Movie: "Star Trek"
Year: 2009
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Writing credits: Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 5/13/2009

Plot: A new origin story details how Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise got together.

Review: I've always considered myself a Star Trek fan. I loved watching reruns of the Original Series when I was a kid, and my father and I used to watch the new Next Generation episodes religiously every week. But I'd hardly call myself a Star Trek fanatic. I enjoy watching the show, but I couldn't tell you what episode had the best view of Scotty's missing fingers, or the one episode where Riker didn't call a red alert over some non-threat. I also think that Gene Roddenberry's vision of the "everybody gets along" future is cheesy, and perhaps even a little bit gay.

I feel like it's important to give you that perspective when I tell you that I loved the new Star Trek film. I'm not the kind of guy who's going to nitpick this or that little detail about how it alters or disregards established continuity, because I recognize that the original continuity was a jumbled mess resulting from many different independent writers not working together on any kind of overall story arc. With the episodic nature of television during that time period, it's not surprising that one episode may contradict something that was established in another.

So I'm not offended by the reboot (which, by the nature of the story, isn't exactly a reboot--a fact I can't explain without giving things away, but suffice it to say there's time travel involved). The franchise was effectively dead, so this breathes some much needed new life into it, and it does a great job of doing so.

The new actors do a fantastic job of inhabiting these characters who were so defined by their original actors that it was hard to imagine anyone else portraying them. Pretty much across the board the new actors manage to make their characters recognizable by drawing skillfully on what came before, but bringing enough new material to the table that they don't simply mimic what the original actors did. The most challenging role to do that with had to be Captain Kirk (because without his cocky swagger and awkward speech pauses, what else is Kirk?), which Chris Pine handled far better than I'd expected. Best of all though was Zachary Quinto, who portrayed Spock as well as if not better than Nimoy had ever done (blasphemy I know, but true all the same).

What I really liked was that every character was given a chance to shine, to do something important and fun for the story, beyond just pushing buttons on a console. True, some of the shuffling characters around like chess pieces to get them where they needed to be was a little far fetched (what are the odds that Kirk would run into who he ran into on that frozen planet?), but I could forgive a lot of that because I was having so much fun.

Yes, I just used the word "fun" in a Star Trek movie review. And this is a damned fun film. Probably the most fun I've seen all year so far. The film was also peppered with little nods and references to the original series that were thrown in just to make oldschool fans smile. Things like the reference to Sulu fencing (not shirtless), the fate of the red shirt who went down to the drill platform with Kirk and Sulu, and McCoy's utterance of the classic McCoy "Dammit Jim" line, which caused a great deal of cheering at the showing I saw. And I couldn't resist making "beep" noises to my friends when I saw the newly promoted Admiral Pike at the end. I'm sure I was hardly the only one.

It's true that there are a lot of silly, stupid things that don't make sense if you think about them long enough. Like how in the hell could Nero possibly know that he had killed Kirk's father? And furthermore, why is a mining ship filled to the brim with enough weapons to take out an armada? Those Romulans are pretty fucking serious about their mining, that's all I have to say. But these inconsistencies are certainly no worse than anything that's been in any other Trek movie, and with a few moments of thought I can come up with my own explanations that satisfy.

I'll admit I wasn't thrilled with the new Enterprise. The bridge was okay, but I felt like parts of the ship looked like the inside of a shopping mall at times. The environment was completely lacking charm, and it certainly didn't feel "homey" to me. But this series has always been more about the characters than the ship anyway.

So much of this film was spent getting the characters together that I for one cannot wait to see where they can take this franchise now that they can jump right into the next story with the complete crew. I just hope they continue to go boldly "where no one has gone before" rather than trying to rehash old storylines that we've all seen before.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Last of the Time Lords
May 13th, 2009, 02:37 PM
I just went to see this with two other people. One of them had never seen anything Trek related and thought this reboot (which she wanted to be because Sylar is in it) would be a good place to start.

The other was a hardcore Trekkie who is about one step below those fans who actually learn to speak Klingon fluently.

I myself am a casual fan. I've watched all the other movies, enjoy all the other series (though I was never really into Enterprise), and try not to take it too seriously.

Me and the newbie loved it. The Trekkie had a lot to complain about, but even he agreed that it was overall a good film.

