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There’s a commercial running for the new Star Trek film that says “This is not your father’s Star Trek.” And for a change there is truth in advertising.

This new Star Trek is a conversion to the summer blockbuster. Whereas most Star Trek films in the past were released around Thanksgiving, this one will play well on a hot day where you can hide away in an air-conditioned theater with a big bucket of popcorn and an ice-cold soda.

I enjoyed most of the previous Star Treks (particularly Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the underrated Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek: First Contact), but I’m not what one would consider a Trekkie. I’ve seen maybe one episode of the original series and a good portion of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that’s about it. And I can say unequivocally that I enjoyed this Star Trek far beyond anything that’s come before it. This is the most fun Star Trek has ever been.

Everything about this film is given a fresh spin: the way starships jump to warp, the sound of the phasers, the way teleportation looks. And the thematic nature of this Star Trek is a departure for the previous ten films. While the series was about an intergalactic crew of explorers and the films were by and large Horatio Hornblower in space, this film is much more like Star Wars with grand themes of world destruction and epic destiny.

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The film is part origin story, part revenge story (perfect combination for a summer movie, right?). A Romulan named Nero (Eric Bana) travels back in time seeking revenge for something that happens in the future (I won’t spoil it). His ship, the Nurada, possesses the Death Star-like technology to destroy planets. It’s up to a brash young crew of Starfleet cadets to stop him (hint: they are onboard the Starship Enterprise).

Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk is perhaps the biggest departure from the original characters (the changes are plot driven,). The trailer points out that Kirk’s father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes and saved 800 lives (including Kirk’s). Trekkies, no doubt, will realize this is a deviation from canon because Kirk’s father originally lived to see Kirk become captain of the Enterprise. So Pine’s Kirk is brash, rebellious and reckless in addition to the qualities that Shatner’s Kirk had (charismatic, strong, smart leader, good with the ladies).

The rest of the cast is fairly in line with their original counterparts. Zachary Quinto does an admirable job as Spock, Karl Urban is a scene stealer as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and Simon Pegg’s Montgomery Scott provides plenty of comic relief.

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The film is not without its flaws. I won’t get into many of them here as they would induce spoilers. The first half of the film covers a lot of time while the second half covers a very short period. Some of the humor is a bit over the top and simplistic (particularly Scotty’s alien sidekick). And for some reason the new Enterprise’s engineering looks like a brewery.

The major drawback is, I fear, that this film may alienate the core, devoted Trekkies. I won’t get into major spoilers but there are major changes in the Star Trek canon in this film. I hope Trekkies accept the changes because efforts to reboot the franchise through additional television series and Next Generation movies have by and large failed to cross over to mainstream audiences. I sincerely hope that Trekkie nation embraces this film and the ones that will surely follow. Change can be a good thing - and, in this case, a very good thing. Come on, Trekkies - Yes we can!

Brett Deacon joined the Twitter nation: @brettdeacon.

Comments:

5 Responses to “Greatest Movie Blog: REVIEW - STAR TREK Boldly Goes Where No Other STAR TREK Film Has Gone Before”

  1. KJB Says:

    While I generally agree with you about the film, I don’t think that the original Trek films had a problem ‘crossing over’. The films, in general, made a very respectable amount of money from non-Trek fans as well as the faithful. And it’s not like the films themselves were ever overly concerned with keeping with the ‘official’ Trek canon. About 10 seconds after Roddenberry died, Rick Berman threw the canon and Richard Arnold out the window. There’s some argument as to which one landed first.

    This *can* work, though, as evidenced by the ‘reboot’ of Doctor Who. It’s a reboot that has manged to connect itself with the original series. Granted, it has a great built in mechanism that makes this possible but this is something could easily have been done with Enterprise (and had it happened before season 4, it might not have been the first Trek series since TOS to be canceled) and there’s a chance it can happen with the Trek reboot. My only fear is still the guy at the controls, J.J. Abrams. He’s got a pattern for starting strong, falling apart mid-way and then trying to clean up his own mess before putting a bullet through the project’s brain. So I’m cautiously optimistic for the sequel but not holding my breath. But well worth seeing on the big screen.

  2. Deacon Says:

    No Star Trek film has made more than $146 Million worldwide (and that was First Contact). Solid but not really groundbreaking. I think this film will cross more barriers than any previous Trek film.

    Also, in a bit more info on release dates: Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, and The Final Frontier were the other Trek films released in the summer.

  3. Dianae Says:

    Well rounded review that has me prepared for what I’ll see this weekend. Good taste of the story without giving it away. Thanks for the insight. Got me curious and wanting to see it as soon as possible!

  4. Opinioninahaystack Says:

    “This is the most fun Star Trek has ever been.”

    Is trek suppose to be FUN, or suppose to be GOOD? Two separate ideas. Schindler’s List is Good, but I wouldn’t say it’s Fun.

    That’s more of a question then a comment.

  5. deacon Says:

    A film that succeeds in its objective is good. If a Star Trek film is fun, then it’s good. If it’s not fun, then it’s not good.

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