Star Trek Review

Published 5 years ago by , Updated May 10th, 2009 at 9:38 am,

Short version: While hard core Trekkies may have some problems with it, this long time classic Star Trek fan found this reboot fun, fresh & exciting.

 

star trek review Star Trek Review
Screen Rant reviews Star Trek

Where to start? (This is going to be a long one, folks. If you want to skip the preamble and get right to the review itself click here.)

Some people are Star Wars fanatics, others go nuts over Transformers or X-Men. While I’m a huge Iron Man fan, Star Trek is my true love going back well over 30 years. My favorite of all the shows? The Original Series (aka TOS). You may look at it now and think it looks cheesy (however I highly recommend you check out the digitally remastered version with brand new visual effects on DVD or Blu-ray), but remember the original Star Trek is over 40 years old.

At the time the other big Sci-Fi TV show was the cheese-fest called Lost in Space – so keep that in mind as a comparison. icon smile Star Trek Review

I have Star Trek prop replicas on my bookshelves (some pretty damned nice ones) along with a copy of the original Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph and a set of blueprints of the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (which shows the location of a bowling alley on the ship!). I’ve memorized every episode of the original series – I can tell you which one each one is within seconds of any of them starting. And I’ve seen every movie.

Yes, I’m into Trek “canon” – tracking all the little details that tie the whole Star Trek universe together, however I’m also aware (though some fans seem to be in denial about this) that over the course of hundreds of episodes across five different series, Star Trek itself has violated its own canon many times.

Why am I telling you all this? So you have some context for my review of J.J. Abrams’, Roberto Orci’s and Alex Kurtzman’s reboot of the Star Trek universe. However this is not a review just for “Trekkies,” and that’s appropriate because neither is this film just for that group of die hard fans (among which I include myself).

Also, I did read the four part prequel comic that tells the story which leads to the events that take place in the film. If you have a chance I recommend you find it and pick it up at your local comic book store as it really fleshes out the “villain” in the film, Nero.

Some fans may disagree, but this franchise was in desperate need of a reboot, re-imagination, fresh “take” or whatever you’d like to call it. Star Trek, as a brand, was whithering on the vine and was in danger of being put on the shelf for who knows how long – until Paramount might decide enough time had gone by to give it another go. This was due to a number of factors, among which included the subsequent series being taken in directions by Rick Berman (and to some exent, Brannon Braga) that the fans did not agree with. Essentially it was a case of “the fans don’t know what’s good for them – we’ll tell them what they want.”

From this we gained the ignoble death of Captain Kirk in a transition movie with a stupidly weak plot device, Star Trek: Voyager, the Lost in Space of Trek, progressively crappier movies and finally Enterprise: At least an attempt at something fresh in Trek, which unfortunately went off in some half-assed direction – and Manny Coto’s efforts to bring the show back to what it should have been in season 4 were too little, too late.

So… when it was announced that the new film would go back to before the original series crew had met I was both excited at the prospect and terrified of how it might turn out. I mean we’re talking about recasting iconic roles. Bill Shatner? Leonard Nimoy? DeForest Kelly and James Doohan?

Sacrilege!

But I tried to be cautiously optimistic over the course of very early news, pre-production and through the production. I listed this film as my most anticipated of the year…

And I was NOT disappointed.

So finally – the review…

Click here to continue reading our Star Trek review…

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, star trek

2,845 Comments

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  1. TOS is my favorite of all the series, and yes one may look at it and say it is cheesy because of the lighting, costumes, sets, color, etc.
    But what makes TOS really great are the stories! When you really pay attention to the stories, they are amazing with all the meanings, metaphors and truths given. Considering that Roddenberry was a genius in assembling some of the best sci-fi writers at the time, TOS really is the king!

  2. Well put Vic. I am one of those non-Trekkie fans who have observed Star Trek from afar as a phenomenon and a culture that wouldn’t ever be able to attract me.

    From your review, I think I might be able to join that legion of “from-afar” Star Trek fans.

  3. As someone with the same Trek background as you Vic, your review, plus all the others I have read, have made me very excited to see this new iteration of Trek.

    Looking forward to it – listening to the Giacchino score as I type this.

  4. 4 out of 5? are you out of your mind vic? have you lost it man? jk, good review.

  5. Vic,

    I misspelled “Kobayashi” in the text I sent ya! Damn iphone!

  6. I didn’t read the whole review, Vic, because I want to save some surprises for the movie. THis is also why I haven’t watched any more trailers and usually fast-forward through the commercials on my DVR. I am a big Trek fan (to the point of actually having liked ALL the TV series and movies), so seeing this was a no-brainer. Your review and the obvious love you have for Trek is very encouraging. My GF and I are going to see it in IMAX this weekend, so I will chime in more on the film after I see it!!

  7. @bob orci

    LOL, damn… I should have caught that as well! Fixed, no worries. :-)

    Vic

  8. i cannot wait for this film seen quiet a few reviews and its got me so excited. Ive never been a star trek fan i did like sum of the older movies with kurk n spock but this one looks totally fresh with a good story and amazing sfx. i got tingles when i watched the trailer luv the music in it.