Considering that he expected to hate every minute of it, I'd say that getting 2.5/3 from us is the best this movie could hope for. All in all, recommended.
Cogito Ergo Moo
May 13th, 2009, 04:49 PM
best.... trek.... ever. (period)

But I do wonder what cataclymic events of the future moved the Grand Canyon to Iowa, and it sure takes a leap of faith to think that Nokia would not update its classic ringtone in 300 odd years....

Jack Burton, Me!
May 13th, 2009, 05:15 PM
A few people asked me if they needed to watch all 10 previous films in order to understand this one; I told them no, but that if after watching this new one that they enjoy it, then they should watch First Contact and Wrath of Khan. And then watch all the others in whatever order.

The question is though, does this movie make Star Trek acceptable in non-Trekkie society? Can we label such a franchise as "cool"?? Judging by the number of people who have said "I don't like Star Trek but the new one looks awesome!", I'd say possibly.
Live long and prosper
May 13th, 2009, 05:51 PM
Doctor Who...It's Trekker not Trekkie
May 13th, 2009, 05:56 PM
I'm so pissed JJ stole my idea to shoot a movie almost completely in close-up.
Forgets Passwords Easily
May 13th, 2009, 07:57 PM
My name is James T. Kirk of the Star Trek Enterprise. I'll be over here, getting the shit kicked out of me while you guys execute a real plan against our distracted foe.

Amazing movie, by the way.
Amicable Herculean
May 13th, 2009, 08:37 PM
You forgot the part where Kirk was sexing a green-skinned girl, I think that was a reference too.
Forum Virgin
May 13th, 2009, 11:20 PM
There two thing I don't get

- Why Uhura was in Iowa

-How come a single drop of red matter make a bigger black hole than the whole ball of it
May 13th, 2009, 11:37 PM
I must see this film.
Last of the Time Lords
May 14th, 2009, 03:10 AM
"Doctor Who...It's Trekker not Trekkie"

No, that's what they call themselves. It's kind of like how whiny emo virgins strumming base guitars and writing poetry about how empty life is call themselves "artists".

Trust me, to the rest of the world they are Trekkies. We "Whovians" have made peace with our nickname, why can't they?
Ba dum dum dum dum
May 14th, 2009, 06:56 AM
I watched it with someone who had never watched anything Star Trek and she liked it. I'm a casual fan and I thought it was good too.

I thought the casting was superb, and the plot was well paced and, in a Star Trek kind of way, believable.

I'd really reccomend it to practically anyone.
The Mighty One
May 14th, 2009, 11:06 AM
I haven't seen the movie yet (I plan on renting it when it comes out on DVD) but it has me really worried about the franchise's future. Does the reboot nature of the film mean we'll have to slog through the other series in the future to get to actual new characters? Having not seen the movie yet I'm not really excited about a bunch of stories with Kirk and the Gang again rather than a bunch of new characters? Are my worries unfounded?
Jason's a Furry! Run!
May 14th, 2009, 01:40 PM
I keep seeing positive reviews for this movie (and more uses of the word fun than I ever though I would see in movie reviews), but I just can't bring myself to see it. I'm simply so disinterested in Star Trek as a whole (never seen the show or any of the movies, no absolutely nothing about it outside Futurama jokes), I simply don't feel any want to go watch it. It's a bit like me and Transformers, actually.
Live long and prosper
May 14th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Final word on Trekker vs Trekkie
From Wiki...
"In the 1991 TV show Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special, Leonard Nimoy attempts to settle the issue by stating that the term 'Trekker' is the correct one. In the documentary Trekkies, Kate Mulgrew stated that Trekkers are the ones "walking with us" while the Trekkies are the ones content to simply sit and watch Star Trek."
Spock said it, Janeway said it...case closed
The Mighty One
May 14th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Relaxing Dragon: Coincidentally, the guys who wrote the screenplay to Transformers also wrote the one for Star Trek.
May 14th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Further down the article: "Gene Roddenberry used the term "trekkies" to describe fans of the show, only to be corrected by a fan that stood up and yelled "Trekkers!" Gene Roddenberry allegedly responded with "No, it's 'Trekkies.' I should know — I invented the thing.""

