Star Trek Review

Published 6 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. simple 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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  1. I dunno about anyone else, but I haven't been receiving any updates via email at all. Life is still crazy in the ER, but I just had a chance to watch the 1st Season Blu-Ray of both the Trouble with Tribbles and the “sequel” from DS9 in High-Def. Amazing! Hope everyone's doing great!

    Cheers,

  2. Re: Doc's Quote: “Is history your specialty”— Kirk to Lt. Styles, “Balance of Terror”?

    Mr Styles is currently manning the fire control station on MY Enterprise and has an itchy trigger finger for the Rommies.

    He is also giving me $#!+ for missing a BOT quote for so long. Any idea who should play him? Johnny, Kahless, Beuller, Anybody?!

  3. Oh yes, that was to Stiles. How could I have missed that; that was my favorite episode.

    Who could play him? Tough one. He would have to be around the same age as Sulu (Chou). Maybe Ryan Phillipe?

  4. First, you are correct, you so get to pick a quote. I have problems with the new system – it pops up an ad and I have to refresh a few times before I can post a reply. Honestly, I liked the old system better. As to who should play Stiles – how about the guy who plays “Danny” on CSI:NY. I can't spell his name, nor can I remember it, but he's got attitude.

  5. I was patiently waiting on your confirmation, Doc.

    Stiles doesn't have as that big of a part as he did in BOT. Given the “new” Kirk's history they may have have more in common than before (“Romulan bastards! you killed my dad.”) But he's still a loose cannon w/ a 'tude.

    Don't know if Tomlinson will be along for the ride, I mean, it would kind of be like watching Kenny on South Park, wondering how, not if he gets it.

    YN. Rand will likely make an appearance, especially if Laura Vandervoort is available (yum)

    Quote: TOS: “Everything you said was a lie”

  6. Hi to all, haven't spoken in a while. I'm on holidays at the moment (just for 12 days over Easter) and I have bludged all holidays, but today was my most productive day yet. What did I do today? I made Star Trek shirts with my friend ;D
    We made three each:
    A white one that says “Trekker.” across the chest and has the insignia on the bottom right corner;
    A blue one that has Leonard Nimoy on the front and says “Fascinating” on the back, and;
    A red one that on the front says “You've got a better than 50/50 chance of coming back aboard a starship commanded by Capt. James T. Kirk!” and on the back “Unless you're wearing a red shirt”.
    ;D They are awesome, I'm wearing the white one at the moment.

    Hope you're all well.

  7. Any way of sending us some pics of those shirts, Ingenue?

    Great picks, Kahless and Doc. I always figured Stiles to be just a tad older than Kirk, and perhaps a bit resentful of not being promoted as fast.

    Although ST10 had stellar casting and was enjoyable to watch, it sure left a hell of a mess to clean up. Since my story calls for the re-design of the ship, I find myself in the unenviable task of explaining why the new ship is 3x bigger.

    We all know the real reason was that JJ wanted the ships to be as large as those in Star Wars, Yoda's counsel of “Size matters not.” Was obviously lost on him.

    I'm trying to keep the fire from dying here by checking in every week. Soon enough I should have another installment.

  8. I look forward to the next installment and I'll get onto those photos asap!

  9. Hmm, that has the ring of I, Mudd to it, when they're overloading Norman. I apologize for not checking sooner. I'm not getting updates on when things are posted here anymore.

  10. Ben Affleck hasn't done anything in a while. Maybe you can get him cheap. He's pretty good at looking mean.

  11. And how is Johnny-o?

  12. For those reading, I'm in the same boat as BE: those episodes are like second nature to me. But I can say that about 90% of TOS episodes. :-)

  13. I'm doing great, Doc, and thanks for asking, good to see everybody still here!

    Can't wait for Ironman II, I own the original and love it!

    What's new with you, Steve?

    Good to hear from ya!

    ~Johnny

  14. Good choice! I was gonna say Rob Lowe, he's not busy either right now, ever since he left West Wing several years ago.