  9. Great review, Vic, and thank you. Some questions for a fellow Trekker (no spoilers, of course):

    1. Is Finnigen is this?
    2. Do we get to see Gary Mitchell, Rose or Antonia?
    3. Any pet Selats with 6-inch fangs?

    My other questions were answered in your review. I will understand if you decide not to answer.

  10. Oh! Do we need to stay beyond the credits?

  11. Great review. I saw this film at a pre-screening and really loved it. I think it may replace Blade Runner as the best Sci-Fi film of all time. I absolutely loved Simon Pegg as Scotty and enjoyed seeing Chris Doohan in the transporter room along side him. Nice move JJ

  12. First – who said blade runner is the greatest sci-fi movie ever?
    Second – star trek to take it’s spot? A little too excited are we?

  13. I’m really looking forward to seeing this!

  14. GREAT review!!!

    Ok 1st off ~ Not a “Trekkie” But VERY excited about this movie.

    I used to LOVE watching Star Trek when I was a kid.. Like every other girl my age i was IN LOVE with Capt Kirk.
    (I tried to follow the next generation BUT it just wasn’t the same)

    I Totally agree with you, This franchise DID need a fresh approach.. and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The last couple Star Trek movies .. ughgh KILLED ME.

    You mentioned that Chris Pine “didn’t emulate Shatner in speech pattern or mannerisms” I am ok with that.. NO one can do Capt. Kirk like Shatner can. NO ONE!
    To be honest I’m happy to hear that it was not even attempted in this movie.

    I plan on watching this one with a clean slate..as if it were the 1st one ever done.. It looks amazing and after reading your review i am even more excited!!

    P.s. I hate seeing the actors i grew up with getting older and older (Winona).. That can only mean I AM TOO.. BOOOHOOOO

  15. @John

    I didn’t see any of the people/things you mentioned, but hey I could have missed them. I need to see the movie again. I didn’t stay after the credits but I haven’t heard there’s anything to see.

    @KC

    While I liked the movie a lot, I don’t think I’d grade it anywhere remotely close to the greatest sci-fi film ever. Great summer action-sci-fi flick to be sure, though.

    Vic

  16. @KC
    Greatest sci-fi film ever? As much as I love Trek, I can’t see it being better than Aliens or Star Wars: Ep. 5. I loved Blade Runner but I put the previous films mentioned above it.

  17. I’ll be seeing this friday, and purchasing a Nokia phone prob afterwards… :-)

    I can’t resist product placement.

  18. I really want Trek to be number 1 this summer but $85 million in 1 weekend??!!! Gee-mo-netti!!! And we still have Terminator and Transformers to deal with.

  19. I’m going to predict 109 mil for Star Trek by Monday.

    Biggest Star Trek opening ever.

  20. Well, they’re going to have bring phasers and quantum torpedoes online and fire them simultaneously to beat out the adamantium laced Wolverine. I sure hope you’re right, 790.

  21. Wolverine doesn’t stand a tribbles chance on a Klingon D-7 cruiser.

    Wolverine is roadkill after friday…

  22. @790

    of course it will be the biggest star trek opener ever – as the population grows so does the amount of people that go to the movies. how long ago was the last star trek released? it’s been a while so that movie doesn’t even stand a chance.

  23. Never been interested in it before but I do think it looks good and me and some friends who also think it looks interesting think it’s worthy of an IMAX viewing, so I’ll be seeing it in the best quality possible saturday. :D

  24. Totally geeked for this film. Even the wife is up for this movie.

    Why do people always have to hate on the TV series? Voyager certainly wouldn’t top my list, but I generally found it watchable. And I really like DS9 and Enterprise (more towards the end of the series).

    Thanks for the review, Vic!

  25. That’s won’t stop others from blatantly ripping me off Cat !!! ;-)

    I can see the headlines now, “Trek has record opening, declaws Wolverine”.

  26. 790
    you’re right, that’s exactly the headline i can see showing up in commercials a few days after release.

  27. Being not a trekkie fan I was unsure whether or not I would want to see this. Funny thing is I was dying for wolverine then it got terrible reviews, and had limited interest here and it’s getting good reviews. Looks like I will be seeing it.

  28. i’m not a trekkie but this movie is 10000 times better than Wolverine! real director,good acting and good script!

  29. I’ll never understand the love for Star Trek TOS. TNG was much better and took it’s self series. TOS was just a joke of a show. I don’t care about the sets or lighting because I understand budget and the time period. However I thought the writing was poor the show considered it’s self a joke and never took it’s self serious and the acting especially from Shatner was terrible. William is probably one of the worst actors I’ve ever scene. He makes Paris Hilton look good. The show never took it’s self seriously and to me basically made fun of the entire scifi genre. TNG was a serious show.

    With all that sad this movie looks pretty cool. It does change some major things about TOS, but I think their good changes. Would you prefer cardboard attached to a string ?

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