The article also called Output a Douche, but it didn't have a citation so it's probably just an opinion.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
May 14th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Originally Posted by FistfulOAwesome View Post
Relaxing Dragon: Coincidentally, the guys who wrote the screenplay to Transformers also wrote the one for Star Trek.
Eerie. All there needs to be now is some kind of connection between those two films and Wolverine, and I'll have a Trinity of Disinterest on my hands.
May 14th, 2009, 06:35 PM
Semi-spoiler response:

I figured Nero had been hanging around for 25 years, at some point you get bored and tune in to local news (and Kirk's daddy apparently became quite famous in the interval).

And yeah, Kirk's encounter on the ice planet is hard to justify.

BUT, even having grown up on films 2 through 6, I had soooo much fun watching this. Bones was the best. And yes, there were "beep beeps" in my audience too!
SFD SFD is offline
Forum Virgin
May 14th, 2009, 07:23 PM
I've never watched Star Trek and I was a little embarassed to say I was going to see it for fear of being thought of as a Trekkie 'n' all that, but my friend made me watch Wrath of Khan and then told me we were going to see the new one at the IMAX and... I really enjoyed it... and that's coming from someone who didn't want to enjoy it!
May 14th, 2009, 08:27 PM
I hear that the IMAX screens are scandalously small.

Live long and prosper
May 15th, 2009, 10:02 AM
Further down the article: "Roddenberry has also allegedly used the term "Trekker" in interviews and personal appearances"
Pub Lover...name calling, that's classy.
May 15th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Originally Posted by Output View Post
...name calling, that's classy.
Funny too

No offense, but if you come into any i-mockery discussion like this...

You will get mocked. Simple as that.

On topic. I found the movie as fun as you did Proto, and the casting was very well done. I think it helped that my expectations going in were low though. I was expecting a huge failure despite what I had heard from the previewers and was pleasantly surprised that it was an entertaining movie.
May 15th, 2009, 01:01 PM

Output is a douche...case closed
Live long and prosper
May 15th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Douche, is considered to be a pejorative term in most of the English-speaking world. The term implies a variety of negative qualities, specifically arrogance and malice.
I am superior (definition of arrogance) and I do intend to harm (definition of malice).
May 15th, 2009, 03:28 PM
after enough bourbon ...
May 16th, 2009, 09:11 PM
I am a trekkie. Douche is optional.

BTW Great review. I too must see this film. Maybe next weekend
May 16th, 2009, 10:08 PM
i hate the whole trekkie/trekker argument, it's like they think they're some sort of minority group or something i'm gonna just call them "midgets" or "retarded" from now on how does that grab you
Forum candy dispenser
May 17th, 2009, 02:45 AM
I guess I'm the only one that was so bothered by the Lens Flare. Then I read on I09 that it was intentional, and shot practically. I understand that the future is all shiny, but it shouldn't keep me from seeing the people's faces. Other than that, I really like the whole movie, just not the glare.
Forum Virgin
May 17th, 2009, 03:01 AM
I'm a big Star Trek fan, but I'm sure I'll hate this movie. People calling it "90210 in Space" and saying that in a positive sense pretty much tells me this film sucks.
That guy...
May 17th, 2009, 04:15 AM
Well, I just saw the movie tonight and I thought it was one of the best movies I've seen in a while (last one was DragonBall: Evolution. shudder...) I've been watching Star Trek since "Next Generation" and was pretty happy with the way they presented the "reboot" to the series. I never found the original "Star Trek" interesting, so maybe the new cast can pull me in.
Forum Virgin
May 17th, 2009, 05:11 AM
For those that are interested, there is an awesome podcast with the screenwriters of Trek... I tried to find a link but the website doesn't allow direct downloads. Just find "Creative Screenwriting" on itunes and it should be there. Answered a lot of questions I had about the flic and made me appreciate it a lot more... Well worth your time.
The Mighty One
May 17th, 2009, 01:18 PM
You mean the same screenwriters who wrote Transformers? I have a bad feeling about this.
May 20th, 2009, 10:53 PM
I haven't cared about Star Trek since Next Generation ended (Deep Space Nine was balls), but this movie was awesome.
May 20th, 2009, 11:34 PM
I'm sure I'll check it out sometime. I just wish William Shatner was involved somehow.
Forum Virgin
May 21st, 2009, 10:48 AM
The Graphic Novel Prequel explains the weapons on board the mining ship. After Romulan is destroyed Nero and his crew run into a group of renegade romulans who have stolen Borg tech and they use the Borg tech to pimp Nero's ride. Also in the prequel he is allowed on board the Enterprise (under Captain Data) and has access to the computers and studies the history of the Federation, particular one James T. Kirk, so I assume that's how he knew Kirk's dad was on board that ship.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
May 21st, 2009, 12:51 PM
I dug the part where the Wookie goes into the wormhole and comes out the other end and Leonard Nimoys like this Old Wookie dying in a bed and then a space baby gets born.
The Magnificent Bastard
May 21st, 2009, 11:00 PM
I just saw it tonight. I loved it!

