Star Trek (2009) Guest Reviews, Page 2
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
Finally got to see Star Trek yesterday, and it did leave me with a few points to ponder. So ponder I did.
First of all, there's no getting around the fact that I was sorely tempted to launch a size 11 at the screen in the car chase scene. A juvenile delinquent Kirk driving his step-dad's classic roadster off a cliff, all to the tune of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, cool. Even great. But the bloody Nokia product placement? At the rate companies are folding in the current recession it's doubtful Nokia will be here in ten years, much less 250.
The new Enterprise: ugly as sin. Admittedly, the original series ship looked like it had been put together on a budget of 50p (mainly coz it had), but the new one is just hideous. It's difficult not to be childish about a ship that looks like it's been glassed in a nightclub and stitched together by a blind doctor. The new bridge looks like an Apple paperless office concept, and couldn't they be bothered to design an engine room? Looks like they've just gone down the local gasworks!
The plot: bloody awful. It seemed like the writers had gone through every episode of all five series, making notes. I was noting that this bit had been used in one episode, that bit in another... Much like Die Another Day recycled ideas from the previous nineteen Bond movies.
So, anything good? Yes, plenty. The film is saved by some outstanding performances and snappy dialogue. It's a great popcorn movie that has a plethora of big explosions, laugh-out-loud moments and good acting. Just think of it as a Casino Royale-style reboot, not a direct prequel. Still not as good as "Wrath of Khan" though. I'll get me coat...
Rating: 7 (Dave Bowling)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2233.4: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
First I want to review the new cast: Pine as Kirk is good, not great but good. Quinto as Spock reminded me a lot of his Sylar-character from the heroes-show and not about Spock. Urban's McCoy is outstanding, even if he had not much to do. The other crew members are also not important enough to say much about them. But Chekov was ridiculous and Uhura a bit arrogant and portrayed to aggressive for this character. Scotty was insane and mirrored nothing from the old Scotty. The villain, Nero, was lame and boring and acted like a clone of Shinzon from "Nemesis". It might have something to do with the fact, that he had fewer screen time than any villain before in the movie-series.
Second, I want to speak about the movie:
This movie is a reboot, despite everything the producers have told us fans multiple times. The USS Kelvin looked too little like a TOS-ship, Spock's Jellyfish doesn't use the TNG-style stardate, like it should if it's out of the "Prime-Universe". Because of that, I will review the movie as a reboot and not as a continuation of the known Star Trek series. I have to admit, that the first 20 minutes of the movie are far the best I've ever seen in any Star Trek: Action, drama, great special effects and good use of cutting and camera-movement. The only thing I was a bit disappointed was the collision between the Narada and the Kelvin. A tiny explosion... is that all what happens, when a 200+ meter long starship dives in another starship? That explosion should have wiped out the Narada, but OK, I can live with that. Seeing Spock as a child and his interaction with the Vulcan kids was great and I also liked little Jim Kirk in the car. The first thing I was really disappointed was the Kobayashi Maru test. That lame trick was all, Kirk came up with? Oh man... Well, perhaps my expectations after Kirk's comment from TWOK were to high. After the emergency call from Vulcan all cadets get promoted and served as crew of seven starships. That's unrealistic and a stupid trick to get our heroes aboard the Enterprise. I don't like that. I also think it was a missed opportunity not to show the battle over Vulcan. There were just wrecks, when the Enterprise arrived. The fight on the rig-platform was good, not great but good and Sulu's enfolding Katana is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. But after the rig-fight the movie went totally down. Not because Amanda Grayson was unnecessarily killed and Vulcan got destroyed. It was, because the story lost every aspect of action and suspense. Spock's explanation, that the timeline has changed and they are all living now as alternate-version of the characters we know from TOS robbed me from every interest I had. Their destinies are no longer important, because these characters could never become the heroes from TOS. Nothing great happened after Vulcan's destruction. Two big monsters on Delta Vega (it has to be another planet in the Vulcan-system BTW and not THE Delta Vega from WNMHGB) that want to eat Kirk. It was clear he would not get eaten, so it was a lame and boring scene for me. The meeting with Old Spock was more confusing instead of make the things clear and it felt very forced and constructed. The entire supernova- and black hole-stuff didn't make any sense and showed how little the writers and producers care for physics or even Star Trek-physics. The first meeting with Scotty was also weird and confusing (and let me think of transporter range). So, Kirk got back on the Enterprise and took command. I was hoping that the movie got past all the boring stuff and action and suspense would return now. But that doesn't happen. Kirk and Spock sneaked on board the Narada and stealing Spock's Jellyfish. It was not the Enterprise that took the action, destroying the rig and saving the day; it was the Jellyfish and I don't like that. I thought it was lame and boring. The Enterprise only appeared late in the climax und shot down Narada's torpedoes, so that the Jellyfish could destroy the Narada with a suicide-run. The battle was over and Nero and his comrades defeated. Now the movie missed the only opportunity to show a real Star Trek-moment in the movie. Instead of rescuing the Romulans - even if they don't want to be rescued, what I doubt if I remember the fleeing Romulans, except for Nero - Kirk ordered to fire on a doomed and half-destroyed ship. That was cold blooded revenge, even murder and made me really angry. The final moments of the movie were as boring and lame as it's middle part. Star Trek is not a good movie, even if you don't compare it to some other bad Star Trek movies. The logic is absurd and the physics pure fantasy. Why did Spock not join Kirk and Scotty, beam on the Enterprise and make a time jump, back to stardate 2233.4, save the Kelvin and stop Nero? Or save at least Vulcan? Why don't the Vulcans evacuate their planet? Are there no shuttles or ships on the planet's surface? How could Nero easily destroy seven big starships in just a few minutes, when he can't even stop the far older Kelvin from its suicide-run?
