Star Trek


Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by:Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho
Released: May 7, 2009
Grade: B+

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2009.42. I have just retuned from a screening of the new Star Trek movie. I believe the film is non-hostile and safe to watch. The all clear has been given for other humans to approach. That said, I will closely monitor the situation and keep everyone informed.

There have been ten Star Trek movies up until this point. The last was Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. More than seven years have passed since its release and in that time, Paramount Pictures made the decision to give the series a much overdue facelift. This new flick, simply entitled Star Trek, features a young, fresh cast and takes us back to where the story began… in a rather unique way.

There are plenty of characters but our main protagonist is James Tiberius Kirk (played by Chris Pine). James is a rebellious individual who has grown up without a father. Captain George Kirk sacrificed his life when James was born to help save the Earth from an alien attack.

James will have an opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps. After a chance encounter with the high profile Captain Pike (Greenwood), James accepts an offer to enter the Starfleet Academy. It is there where he meets his rival – an intelligent Vulcan known simply as Spock (Quinto). The two clash on several occasions with each trying to outsmart the other. After several years of rigorous training, both James and Spock are ready to take to the skies in search of adventure.

I admit to being a little concerned by these early scenes. It thought the filmmakers had tried too hard to make the story colourful and sexy. Was this going to be another cliché-ridden action flick with lame jokes?

Thankfully, the answer was no. One the character introductions are out of the away, the suspenseful drama kicks in and the film finds it feet. James, in his first mission aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, becomes caught up in a nasty alien invasion. It is very similar to that which his late father faced two decades ago. If the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are any hope of saving Earth, they will need to come together and work as a team.

I’ve alluded to it in my opening paragraph but there are some nice twists in this story that will require you to switch your brain to the "on" position. They explain why this series has gone back to the very beginning and has a different cast. That’s all I’m prepared to reveal. Thumbs up go to writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked together on films including Transformers and The Island.

I like the cast and think that Chris Pine does a terrific job as James Kirk. His infectious enthusiasm will endear him to audiences. He’s one cool character. He shares some great scenes with Zachary Quinto who plays Spock. Also worth a mention is English actor Simon Pegg (Shaun Of The Dead) who brings comic relief to the film as Scotty.

You don’t need to be familiar with the earlier films to enjoy this latest instalment and I think it sets the stage for many more films to come.