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STAR TREK (PG-13) (2009)


Official Site

Director: J.J. Abrams

Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof

Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman

Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Ben Cross


2009 promises to be a year chock full of movies where your favorite book, video game, or famous 1980s cartoon is modified in some way or another on the big screen. It’s happened in the past, but it feels like it’s being shoved in our faces more this year. When I first heard about J.J. Abrams’ revision of Star Trek, I was skeptical. I may be a "Lost" fan, but it doesn’t mean that mysterious-polar-bear-guy can rethink one of the best-loved (code for “most diehard fans”) science fiction series of all time.

An important note for this review is that I’m not a Trekkie. I didn’t grow up with the show, so it didn’t cement itself in my life like it did for other people, and the episodes I did watch were almost always from “The Next Generation.” Oops. Still, I’ve entrenched myself with enough nerds that I feel confident that I actually know enough about the show to get the references.

So, from a non-fan’s prospective, I’ll go ahead and make the bold statement—in May—that this is the best franchise-based film you’ll see all year. This movie is fun! It is an action movie to its very core, and it doesn’t lag through any of the space battles or corny in-jokes.

The acting in this movie is great. I was worried that a lot of the star power being brought in was just to generate cult hype, but when I saw Sylar (Quinto) pull off a creepy, emotionless Spock, I knew the casting choices were actually thought out, at least for the most part. I thought relatively unknown Chris Pine could have brought more to the legendary James Tiberius Kirk than just a cocky attitude and frosted hair, but it was forgivable because he seemed to perform well in action sequences.

The movie started off with a lot of action in a convincing and emotional opening sequence, and was relentless. Some could argue that a lot of action made this movie more vapid than other parts of the show, but I feel there was enough plot to eke by while dealing with the difficult task of jumpstarting the series from the beginning without raising too many questions.

Some of the fan-pleasing lines that came out of the supporting characters’ mouths were too goofy, especially since you've heard these lines uttered in pop culture for the last two decades. It felt like a group of kids playing Star Trek, and while it was important to keep some of their old mannerisms, if this is a new beginning, maybe give them new things to work with. Still, some of the insider moments were purely brilliant. Without spoiling too much, just know it involves a red shirt. (I may not be a fan, but how do you not know that stuff?)

The movie’s plot delved a little close to the treacherous use of time travel as a device, a personal pet peeve, but I’ve been told that isn’t out of the realm of the series. I’ll just have to believe that one, I suppose, and say that it never got serious. For this movie, that was perfect.

I came out of the movie theater refreshed, and I have to say that I am actually looking forward to the next installment in this new series. I think this movie has enough in it to convert new, younger fans to the series, which may bring new life to it in the coming decade.

—Chelsea Stark

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

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