    I like Affleck better, I think.

    Speakin' o'which, was the actor who portrayed 'Larry Stiles', the first captain of the Excelsior in ST/III (James B Sikking), the same character as the younger Fire Control Officer in Balance of Terror? I believe he was, it would explain his hardass attitude toward Kirk when he started to go after the Enterprise, wouldn't it?

  15. This is just a guess, but I believe that was Kim Darby (Mia Farrow, can you believe it?) in Miri, but as I say, that is just a spitball, I don't know…

    ~Johnny

  16. Thanks for playing, but still no joy. I hope I got the quote right.

    Not Miri, but definitely an angry woman.

    Coming up on our anniversary, I hope can manage a little present for you all.

    • I was going to agree with Doc, but an angry woman? Hmmm. Maybe nurse Chapel to (I think) Dr. Roger Corby in What are Little Girls Made of? Oh, wait, I think it was the same episode but it was the android female to Corby.

  17. Ooops, not so bright after all it seems, Just re-watched the Ep to confirm the quote, and it looks like I was the one who got it wrong.

    The actual quote “You lied, everything you said.”

    Sorry ’bout that. ~BE

  18. Buckle Up

    • Blimey, you’ve been two weeks waiting for a response?! Really sorry about that, Bright Eyes – caught your message on the Robin Hood thread. I’ve been away for several days in the “wilds” of Norfolk. Not exactly Sherwood Forest, but some ancient woodlands, and it is Boudicca country… Now I’ve posted this I’ll be receiving notifications again, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’ve read your epic there!

      Where’d everyone go?!

  19. Hey vic holtreman. Contact me. I need to talk to you.

    • I only noticed the “Norfolk” when I started reading your piece – what are the odds?!

      Good build on the characterisations you established last time; solid again on the details (almost subliminal ones such as having a straight corridor instead of a curved one, to emphasise that we’re not on the saucer section at that point, as well as things like differences in warp speed estimation between TOS and TNG). You’ve caught the individual voices to the extent where the only ones who didn’t sound as convincing were the poor old redshirts. Although I did like the joke about landing party exemption for the VIP crew, I actually didn’t twig about that until it was referred to directly later on, dummy that I am. Melina’s “two instances of one” line is maybe a little convoluted as well.

      Love the “moving money”. This will happen! The point where it starts talking to me, though, is where I reach for the medication. “Logical Shopper” made me laugh out loud, and in fact this raises a (ahem) fascinating point: what would be the Vulcan attitude towards advertising? Assuming there is no Vulcan equivalent, would they be immune to its illogical hyperbole, or take it at face value depending on how well the human intent was understood? Would they see it as primitive deception or a logical by-product of providing goods and services?

      That’s a great line from Scotty, “…just don’t expect me to turn her round in less than the width of a solar system,” but it begs the questions how long would it take to turn a starship a full 180 degrees whilst travelling at warp 8, what would be the stresses involved in doing so, and how far would it have travelled in the process? Would it even be worth doing, as weapons and sensor arrays aren’t pointing exclusively forward, and unless they can flip the old girl as fast as the Vipers in BSG, any pursuer would have ample warning to take evasive measures.

      Also, the one-man craft Spock uses: what was its purpose on board the Enterprise originally?

      Minor nitpicks – HELL of a send-off for Spock! High Flight is a fine choice for him to go out quoting, and I can imagine Leonard Nimoy – combined with music and visuals – making that a moving, sad but uplifting moment. Not a dry eye in the house for that one.

      • Laughed like a drain at the Star Trek In 49 Seconds: will Chris Pine “hanging from things” become as much of a cliche as Shirtless Kirk? Only time will tell…

  20. Hey Trekkers, we need to keep this thread going. The Lost thread is over 1,000 posts in less than a week. We’re not going to let them beat us, right?

    Falling before a superior opponent earns you a place in Stovokor, humaaaan!!

    Yeah, whatever, Kahless. :-)

    • Absolutely – where’s Steve, Johnny, Katherine, Fury?

