Yes, we’re a gaming site, but what the hell, most of us have an opinion about this film, even if it’s hate. I never much cared for Star Trek. Being raised on Star Wars I always felt that Picard and company lacked in excitement and action, being more interested in politics and diplomacy. However, my wife made sure I watched the first seven Star Trek movies recently to get to know the original crew. They range from Great (Wrath of Khan) to embarrassingly crappy (Final Frontier), but crucially I got a bead on the characters. Other shows, films and games set me up to get into this universe. The cream of recent Sci-F; namely Firefly/Serenity, Battlestar Galactica and Mass Effect. All painted vivid universes with living, breathing people and an emphasis on drama, characterization and action.
So seeing the new JJ Abrams redux was actually pretty fantastic for me. Star Trek 09 has everything I could possibly want. It restarts the universe (No spoilers but once you’ve seen it there’s some really clever stuff going on regarding the new storyline.) and presents you with new actors filling the quirky roles of all the old characters, injecting them with youthful energy. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock are absolutely magnetic, capturing the twinkle of Shatners eye, his swagger and arrogance and Nimoy’s focused, calm and unwavering demeanor. They are stars in the making. There’s pacey action and oddball comedy, all conducted convincingly in a shiny new version of the old world. It feels like a full cinematic experience as well, as opposed to the featurelength TV shows that the later movies often felt like. The camera soars past a gigantic Enterprise that’s never felt more tangible and real. It’s also got a lot of heart, with several moments being actually pretty moving.
Abrams has a talent, displayed in Lost, M:I-3 and Cloverfield of blending the realistic with the exciting and breathing new life into tired old genre’s (Twilight Zone-style mysteries, spy thrillers and monster movies). He’s the perfect director to bring this to 2009’s addiences, both old hands and new blood will find something to love. It’s definitely arguable that this film is not as faithful to the old shows as it could have been, it’s heavily action based and reeks of setup with it’s view to many sequels, but none of this mattered to me as everyone involved handled the main game so well. A genuine experience. Best film of the year so far.