and it still feels like a Star Trek film, but in a more modern context. I'd highly recommend this film, as now's the perfect time to either watch this film for the first time, or re-watch it, as with the release of Into Darkness being not to far away it should lead you nicely into that film (although I'm sure you'll be able to watch that film without seeing this).

Rating: 5/5