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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Star Trek (2009)


Just when I thought ‘Star Wars’ was so much better, J.J. Abrams has to just make me reconsider.

The film follows James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) aboard the USS Enterprise as they combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from their future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The story takes place in an alternate reality due to time travel by both Nero and the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

The one thing that J.J. Abrams does perfectly here is that he takes everything that every Trekkie knows and love and doesn’t ignore it and act like it never happened, instead, he’s spiced it up with extra energy on everything across the board like action, story, mythology, special effects, and basically everything else you need in a film. Basically, J.J. Abrams is going to be the next George Lucas and hopefully that’s said with more praise rather than negativity, considering Lucas hasn’t been the most reliable sci-fi director in the past 13 years.

This is definitely one of the films in recent memory that has made me actually want to go out and be a kid again. Abrams injects this flick with a great deal of fun and energy to the point of where almost every single scene is as entertaining as the last. The constant space-ship shoot-outs, the hand-to-hand combat brawls, and the blowing up of just about everything in sight gives this film that epic feel of a thrill-ride that is sure to please just about anyone. So if you’re a Trekkie, a person who hates being called a Trekkie, a person who thinks that ‘Star Trek’ is a poor man’s version of ‘Star Wars’ (I can easily say that I’m one of them), or just a person who appreciates a good old sci-fi/action flick, this film will definitely entertain the hell out of you as it did for me.

It also helps that the special effects are by far some of the best I have seen in the past couple of years. The film is constantly moving around all-over-the-place but there are moments where this flick just stops and lets us sit back and look at these beautiful, CGI images of space, the space-ships themselves, or just what a planet looks like from space itself. There are even scenes where there’s a free-fall from space and it just looks damn near gorgeous but also make you hold your breath considering how real and stunning it looks.

Where this film also works is its script because it can handle just about everything perfectly. The fact that the writers didn’t want to offend any Trekkies out there is something definitely worth noting. It doesn’t just ignore the events of the first 10 films and almost pretend as if they never happened or start from scratch like that, it actually acknowledges them and say that they happened in an alternate time-line. Which in a way is restarting its series but also continuing it and giving them the right to do whatever the hell it is that they want with this material. Definitely the right way to give the series a reboot because it doesn’t offend anybody and doesn’t confuse anybody either.

There is a lot of humor here that works well and doesn’t feel shoe-horned one bit like many action-action flicks try to do. There’s plenty of funny scenes and moments such as a moment where Bones keeps injecting Kirk and he has an allergic reaction to it, a moment where Chekov messes around with the voice recognition computer, any plenty of moments of endless rejections of Kirk by Uhura, and just so many many more scenes that actually had me laughing my ass off and it didn’t feel like it was trying too hard by any means. There are also a lot of other emotional moments as well that will probably bring any real Trekkie to tears. Before the opening credits even pop-up, we are treated to an awesome space-fight where Kirk’s mother gives birth to him and his father is killed in a space crash. I don’t want to say that this made me close to crying but it is definitely a scene that feels genuine and starts off the film perfectly.

My only gripe with this flick was that the villains for this story felt terribly lame. These Romulan people have these Mike Tyson face-tattoos happening and looked like a bunch of angry cave-men. They are always grumpy and totally unforgettable and uninteresting but then again the film is really trying to just give us villains that will make this film work and no matter what, we all know what’s going to happen at the end so who cares really. It’s just a shame that they have a good actor like Eric Bana playing a role where he practically yells and hollers about something new the whole time.

I was also very impressed by how perfectly Abrams handled this ensemble cast as well. Chris Pine references but doesn’t do a parody of William Shatner but brings a lot of swagger, cockiness, sarcasm, and boyishness to the role instead. It’s a very fine line and he struts right down it and makes this one of the better leads for a sci-fi flick I have seen in a pretty long time. Zachary Quinto is also seamless as Spock, channeling Leonard Nimoy (who also appears in the flick as well), channeling both his logical side of things as well as human side to perfection. It’s definitely a great role for both of these guys considering the flick is basically counting on them to give more than just impersonations and it’s something they handle perfectly.

It was also great to see every other character here do a great job and get a chance to have their own moments as well. John Cho is good as Sulu and kicks some ass in a sword fight; Anton Yelchin is funny channeling his inner Russian, while saving the day with his math skills as Chekov; Karl Urban steals almost every scene he’s in as Bones, and just lets the comedic timing; Simon Pegg is also hilarious in a lot of his scenes as the quirky engineering genius, Montgomery Scott; and Zoe Saldana gets to strut her stuff every once and awhile as Uhura. There are so many other little performances here given by stars that you have seen somewhere else but this main ensemble is what really makes this flick work as well.