Another aspect I don't like about this movie is the decision to avoid ANYTHING that was established or shown before. The spacedock looked entirely different, they left out any technology from TNG (what you would expect at least on the Jellyfish, a Federation ship from the year 2387) or even Enterprise (the only mention was Admiral Archer's beagle). The design decision are not my favorites too. The Enterprise is ugly for my taste. It don't have the elegant lines of the TOS-one or the Enterprise-A. Its dimensions are wrong and the saucer is a cheap copy of the refit saucer. The bridge is more confusing as I feared. I was not able to make Out who is sitting who. The main engineering is perhaps the most awful set design ever. First it's far too big for the tiny drive section of the ship and second it looked like a water plant or a brewery (what it was in reality) than an engine room. The warp cores (five at least) are redressed tanks full with Budweiser! And I really don't like the window in the bridge what is also used as viewscreen. But I like the design of the Narada, a really threatening ship, especially when it's first appearing. I also like the Kelvin, even when she's looking more advanced than the TOS-Enterprise. My conclusion: Better than Nemesis, because of the movie's first minutes. But for me it's in the same line with Generations, The Final Frontier and Insurrection. Definitely no match for TWOK, "First Contact" and TUC.
- Remarkable Starfleet ships: The USS Kelvin and the one ship with four nacelles
- Remarkable enemy ship: The giant Narada
- Remarkable quote: "Have you lost your Vulcan mind?" (Dr. McCoy)
- Remarkable scene: The Enterprise surface from Titan's heavy atmosphere
- Remarkable prop: Sulu's unfolding Katana
- Remarkable mistake: The Enterprise ejects its warp cores directly between the giant nacelles. Making a dangerous situation even more dangerous!
Rating: 5 (Tobi Fischer)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: A disgruntled Romulan named Nero travels back in time in order to extract revenge on the Federation.
A bizarre film, that tries to satisfy existing fans while also attracting new ones. Sadly, it only succeeds in the latter. Any Trekker worth his salt will be appalled by the events of this movie, and how everything that happened in TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and the other ten movies will now never occur. JJ Abrams has created a new Star Trek universe, which lacks the enjoyment and wonderful sense of optimism that the rest of the franchise has had. As a sci-fi action film, it's not bad, but as a Trek film, it's very average. We can only hope that, should Star Trek ever return to the small screen, the producers will take a page out the book of the producers of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and pretend the events of this film never happened.
- Remarkable error: Uhura orders a "Cardassian Sunrise", over a hundred years before the Federation will make first contact with the Cardassian Empire.
- Remarkable ship: Nero's "mining ship". Granted, it's from the future, but that's one tough "mining ship" to break through the defences around Vulcan, destroy a task force of Constitution-class ships, cripple the Enterprise, and destroy any defences around Earth.
- Remarkable scene: Kirk's Kobayashi Maru test - probably the best bit of the film.
- Remarkable dialogue: "I am Spock." - "Bullshit." -Spock Prime and Kirk
Rating: 3 (Sean Freeburn)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 10.5.2009: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
"NEW BEGINNING OF STAR TREK"? I don't think so.
If I were only a typical movie consumer, I would give this movie ok, let's say 5 points for action, effects, etc....
But I always liked STAR TREK UNIVERSE and this movie is one of the biggest disappointment I ever saw from this universe. (In comparison with STAR TREK V - what is here rated as worst star trek movie, I think ST V had at least the typical spirit of star trek and old school concepts.
