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.