Oh yes! Now this is a film I have wanted to review for quite some time but I really wanted to find the right time to do it, and with Star Trek Into Darkness pretty much coming out today it’s about time I reviewed this film. Ever since I saw it in the cinema I fell in love with it and it quickly became one of my favourite films ever, so without further ado I give you my review of Star Trek (aka Star Trek XI). By the way it’s a bit of a long one so please try to endure it haha.
So the premise for this film is as follows:
“The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father’s legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful, time-traveling Romulan creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.”
I loved the story in this film, it is exciting, entertaining and heartfelt too. We basically get to see the genesis of the members of the USS Enterprise as they come from their different backgrounds and converge and then come together as a crew. But at the center of the film is the relationship between Kirk and Spock, we see how they have very different upbringings and how it shapes them into the men that they are. They’re polar opposites and at first they really don’t get on because one likes to run before he acts whereas the other thinks before he moves. And it is truly beautiful to see these characters come rely on each other and become the partners that we know from the old 60s TV show. The plot of the film is pretty streamlined when compared to the 60s show, it is also much more action-oriented (that is apparent from the beginning) and there isn’t as much of that techno babble and over scientific stuff that the show was known for, however this was probably done to appeal to new audiences. Some veterans of the series may not like the changes done to the old formula and the story but for me it works in an incredibly fun, adventures and emotional way.
But what is a good story without a good cast? Thankfully the cast in this film are all wonderful at bringing these classic characters to life in a brand new way while feeling familiar at the same time.
Let’s start with Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. Pine gives a very different take on the character as this young, reckless, yet skilled individual who could be much more but chooses to live a simple life until he enlists in Starfleet. After that he goes into space, butts heads with Spock and eventually becomes the character we remember from William Shatner. Chris Pine makes a great Kirk, he’s incredibly likeable, relatable and funny and makes for a great opposite to Spock. And speaking of him let’s move onto Zachary Quinto as Spock. Here we have a version of Spock that while he has all the mannerisms from the old show he has to deal with his dual heritage as half Vulcan and half human. He’s very smart, logical and is a great opposite for Kirk as they bicker and fight. Let me just say that Quinto was MADE to play this role, he’s so stern, logical and has a dry sense of humor. He knocked it out of the park with this role.
As for the rest of the crew they are all on point. I thought Karl Urban made a great Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and Zoe Saldana Nyota Uhura was incredibly beautiful and engaging. A special mention needs to be given for Simon Pegg as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, he was incredible. While his character was pretty much there for humour purposes I loved what Simon Pegg did with the role and he was funny as hell! Then there’s John Cho and Anton Yelchin were awesome, dynamic and humourous as Hikaru Sulu and Pavel Chekov respectively. Also Bruce Greenwood as Capt. Christopher Pike was wonderful. And Leonard Nimoy’s appearance as old Spock is great and really connects this new film to the original continuity. I guess the only weak link in this chain is Eric Bana as Nero, his villain role is only used as a plot device and he really isn’t as fleshed out as the rest of the cast. However he gets props for the best line in the film: “FIRE EVERYTHING!” Totally badass.
When it comes to the presentation of Star Trek it is just one a high level of awesomeness. The film just looks and sounds so good!
Visually the film is incredible, Industrial Light & Magic do a magnificent job of creating these beautiful, highly detailed scenes of space, different planets and the spacecrafts. The CGI is just beautiful and really shines in scenes of massive spectacles like the Romulan attack on the USS Kelvin or the skydiving sequence with Kirk and Sulu or when Kirk is marooned on the ice planet and gets chased by giant monsters. I also like the camera work in the film too, there is some dynamic angles used and there are a few zoom shots and quick camera movements that just make the pace so much swifter than previous Star Trek films. And obviously we can’t talk about Star Trek without highlighting the now-infamous lens flare in the film, at first I never really noticed it until my uncle pointed out to me and after that it couldn’t be unseen. While it does get used to extreme a few scenes to be honest I like it, for some reason it adds some cool lighting effects to the shots its used in and it doesn’t bother as much as everyone else.
And then of course there’s the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino and to say that I love it would be an understatement. It honestly sounds INCREDIBLE! Ever since I saw this film in the cinema the soundtrack was one of the main things I remembered after I saw the film. Giacchino is absolutely amazing and really brings the film to life with his score, the tracks are epic, impactful, soft, emotional and all-round good stuff. The song “Enterprising Young Men” is amazing and I get insanely kiddy whenever I hear it, I get goosebumps, that’s how incredible it is. The sound effects for this film is also very good with some returning from the old TV show and there’s smart uses of sound or lack of it that make the film feel incredibly atmospheric.
Now I remember before this film came out there was a lot of talk and building hype, though at first I wasn’t really interested. I remember when my uncle showed me the first teaser trailer back in 2008 and I thought the concept of a new Star Trek film would be interesting but I wasn’t overly fussed. It wasn’t until the first full trailer came out in the later part of that year where I was like, “Okay now this is a film I have to watch!” Then the film came out and I think the overall response pretty positive from both casual audiences and the fans and it made a lot of money at the box office and it also brought Star Trek back into the mainstream media. Because let’s face it before this reboot Star Trek had been dead in the world of cinema since 2002 and the franchise was just exclusive to the Trekkies who really cared for it. But this film really put Star Trek back on the map because its more action-oriented approach to the franchise which I think the series really needed.
In conclusion Star Trek is a great re-imagining of the old television show for a new generation. The film is full of action and sci-fi goodness, it also has a solid story, a brilliant cast, spectacular special effects and a beautiful soundtrack to boot. While there was a great deal of things that were changed/reworked in translating the 60s TV show into this live-action reboot, I still say there’s enough of the old for fans to appreciate and I highly recommend this film not only to fans, but to those who aren’t aware of Star Trek or those who have never liked it beforehand. I with the foundations put in place with this film I absolutely can’t wait for the sequel; Star Trek Into Darkness in May, it should be one hell of a sequel!
Rating: A Solid 9/10 (Seal of Approval!)
Well that’s been my review ladies and gents, hopefully you’ve found it informative and drop me comment and let me know your thoughts on the film. This review was meant to be out months ago but I never got around to finishing it now haha. Look out for my Star Trek Into Darkness review in the next few days! By the way don’t forget to follow the blog for more juicy reviews yo! Later peeps! 😀