This movie.... I just say, I awaited much more or at least something. But what I saw was a stupid, violent young Kirk, emotionally based Spock, some kid named Chekov, and sexy chick (that is in relation to Spock) named Uhura. And after this movie was gone from the screen, I asked my self what I was watching?
"Some super galactic adventure of new age?" or "a spaceship filled with teenagers"? I don't understand why L. Nimoy could take this role in this film? And how can somebody (the director) make a movie from Star Trek universe, when he did totally different movies before? It's like I try to make a cake, but I'm not a cook, and I never before tried to do such a thing. I'm sorry to all, but English is not my primary language, but I try to adapt. :)
Another movie, I never see again. It's Star Trek, but sorry folks, not the Star Trek that I know for more than 20 years. I saw every movie, every series that went so I know what I'm saying. I like changes, but not changes of this size! For me it's only another space adventure of some kind, but this is not Trek. And I don't understand another folks, like fans and people who like sci-fi, that have accepted this.
For the future, I hope, this wasn't really the "new beginning". I hope that old faces and people, that had formed this universe so long don't let this happen again.
I give this movie as fan only one point, and that for L. Nimoy.
But that's all.
Rating: 1 (J. Smida)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
Let me begin by saying that with the Star Trek franchise the way it is and with the premise of the new movie, I don't believe that it could have been made any better.
As a movie by itself (without any reference to any other Star Trek movies), "Star Trek" was great. Thrilling, epic, with a good balance between dialogue and action, the film was much better than the average action film one sees at theatres nowadays. The acting was superb. Special effects were top-notch (and the space camera jiggling seemed influenced by Battlestar Galactica). Everything was compelling and convincing. The film was also a little dark, which seems to be the trend nowadays with the James Bond reboot and the "Dark Knight". My friend, who has never seen any Star Trek, thought that this was one of the best movie's he's ever seen.
The relation of the film towards the rest of the Star Trek universe is a little less perfect. I balk a little at the realization that either basically all of the Trek movies and episodes in the past have been disregarded or that this is an alternate timeline/universe from the main one we have been following for so long; however, I feel that the movie was well made enough so that the alternate universe annoyance can be largely ignored (Isn't all of Star Trek made up anyways? What's the harm in making up some more Star Trek? Everything else still happens I guess - in an alternate universe). If they had decided to preserve the timeline, where would they have made the movie? After "Nemesis" with a "Search for Data" movie? An "Enterprise" movie? Maybe the next film will restore the timeline.
I thought that the design of the new Enterprise was excellent. It was a little disturbing when I first saw it, but I think that it looks good enough. Everything is so shiny. I also always thought that the engineering sections in the old Trek stuff was always a little unrealistic (is the only thing transported in tubes antimatter/deuterium?), so seeing some tubes actually transporting water and stuff was interesting. Everything being so shiny (on the bridge and stuff) was nice too.
I thought that the actors/actresses captured enough of the feel of the original series cast. They may have not been as cerebral, but that's for later - "Star Trek" was a coming-of-age movie. They were believable as Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al. The only real difference is Quinto's Spock's more prevalent emotions; I'm a little uncomfortable with this. I thought, however, that the exploration of Spock's past (Human and Vulcan components) was great; this had been touched on a lot in past episodes, but never explored to the depth that it was in this film. Very pertinent to today's cultural mosaic of a world.
In comparison with the other Trek movies, I'd say that "Star Trek" is an equal with, if not better than "The Wrath of Khan" or "First Contact". Lots of action, intensity, and emotion.
The music was great. On first listen, the main theme of the movie seemed incongruous with those of other Trek movies, but that was because it was dark: a fact that matched the darker feel of the film itself. I liked the melding of the new musical material at the end with Alexander Courage's original composition.
In conclusion, "Star Trek", the 11th film of the franchise, takes the Star Trek universe in a desperately needed bold new direction. It has breathed new life into a listing franchise. I don't think that they could have done a better job.
- Remarkable open end: What's going to happen in the next movie? Is the timeline going to be restored? If not, how does "Spock Prime" (the old Spock) still exist?
- Remarkable ships:
- Enterprise - With a facelift, she looks great and shiny! Very elegant redesign. I like the look of the ship's bowels.
- Kelvin - Interesting ship. I felt sad to see her destroyed.
- Narada - Very sharp and aggressive. Maybe reminiscent of V'Ger (especially in terms of the docking port entrance).
- The Vulcan science ship - Seems to match the Star Trek: Enterprise's Vulcan ship lineage.
- Remarkable quotation: Sarek: "You will always be a child of two worlds, and fully capable of deciding your own destiny. The question you face is: which path will you choose?"
- Remarkable scene: Enterprise rises from Titan's atmosphere.
- Remarkable prop: Sulu's sword/katana. I wonder if this is Starfleet standard issue?
