Star Trek (2009)

Born in the heat of battle, when an ambiguous Romulan threat destroys the U.S.S. Kelvin with one acting captain George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) still aboard, James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) is left to pursue a few decades of rebelliousness in his patriarch’s absence. Talked into joining Starfleet by Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Kirk is soon butting horns with the Academy’s resident Vulcan (Zachary Quinto as Spock) over the latter’s “Kobayashi Maru” simulation. When Nero (Eric Bana) rises again, however, the two must join forces if they are to save Earth from annihilation, rescue Pike from his Romulan captors and put into motion a friendship that once upon a time persuaded a group of loyal fans to don prosthetics and teach themselves fluent in Klingon.

If there’s one word I could use to describe J. J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the Star Trek, well, phenomenon, it would be kinetic. From the Federation’s first contact with Eric Bana’s disgrunted Romulan, the film picks up a staggering momentum that doesn’t let up until the film’s massively satisfying finale. Carried by a soundtrack that – parden the pun – hits all the right notes, Star Trek takes a group of well-worn characters and their famous vessel and reconfigures them into something fresh and contemporary while maintaining the same sense of infectious optimism originally envisioned by Gene Roddenberry all those years ago.

If there is another word – or more accurately words – I would use to encapsulate this reimagination, it would have to be Star Warsy. Star Trek has never been particularly high on cool, until now anyway. Taking a leaf tree out of George Lucas’ book, Abrams has peppered his movie with elements of the former’s once great creation without falling into the same pitfalls, such as the over-reliance on greenscreen and a preference for jargon over dialogue. As such, we have blasters rather than the more traditional phasers, rather more exotic aliens, space battles to hail home about and a half-decent “there’s always a bigger fish” moment without Gungan intrusion.  Oh, and the film culminates in a desperate attempt to prevent the destruction of a planet. The Force is strong with this one.

Throw in characterisation that successfully navigates the fine line between interpretation and caricature, enough lens flares to light the final frontier and some truly iconic sound design, and you have a movie which is almost impossible to dislike. Taking the time to honour what came before (there’s a welcome nod to Captain Archer’s beagle) while forging ahead on a new, creatively licensed adventure that is high on jeopardy and thrills, Star Trek is the ultimate remake, the rare reimagining which actually adds to the original. Bana might be wasted and a few plot points may hinge on some pretty convenient contrivances, but when you’re able to traverse 25 years (from Kirk’s birth to his promotion to Captain – never mind the 129 rewritten by Spock senior) of narrative with such expert dynamo and fluidity, such niggles are forced into perspective.

Bright, fun and thoughtfully executed, Star Trek is a massive success for Abrams and his team. It is nothing short of a new hope for a failing franchise, as well as a beacon of light in a blockbuster season otherwise lost in the shadows.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to Star Trek (2009)

  1. Pingback: August 2011 – Smurfity smurf smurf smurf! « popcornaddict

  2. Pingback: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) | popcornaddict

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