Summer Movie Showdown "Star Trek" Review


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Summer Movie Showdown "Star Trek" Review

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 127 minutes
Release Date: May 8, 2009
Directed By: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Sci-fi, action, adventure

The 2009 release of "Star Trek" marked the eleventh film in a franchise that has its roots in a 1960s television series created by Gene Rodenberry. "Star Trek" takes viewers on a 23rd-century adventure through space on missions for the Federation. This was the first recent film in the "Star Trek" series to feature many of the original characters from the original television series. 

The movie begins in 2233 with the USS Kelvin, a Federation starship, as it faces what appears to be a very large lightning storm. The crew realize they have discovered a black hole a little too late. The Narada, a Romulan ship, appears and begins to attack the Kelvin but then ceases fire and instead demands that the captain board the Narada in an effort to negotiate a truce. When Captain Robau (Faran Tahir) refuses to answer questions, he is killed and the attack on the USS Kelvin continues.

The USS Kelvin's first officer, George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), orders the evacuation of the ship's crew, including his pregnant wife, and plots the Kelvin on a collision course with the Narada. Although Kirk dies in the collision, his wife, Winona (Jennifer Morrison), goes on to give birth to a son whom she names James T. Kirk (Chris Pine).

Years later, Kirk joins Starfleet and eventually becomes a part of the crew on the USS Enterprise along with Spock (Zachary Quinto), Nyota Uhura (Zoƫ Saldana), and Leonard McCoy (Carl Urban) under the direction of Captain Christopher Pike. The young crew is sent to investigate a distress signal from Spock's home planet, Vulcan, along with another large lightning storm. When they get to Vulcan, they find the Narada again stirring up trouble, having already destroyed the fleet. The ship is now trying to drill into the core of the planet Vulcan, but it stops and begins attacking the Enterprise instead. Ultimately, Vulcan is destroyed.

In a bit of history repeated, the Narada captures Captain Pike, who first turns control of the ship over to Spock and makes Kirk the first officer. A bit of time travel ensues, and a young Spock meets up with his older self (Leonard Nimoy) in the future. When all is said and done, Kirk is made Captain of the USS Enterprise with Spock as his first officer and the rest of the crew recreating characters from the original series, including Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). As they begin their first mission, the crew vows to boldly go, as the original series stated, "where no man has gone before."

The film was well received and earned a total of more than $385 million at the box office internationally. It wound up winning an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup, as well as another 17 award wins and 50 nominations.

J.J. Abrams directed the movie, his first in the sci-fi genre. Prior to "Star Trek," he had directed several television shows, including "The Office" and "Lost," as well as full-length feature films such as "Mission: Impossible III." He did a wonderful job with the movie's action scenes, despite not having much experience with them. Above all, he kept the characters true to their roots from the original series while allowing the actors to add a bit of their own uniqueness to the roles.

Chris Pine did an excellent job in the role of Kirk, despite the fact that he was a relative newcomer to the silver screen. He began his acting career in 2003 with an appearance on an episode of "ER" and then moved onto other television shows, including "CSI: Miami" and "The Guardian." He made his big-screen debut in 2004 in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" and continued on with film and television roles until landing the lead role in "Star Trek." He reprised his role in the 2013 film "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Zachary Quinto, who played the role of a young Spock, was also in the early stages of his acting career, although he had more experience than Pine. He started acting in 2000 with a small part in the television series "The Others" and then took bit roles in hit a number of television series, including "Lizzie McGuire," "Six Feet Under," and "Dragnet." He became nationally known when he landed a recurring role in the smash hit "24" and then in "Heroes" and "American Horror Story." Like Pine, he also reprised his role in the 2013 "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Leonard Nimoy, who played the role of Spock in the original series, was the perfect actor to be cast in this film. Although William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk was adored, Spock has a huge cult following, based largely on the fact that he was the one non-Earthling on the original USS Enterprise crew.

Rating: 4 out of 5