Star Trek (2009).

D: J.J. Abrams. DP: Daniel Mindel. W: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman. Starring: Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto/Leonard Nimoy/Eric Bana/Bruce Greenwood/Karl Urban/Zoe Saldana/Simon Pegg/John Cho/Anton Yelchin/Ben Cross/Winona Ryder.

Never fear, never fear. When one week disappoints another week impresses. And thankfully it is the one closer to many people’s hearts. And so the future begins…

Immediately we are introduced to our new James T. Kirk (Pine), this time fatherless, who runs amok as the resident townie with the potential for greatness. Pine never loses his stride and gives his pompous attitude and smarmy cleverness great bravado, such that we never forget the Shatner he is to become. Pine’s Kirk easily jumps at the change of finally joining Starfleet, at our journey has just begun. He finds quick kinship with Dr. McCoy (Urban), an actor finally shining in a decent role since his Lord of the Rings days as Eomer. Their friendship eventually leads Pine unofficially aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise who, along with the rest of the fleet, is responding to a distress call from the Vulcan planet.

The only Vulcan on board is our own beloved young Spock (Quinto) who adds a new dimension to the often wooden former Spock, Nimoy. However, Quinto’s young Spock lacks the gravitas he is to develop giving him at times an almost robotic quality. The other actors fill out the historic cast nicely, all of them falling into their respective roles aboard the Enterprise. Even Bana, in an easy role for him, is impressive as the back from the future Romulan with a vengeance. And a couple of rounds of mutiny, random cameos, near death experiences and Romulan rages and you’ve got the rest of a pretty fantastic film.

The film not only boasts action, excellent visual effects, but also, thankfully, a decent script. Quick paced and witty, the script reminds us that even those ‘popcorn flicks’ can be clever, especially in evoking already established characters and making them fresh. And who better to helm this film than J.J. Abrams whose creativity is behind things like the new show Fringe, Lost and Alias. Star Trek marks Abram’s second feature directing created (his first being Mission Impossible III). But we can all have plenty of hope that he understand source material and has enough of his own creativity to lead a franchise like this one correctly.

What Star Trek doesn’t offer is explanations. What is Starfleet? What encompasses the Federation? Why are the only Romulans in the film angry? And angry at the Federation for that matter? But then again, does it matter? The trek universe is so embedded in popular culture now that without seeing the original films or television series, the average person has the basics down from mere conversations and of course, the internet.

That being said, go forth and have your own adventure. We may not be technologically ready for Starfleet, but we can certainly live life fearlessly. So expect more, do more and we may just get more films like this one, one that clearly understands that the ‘masses’ are not stupid.

2 thoughts on “Live Long & Profit: How The Star Trek World Became New Again”

  1. You can’t be serious. This film is not Star Trek. I have seen it twice and i am still devasted by it.
    Firstly, anyone who loves the series would know that Gene Roddenberry would not have approved of Vulcan being destroyed. Vulcan is the soul of the Star Trek universe. This new timeline (if it is accepted) negates 40 years of continuity.
    The attacks on Rick Berman are a joke. He worked with Gene on the development of the TGN and Gene knew of the plans for Deep Space 9.
    He led a team that gave us hours of the best Trek. If in doubt watch again Generations and First Contact.
    Secondly, this new film has so many links to Star Wars i am surprised that George Lucas hasn’t sued:
    Young Kirk / Anakin in car / podracer.
    Bar scenes – New Hope
    Snow attacks – Hoth monster / kirk monster.
    Spock / Yoda links
    Battle scenes – Return Jedi. etc

    I just hope that people who love Star Trek can retake the franchise and bring it back to watch Gene imagined. Not just a film that rips of star wars.

    Live Long and Prosper

  2. Anthony,

    Although I appreciate your fervor regarding Gene’s Star Trek universe, what you are really hinting at is the ever complex realm of screen adaptations. Adaptations struggle with not only the translation from one medium into another (mostly from page to screen), but also a struggle within vision. What is read into someone else’s vision from paper, is different for each reader as the glory in reading is that the work is put within the context of the reader’s life and his/her experiences. Therefore, what may have seemed central to the Star Trek novels for you, might not be the same for me or even Gene himself. And now, after so much Star Trek products and productions are within popular culture, we must beg the question if a true, stript adaptation is what is needed and/or called for? Even if, as a fan, you believe this film to not be up to snuff, you already have Generations and First Contact, maybe we need a new perspective? Maybe Gene’s world needs to be turned askew? Things to think about.

    As for your references to Star Wars, we all have witnessed George Lucas’ trilogy vastly usurp its way into many a narrative. Don’t be so forlorn as Star Wars did indeed steal many a character, narrative, and theme from classical literature. And frankly, let’s hope Mr. Lucas has better things on his mind than attorney action musings. Maybe a decent project?

    -Keep pondering and responding.

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