Consensus: Star Trek is a perfect reboot of the series with exciting action, humor, great performances from everybody involved, impressive special effects, and a fun-loving spirit that will not only entertain and be loved by Trekkies, but also will bring in others who aren’t that familiar with the material already.

9/10=Full Price!!

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19 responses to “Star Trek (2009)

  1. wordschat April 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    This is a reboot that works unlike the A-Team and Starsky and Hutch that are sure to be single shots. I grew up with Space 1999 and Star Trek. I’m a full on Trekker. This was great largely due to the chemistry. Karl Urban as Bones was bang on. His explanation of the kickname adds a whole new take on his young and later crusty character.

  2. Ipodman April 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I love this movie very much! I think the story and characters are amazing with the right balance of action and humour. I agree that the villain feels a little bit lame with the whole time travel revenge thing, but overall I think it worked out well…

  3. cuttingedgecreativity April 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Yes, I agree with the review completely. And I totally bought the DVD when it came out. XDD Have you seen the extras? Hilarious.

    Oh and…follow me on Twitter already!! >:O Hahaha. :p

  4. Jaina April 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    They were insanely clever when they made this film. They’ve made it a reboot without actually making it a reboot. They weaved it into the story which made it easier for the Trekkies to buy that it wouldn’t be treading all over their beloved original films.

    I adore this film. The casting nailed it for me. They couldn’t have picked a better group of young actors to fill some considerably big boots!

    Really looking forward to the next trip. JJ’s got a heck of a lot of talent and he’s put it all on show here.

    • CMrok93 April 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      They picked the perfect cast here and they are all given their own times to shine. Thanks Jaina! The next one is going to be even more awesome!

  5. Steven Flores April 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    And for the record… Han Solo is not as cool as Captain James T. Kirk. Period. Even if it’s being played by William Shatner!

  6. Marlon Wallace (@marlonwallace) April 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    i’m sorry, but I have to disagree. here is the review i wrote three years ago when jj abrams’ star trek was originally released.

    http://www.wboc.com/story/10410139/movie-review-star-trek

    basically, i thought jj abrams’ version was a betrayal to the original tv series and films and really was more of a rip-off of other sci-fi films, namely “star wars”

  7. The Focused Filmographer April 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I agree with you Dan. So much worked very great in this movie! Abrams did a great job with the cast, script, special effects, and more. LOL at the “Mike Tyson” faces on the villains.

    Great review Dan. Out of curiousity, was this the first time you’ve seen the film since it released? Or did you just watch it again to review it?

  8. Evan Crean April 18, 2012 at 1:05 am

    It’s high energy and a lot of fun. A solid reboot which uses a great excuse to change the story to suit new actors. The cast is fantastic and the special effects are fantastic. Love it.

  9. Nic April 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Lens flare!

    Abrams did a great job of making Star Trek accessible to a general audience. You don’t have to be a fan of the original series to be able to get into the film.

    I agree with the Romulans being kind of lame, but I guess I was able to forgive it since they really didn’t feel like they were that vital to the film (other than setting everything plot-wise in motion.) The film focuses on character development so I mostly just forgot about the Romulans even when they were on screen. I was more caught up in what Abrams was going to do with the other characters.

  10. nrpramik April 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I got to see this when it was first released and I was a bit skeptical. I’m a Trekkie and, sadly, I was let down a bit by some of the previous “Star Trek” movies. Most of the “Original Series” movies aren’t bad but I only liked “First Contact” from the “Next Generation” set. Concerning this movie, I was really impressed from the start and it held my interest until the very end. Not only were the characters, for the msot part, spot-on, but the cinematography was gorgeous. Likewise, it wasn’t all razzle-dazzle special effects. Sometimes, I think movies go a bit overkill with the computer-generated graphics and massive action sequences. But “Star Trek” had a good balance. I enjoyed your review and whole-heartedly agree. By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award: http://beautyandbrainsblogger.wordpress.com/ :)

  11. Scott William Foley April 19, 2012 at 2:27 am

    This was the first time I ever thought the Kirk and Spock crew were cool. I know that’s horrific to say to traditional Trek fans, but hey, I’m being honest. I can’t wait to see subsequent films with this team.

  12. Morgan R. Lewis April 19, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I remember thinking at the time I saw this that it had some flaws, but that it was on the whole a very good film and respectful to the franchise. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

  13. Chip April 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    The filmmakers took everything that was great about Star Trek, everything that made it intelligent, entertaining, and the legend that it is, brought it all together – and threw it away and made a big, dumb, loud summer action movie.

    Now don’t get me wrong; big, dumb, loud summer action movies can still be entertaining, and I marginally liked this film. But just to be perfectly clear: other than the names of the characters this movie has absolutely nothing to do with Star Trek.

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