  21. @Bright Eyes
    You never commented whether I got your quote right or not; I thought it was from “What are Little Girls Made Of”, but I’m probably wrong. We may need another hint.

    • Any idea what that one’s about, Kahless?

  22. “You lied, everything you said.” An ep of South Park riffed on this one, it had to do with Home Schooling. Good luck.

    Thanks for giving my little treatment a read, I know that it needs a little polish but I think I’ve got a diamond in the rough. As for the Enterprise “flipping like a Viper” We’ve already seen that in the “Crazy Ivan”-like maneuver Kirk uses to spot the Romulan. The Enterprise is no fighter, but with warp maneuver power and anti-acceleration force fields she can still pivot within her warp field pretty quickly without changing her direction of travel. Combat between Starships at warp is only possible when both ships are traveling at parallel vectors.

    Instead of flipping it like Starbuck, Kirk spins it like Ivanova,so as to present the smallest possible target aspect.

    As for Spock Prime’s “Escape Craft”, it was disguised as a quantum torpedo, hence the Andorian tech’s line “We knew it was your favorite”

    I figure I’ve used up about a third of my run time thus far, but we’ve fixed the ship and sent her on a mission, and we’ve gotten rid of Spock Prime, along with all of the narrative problems his character’s continued presence would create.

    Although I haven’t technically “killed” him, I have given Mr. Nimoy an opportunity to leave the stage in style if he so chooses. It also gives him the option to return to the “prime” timeline and join the “cast” of the Star Trek online MMORPG if he wants a little easy V.O. work.

    • Ah, I’m with you – I’d forgotten that “Crazy Ivan” spin. Hope I wasn’t overly critical, as I really like your dialogue for the Enterprise crew and Ridgeway. Kirk in particular nicely fleshed out in his command role. Good interaction without any mucking about, tightly paced, and I definitely want to know where the story’s going.

  23. @ BigD; If I wasn’t looking for criticism, I wouldn’t be here. Making the redshirts more interesting may be as hard as keeping Ridgeway’s dialogue “PG” but I’ll give it a go.

    @Kahless: Liking Affleck better for Stiles, the only thing going against him is his fame, but I can really see him as a good foil for Kirk. As for Ryan Philppe,thanks for bringing him to my attention. I am seeing him not for Stiles, but as Kirk’s opposite number on the Klingon side, Koloth. My dear Captain Koloth is currently “on loan” to the Romulans for the purpose of training and familiarizing them with the D-7 Battlecruisers the Klingons were planning to sell them. It is a mission that he is less than thoroughly enthusiastic about.

    • Ryan Phillipe as a Klingon? I don’t know; he doesn’t have that type of look to me. But with makeup, I suppose it could be so. I would like to see the guy from Avatar (the guy with the scar) play a Klingon; he could even make a really good Ridgeway.

      • I’ve only seen him in a couple of films and don’t remember much about him. I had serious doubts about the David Warner and Christopher Plummer playing Klingons before The Undiscovered Country, but they worked out well enough. I definitely didn’t expect Christopher Lloyd to pull it off either! Mind you, they were all considerably older and had varying degrees of slightly sinister refinement or at least ambiguity about them.

        Stephen Lang’s a great choice for a Klingon, Kahless. Bright Eyes, how about him for Ridgeway’s Andorian drinking buddy? He and Ed Harris are “cut from the same cloth” in some ways, but not so much that they’d be interchangeable – I could see them playing off each other well.

        I was thinking of someone to play your Betazoid Melina. Depending on the size of her role, Catherine Keener or TNG/BSG stalwart Michelle Forbes? Failing that, I’d still like to see either of those two play a Vulcan, and didn’t you have a female Vulcan engineer/designer in a previous instalment? You might have had a younger actress in mind though, and I have the vague suspicion someone’s suggested one or both of them before. Might even have been me…

        • “the” David Warner? Well I suppose there is only one…

  24. Catherine Keener really DOES look like I envisioned Melina, you really need a strong woman in that role, as she is the only one who gets to put Ridgeway in his place. (hopefully to the delight of the audience) I’m glad that my writing was vivid enough that you “saw” her.
    Michelle Forbes has a good brow line (among other things) always a plus for playing a pointy-eared hobgoblin hottie. The Vulcan engine designer’s widow is mature, but still credibly within her child- bearing years or she wouldn’t have been beamed up.

