Star Trek ***


“Star Trek” has been on my radar for a long time and for a lot of reasons.  When I heard that J.J.  Abrams was taking on this franchise I got really excited.  It had been stale for a long time after the dreaded “Star Trek: Nemesis”.  But then it was revealed that this was going to be a reboot, and that the entire original crew was going to be recast.  Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the iconic characters were going to be occupied by new faces.  For me at least, this did not sit well at all.  Somebody other than William Shatner as Captain Kirk?? No Leonard Nimoy as Spock??  I figured that there was no way at all that this could be pulled off, and for the first half of the movie, even though I was enjoying it greatly, I still had not accepted these actor’s in their roles.  That is until the great Nimoy showed up as the future Spock.

When Leonard Nimoy talks to Chris Pine, the actor playing James Kirk, and refers to him as his friend, that is when this film became Star Trek to me.  Just hearing his voice, seeing his weathered face,  and watching the love for this franchise hang off his every word was pure bliss.  To this point the movie had been a bad movie, in fact it was quite good, it was just not Star Trek

The film opens with a classic Trek moment, as a star ship approaches a strange phenomenon that turns out to be a giant alien ship.  After each opens fire, the federation ship is crippled and the crew are forced to abandon it.  One man must man the bridge while everyone escapes.  This turns out to be James Kirk’s father.  Kirk himself is simultaneously being born during the battle.  Years later Kirk, played by Chris Pine, is in early adulthood and a bit of a rebel.  After he engages in a brawl at a local pub he is approached by Captain Pike, who urges him to enlist in Starfleet. 

We all know that he does considering this is a prequel so lets just skip ahead.  He meets Bones, played by Karl Urban.  They become friends almost immediately.  We meet Spock played by Zachary Quinto.  Kirk and Spock immediately dislike one another, in fact their rocky relationship was one of the most interesting elements of this movie for me.  They start out with a mutual loathing and end the film with a slightly mutual respect, not even close to the bond that we know they will eventually have.  This bond will be forged throughout the years to come. 

The villain, played by Eric Bana, is Nero, a vengeful Romulan who has a serious bone to pick with Spock.  The reasoning behind this I will not explain.  I will say that the plot twist that takes place prevents this movie from becoming a true prequel, and turns it in to sort of a sequel.  I have developed a certain distaste for prequels over the years. 

After seeing this movie a second time, my affection for it grew significantly.  This is truly a good “Star Trek” film.  I do wish that the characters had attempted to go where no man has gone before, instead of engaging in colorful battles between star ships, but I guess this is just a teaser to help establish the characters.  Maybe next we will get a truly great “Star Trek” film.  If not, then I guess I’m happy that we didn’t end off with the miserable “Nemesis.”


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