Going into Star Trek, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was never a fan of the show, or any of the movies. I never understood the draw. Of course, everyone knows the catch phrases “beam me up, Scottie”, and “Damnit Jim, I’m a doctor not a…”, but I never really knew “Star Trek”, not had any desire to.
Based solely on the trailer, and the fact that J.J. Abrams directed it, I went to see it.
And holy crap am I glad I did.
Star Trek the 2009 movie may be part of something that’s been going on in theaters and on TV for more than 35 years. But the way J.J. Abrams and co tell the story, you’d never know. Having known nothing about the story, or characters (aside from their names), I fell right into the thick of things, and knew exactly who was who, and what was what.
When J.J. was on Kimmel a few weeks ago, he said that they specifically made the movie so that people who didn’t know the story could jump right in. Generally, that’s something publicists tell directors to say, so people won’t avoid the movie. But he was not lying. The story unfolds, and it just happens to be about characters that have been around for 35+ years. It’s a coincidence that you already know their names, and some backstory. In either case, whether you’re new to this or a die hard Trekkie, it doesn’t matter. The story, and the whole movie just work.
The CGI in the movie is unparallelled. After we left, I compared it to the “newer Star Wars” movies, in which the space scenes felt computerized and fake. Not the case with Star Trek. The CGI is so lifelike, that you forget that the majority of the movie is CGI, and not real. The scenes in outerspace, specifically of the U.S.S. Enterprise are the most notable, and are completely breathtaking.
Not to be outdone by the amazing CGI and excellent story, is our cast. Chris Pine, who plays Captain James T. Kirk, is excellent. Witty, charming, a smartass. Everything you’d want from a hero. Was William Shatner that way on the TV show? If he was, I can see why people still love him all these years later. Zachary Quinto, as Spock, is exactly how you’d imagine him to be on the big screen. Smart, assertive, and most of all, weird.
The rest of the cast are equally amazing, certainly not to fall by the wayside. From Zoe Saldana, to Simon Pegg, to John Cho, to Leonard Nimoy himself. Everyone plays their role beautifully, with purpose, and excellence.
I feel about Star Trek much as I did when I first left the theater after seeing The Dark Knight for the first time. I felt thankful for seeing the movie. I felt amazement at what an amazing movie it was. And most importantly, I felt like I wanted to turn right around and see it again, immediately. It’s that good.
While some are hailing the movie as “perfect”, I won’t go quite that far. There were a few things I noticed that were imperfect, continuity issues mainly. But overall, I’d say that so far in 2009, Star Trek is the absolute best movie I’ve seen, by a clear mile. I enjoyed it even more than I enjoyed Taken, which if you read my review, you’d know I adored.
Even if you have no desire to know anything about Star Trek, or had no desire to go see it, I implore you, change your mind. You will not regret seeing the movie. It’s amazing, wonderful, and exhilirating, all at the same time. I’d be willing to bet that this movie will win some serious awards come that time next year. I’ll repeat myself, in case you missed it, go see this movie.