On the day that James Kirk was born, his father dies during lightning storm in space at the hands of Romulans. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) dies on his ship in a last stand against a rogue, time-travelling Romulan ship, captained by Nero (Eric Bana) who is hunting for Ambassador Spock; at this time is a mere child on the planet Vulcan, often at the brunt of much scorn from his peers for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) has created a bit of a reputation as a young troublemaker. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) sees the potential in this young man and pleads to Kirk that he should enroll in Starfleet.
Kirk takes his advice and starts to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto). Out of the blue, there is an emergency distress call from Spock’s homeworld, Vulcan. The newly assembled USS Enterprise crew is tasked with going to their aid. This crew is made up of the classic characters from the original series such as: Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) as well as Kirk thanks to Leonard McCoy’s (Karl Urban) medical deception. Together this crew, will explore strange new worlds, seek out new civilizations and boldly go where nobody has gone before.
I understand that making a movie such as this, is a bold move by any means. It had the potential to alienate fans forever. But I don’t think that it did this at all. It reanimated the Original Series in movie form with a new set of talented individuals. If anything, it boosted the fancase. Director J.J. Abrams with Robert Orci (Transformers) & Alex Kurtzman (Sleepy Hollow) have created something special here. They’ve pretty given the franchise a rebirth for this next generation of new fans.This movie gave people who didn’t like the other series and films of Star Trek a chance to open their minds. This reboot severed the ties with previous movies and has used a breed of actors that today’s generation can get behind.
The movie starts with the last voyage of the federation starship, U.S.S Kelvin. It has an unlucky chance meeting with one massive Romulan ship that seems to have appeared out some kind of wormhole. After a savage and remorseless assault by the Romulans on the Starfleet vessel, Captain Robau (Faran Tahir) is questioned by tattooed adversaries. Where are we? What year is it? But most importantly, where is Ambassador Spock? At this point Spock is still a child, unaware of Nero and why he’s hunting him for something he hasn’t done, or at least, not yet.
After the assault on Kelvin in the opening sequence, I’m sold on this movie. I’m sold on it as somebody who has watched the series as well as somebody who likes a good sci-fi movie. It’s engaging and flows nicely. This is a great sci-fi movie in its own right as well as an awesome franchise starter/rebooter. After the assault, The film jumps forward a few years, or backwards depending on how you look at it. We are now in on Earth in Iowa in the United States where a juvenile Jim is angry at system. He shows this by driving his stepfather’s car off the edge of a cliff. Then we meet a young Spock on Vulcan where his lineage is the root of much hardship for him. He must contend with bullies in his early years as well as oppression from those highest in Vulcan authority in his young adult life. These plot points in Spock’s life show how he struggles with emotions and the ability to feel, despite being half-human.
The movie isn’t just space battles and Kirk acting out but relationships also apparent. The unfeeling Spock and Uhura. This is the most unlikely relationship, especially for Spock. How can you love someone who takes everything literally, or can’t grasp emotions? That’s something that fundamentally makes us human. Not our biology, but the ability to care. Something that at first glance, Spock seems to lack, even after his planet is destroyed. Their romance isn’t cringeworthy or simply used as a filler plot device. It’s a great contrast to everything else that is happening in the movie. Mr Sulu (John Cho) gets to show off with his fencing skills, while the late Anton Yelchin’s Chekov and Simon Pegg’s Mr Scott are there for comedic effect, but not wasted or overplayed comedy like in so many Marvel movies of late. Each actor brings their own take on their respective character and they have done justice to their predecessors. I think my favourites are Zachary Quinto as Mr Spock (American Horror Story) and Karl Urban (Lord Of The Rings) as the cynical Dr McCoy.
Chris Pine (Into The Woods) and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock is legendary. They bounce off each other like a ping-pong match. They are far from best friends in this movie and Spock does everything he can to stop Kirk from accomplishing anything in the beginning. Kirk is cocky and arrogant yet really intelligent. Spock hates it. Kirk doesn’t work that hard, yet somehow seems to succeed at everything. We all knew that one kid in school who bailed on lessons yet somehow passed the end of year tests. Kirk is that guy and it infuriates Spock, in addition to Kirk beating Spock’s test, which was designed as a trick test. Pine’s version of Kirk has cast Shatner out of mind, thank the lord; free of those classic facial expressions and cringeworthy one-liners. For me, Quinto’s Spock stole the movie and he’s at the epicentre of the movie’s plot due to the obliteration of Vulcan as well as the arrival of his future self, Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
Simon Pegg (The Cornetto Trilogy) as Scotty was a great casting. He owned the role and in the sequel after it, Star Trek: Into Darkness. He’s larger than life and isn’t afraid to show how geeky he is in character. This goes for Anton Yelchin’s Chekov as well. Both are well casted. Eric Bana’s Nero seems to be something we’ve seen before, an angry alien out for vengeance. That being said, he’s pretty badass and Eric Bana gives an apt performance in the role despite remaining two dimensional throughout.
J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens) and crew have created the best Star Trek movie of the whole franchise, free of cringe yet keeping the greatness of the originals. They’ve cut out all the rubbish of the Original Series and have taken inspiration from the bits that made the series great. This movie has excellent performances from all the cast with Quinto and Pegg stealing it as Spock and Montgomery Scott as well as Karl Urban as Dr McCoy. I really enjoyed the story and they used time-travel well, with confusing as few people as possible. It was no Days Of Future Past or Back To The Future: Part II in this regard, because those two movies can really confuse you.
Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov and McCoy go back to the future