This high-energy, fast-paced thrill ride immediately opens with an action packed scene setting up Kirk’s parents and how he came to be. We see Kirk as a reckless thrill seeking boy and Spock as the poor kid that bullies pick on to get a human emotion rise out of. It’s so great because we actually get to see it! Fast forward, we piece by piece get the crew together as they are getting trained and going into battle. They come across an angry Romulan from the future who is turning the planet Vulcan into a black hole to get even with Spock from the Leonard Nimoy days. The crew on the Enterprise have to come up with a way to stop him.
The revamped Star Trek is one of the most perfectly cast films I’ve seen in a very long time! John Cho as Sulu was inexperienced but strong. Anton Yelchin as Chekov was nervous and brilliant. Zoe Saldana as Uhura was smart and sexy. Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott was hilarious and a joy to watch. Karl Urban as Dr. “Bones” McCoy, stood out as level headed with a smart-aleck knowledge. In fact, I may have liked him more than the original character, whom may have been my favorite. It was great seeing how the crew all came to be on the Enterprise. Eric Bana was very strong as the villain, Nero, but underutilized. The only one who seemed a little out of place was Winona Ryder as Spock’s mother. She did fine, but her familiar face brought me out of the film. “Where has she been?” “What has she been doing?” I couldn’t get these questions out of my head. I think a no name would have served the film better.
The true stars were Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Their dynamic relationship is what really pulled the film together. Seeing these two as enemies jockeying for captain position, but logically needing to work together is what really carried the film. Pine is very charismatic and gave Kirk a care free confidence while being commanding. Quinto gave Spock a very direct strength and I enjoyed seeing the human emotions bubble out behind his hard logical exterior. Both of these actors treaded on dangerous ground stepping into roles of such beloved characters that have already been performed masterfully. They did it with ease and brought just enough of their own twist without losing the essence.
Director J.J. Abrams tells an interesting story without ever losing sight of the characters and the driving action. The tone hit all the right notes keeping strong tension while lightening the mood with humor at just the right moments. This was the fastest 2 hours I’ve spent in a theater in very long time. There is plenty of call backs to the original series that long time fans will recognize and have fun with. Even the music was a hipper altercation of what I remember from the original series. Sometimes those gimmicks of characters using the lines that made the original character famous can be cheesy or hokey, but here I laughed and cheered. Everything had just the right balance and touch of humor, story and character development. I believe for those purists or Trekkies/Treckers (I think one name is insulting to the other) the story lends itself well enough for understanding the plausibility of different character developments, which are somewhat surprising. I am excited to see where this new generation in their alternate universe boldly goes.