There's not much to say that hasn't already been said, but I want to point out that Nimoy being in this film really helped to "legitimize" it for me. Seeing him really helped it feel like an actual Trek movie, and not just some "Summer Blockbuster" based on Star Trek.

But, really it was a great movie, and I'm pretty much with Proto on what he's said.
after enough bourbon ...
May 23rd, 2009, 10:20 PM
Damn fine motion picture. I loved how Urban and Pegg captured the essence of Kelley (the country doctor in space) and Doohan (the eccentric unorthodox engineering genius). It's a shame that they both passed away before this film was released - I would like to have seen their reactions.
A little slice of wisdom
May 26th, 2009, 12:14 PM
According to Reelz Channel, the director said that they're already hard at work at the script for the second movie. Well if the first movie was good, why can't they just bring the goddamned show back?!
May 31st, 2009, 07:09 PM
I never knew Battlefield Earth would have a such a lasting impact on the sci-fi genre. Every single fucking shot in this movie was at a canted angle with lens flare blinding everything, the other view is the camera shaking around to where you can't even tell what the fuck is going on. I never got out to see many summer blockbusters after the first Matrix so maybe I'm behind the times despite being the target audience age, I fucking cannot stand 2 second cut scenes of 700 CGI sprites flinging across the screen while the camera is sitting on a paint mixer. It really sucks, its not EXXXTREEEEME or IN-10-NSE it just makes me wish that stupid fucking style never caught on, I feel like I'm getting ripped off.

That aside this was a damn great Star Trek movie. I like watching an episode of the classic series like once every 5 years or so and I remember seeing the classic films a bunch when I was a kid and past that the other spinoffs suck ass and Trekkies are fucking pathetic. This movie is full of raw sexy nubile flesh, attractive faces, no wonder fat endowed Trekkies hate it so much, barely qualifying as humans themselves, I think its hilarious their last refuge from reality has been tainted by the lean buttocks of mass appeal. It seems everything imaginable in a summer blockbuster was tried and parts of this movie come off as really generic, going through a familiar exercises in making sure it resembles the trailers for UP and Transformers Again shown beforehand. The humor with the bloated hands, or Scotty getting sucked humorously through some water pipes in the engine room, the part where some big monster chases Kirk on Hoth, it could have been any movie at that point. The action really slowed the movie down for me, becoming another generic process of A-B-C mind on hold flick making, there was nothing special about it. Maybe making the action a bit slower but focusing on more surreal aspects of, maybe even basking in some silence more, making them a bit more eerie would change things up. This movie just wanted to please everyone and I can't fault it for that.

I think this is the only movie I've seen so far this year in a theater and its damn good. The new cast is all good, I look forward to a sequel now that the set up is out of the way. I hope they make a damn movie finally living up to the fucking speech made on all the episodes and actually show them discovering shit, weird shit, instead of just a bunch of action plot oriented flicks. Yeah you know that won't happen...
Pygmy Extraordinaire
Jun 6th, 2009, 12:59 AM
Star Trek was incredible. But watching it in IMAX was very unsettling. I felt like I had ridden a roller coaster over and over after I had just had my last meal.

Even with that flip flop feeling in my stomach, I would recommend it.
Jun 14th, 2009, 05:41 AM

Weekly Movie Review Star Trek

Great review for a great game.

I hope the positive word of mouth keeps spreading and the copies keep coming off the shelves.