    Stephen Lang was IMO the best thing about Avatar, and would make a fine Ridgeway. Leemic or Koloth, not as much so. I kind of envisioned the Andorian a bit nerdier and Koloth as a bit more refined. I ‘ll have to see some of his other work to see if he has the range.

    Thanks again for the casting picks, sure hope the rest of the crew show up soon –BE

    • I agree about Lang in Avatar. I thought there was more going on with his character than the flat-out stereotype many saw. He plays pretty nerdy characters in the only other two films I remember him from – Manhunter (he’s the snidey, obnoxious reporter who begs for his life and gets torched by the Tooth Fairy) and Last Exit To Brooklyn (wifebeating closet homosexual union leader, no less). I’d understand if he didn’t want to be in another movie franchise involving blue people though!

  25. Wifebeating closet homosexual union leader, huh? Sounds pretty creepy. Of course, I always thought Andorians were a bit creepy too “Yes, but they’re OUR creeps, dammit!”–Ridgeway.

    It would be a splendid bit of irony to see Lang go from fighting blue people to being one. I have to tread a fine line in the ironic self-awareness department, of course. As much as I would love to throw in lines from TOS when appropriate, it would compromise the believability factor for the long time fans. What you have read so far is the roughest of drafts, but I know that this thread could die (if it hasn’t already) if I take too much time polishing the dialogue.

    A shame that I will likely only post one more installment on this thread. It’s not that I’ve run out of ideas, but rather that what comes next might be too good to just give away. Rest assured that once you meet the Preatrix you’ll have a good idea of “where the story is going”. Yes, I know that in BOT the Preator was referred to as a “he”, but there was a shake-up in the wake of Vulcan’s destruction.

    Although Trek fans like to refer to Khan as the greatest ST Villain Ever, I prefer to think of him as the best villain so far

    • Yay, here she is!! I think SR’s move to Disqus and back again lost a few of us in the process, and sadly, Johnny, Steve and Fury haven’t been on since.

      How’ve you been then, Katherine? All your studies out of the way now, or have you still got exams pending? I got a letter last week from my niece: she’s just got back from a “hockey” tour in Brisbane (the quote marks are hers, so I would assume not much in the way of actual hockey took place). Amongst other things she went surfing for the first time, tried eating kangaroo AND crocodile, with liberal quantities of “goon” – a fiver’s worth of wine in a four-litre box. Are you familiar with this particular “tasty beverage” or is that just a Poms on holiday thing? Apparently the worst she had to deal with in terms of hazardous local lifeforms was a 15cm Huntsman spider. Bonus!

      I can’t believe the year’s half-gone already. I’ll have to organise another birthday bash pretty soon. This time I’ll try and get some of my mates’ bands playing live as well as the deck-based shenanigans. Still got a load of plastic scuba divers from the batch I gave out free at last year’s – how can I POSSIBLY top that, eh?!

      That first t-shirt of yours works really well as black-on-white. It’s the starkness of the simple placement of that badge and the full-stop after Trekker! The former is like a minimal echo of Kirk’s flamboyant green top, the latter is like a statement of fact, not a slogan. Pretentious? Moi? The redshirt one would maybe look better if you cut the transfers as a block or panel rather than following the length of each individual line. Great Spock pose on the third.

      Not sure what to make of that new WW outfit. I don’t hate it, but it’s not too memorable. I can see why they’ve gone for that if there’s a movie pending, though, and mucking about with her origin could be for the same reason. To me, the way George Perez redefined her in the late ’80s would be the way to go on screen. Combined with the armour she had in Kingdom Come…I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

      Anyway, great to see you on here again!