Rating: 10 (Dean Wang)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2258: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
After literally years of waiting, this Trekkie finally got to see J.J. Abrams’ "reimagining" of the Star Trek. I’ve been following the development of this film since 2006, when it was first announced by Paramount. I’ve read every rumor, ever spoiler; followed every leaked picture and production development. So when I sat down at my local theater with my fellow nerds, I was a nervously excited mixture of hope and fear. I was confident that this movie would at least provide better entertainment that the franchise’s last couple of outings (1998’s abysmal Insurrection and 2002’s insulting Nemesis), but I was far from sure whether or not it could measure up to the franchise’s bright spots (like the 1996 thrill ride First Contact or the widely-regarded gem of Trek movies, 1982’s The Wrath of Khan). Would the new actors inhabiting the roles that I’d grown up with do them justice? In his quest to make Trek more appealing to the non-nerd masses, would Abrams sell out the heart and soul of Star Trek?
I’m happy to report that after just one showing I can confidently say that the worst of my fears most definitely did not come true. This new Trek manages to hit all the important elements that have made great Star Trek films great, and very few of the ones that have made bad Star Trek films bad.
Warning: There may be some minor spoilers below as I discuss particular aspects of the film that I did or did not enjoy. I’ll do my best to avoid anything major, but if you’re living in a 100% spoiler-free bubble until you can see the movie you may want to skip this review.
Overall, my impression of Star Trek was quite positive. The film opens with a heart-pounding sequence with some of the most desperate and bombastic space combat ever seen in Trek. It is immediately apparent that the visual effects budget of this film has surpassed that of any of the last several films combined. The action is fast-paced, sometimes frenetic, and shaky-cam and lens flare abound (which annoys some, but I was able to adjust to it rather quickly).
Following this sequence, we have a short interlude in which we see the upbringings of young Kirk and Spock. These sections are interesting, but I’m glad they opened with an action sequence rather than these flashbacks, because to be honest they’re a little slow. Good, but slow. The decision to not start the movie with the childhood of Kirk and Spock was a good one, and proves that Abrams knows his audience (both the mainstream audience and the Trekkie audience).
Then we launch into the meat of the film: Kirk, Spock and the gang at Starfleet Academy, an emergency in space that requires the untested recruits to drop everything and rush off to save the day (a very well-done version of the classic Trek MacGuffin, as seen in The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home and others). Dramatic and once-again fast-paced adventure ensues. There is starship combat, there are fisticuffs, there is swordfighting, there are a plethora of classic Trek one-liners bandied about (sometimes feeling forced, but for the most part feeling natural).
There are three elements that I look for in any Star Trek film: Good interaction amongst the core crew (the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triumvirate from the original cast films set the standard for this), a resounding sense of adventure and the exploration of the unknown (as much as some people didn’t care for it, The Motion Picture excelled at this) and kick-ass, take-no-prisoners starship combat (e.g. The Wrath of Khan, The Undiscovered Country and the Battle of Sector 001 in First Contact).
2009’s Star Trek, for the most part, delivers on all three of these criteria. While the Kirk-Spock-McCoy relationship is still in its infancy, there is definitely chemistry between them and some memorable scenes. The sense of the unknown is not so great, but the overall adventure level on the movie is through the roof. And the starship combat, while a little overwhelming and ill-defined (we’re seeing these new ships for the first time and their enemy is a little vaguely-defined visually), is still explosive and adrenalin-pumping.
Now for some specifics...
Plot: Many Trek fans bemoaned the discovery of time-travel as a significant portion of the film’s plot when it was announced last year. I’m as weary of time travel as any Trekkie out there, but at this point I’ve come to accept it as a regular part of Trek. It would have been nice if they’d found a different way to justify their changes to the canon, but as it stands the time travel explanation was well-done (as well done as a time-travel explanation can be) and it does satisfactorily explain changes in the established canon (at least as far as this Trekkie’s concerned).
The villains in the movie could have almost been anyone. Their only purpose is to unite the new crew under Kirk’s leadership in order to save the day, and they perform that task admirably. In many ways though, they’re a little forgettable. That’s not a bad thing though. In past films where we’ve had particularly memorable villains (e.g. Khan Noonien Singh or General Chang), those villains have been facing an established crew that we already know well. They have had to become a larger part of the story in order to make the film work. In this new Trek, we’re learning about our favorite characters all over again and - thanks to the aforementioned time travel situation - we’re not starting out with a crew of Enterprise that is 100% established as a close-knit team. The new movie has to be about their journey from a rookie starship crew to the beloved family of characters that we all hold dear. The villains in this Star Trek do their job well by moving the plot forward, but never getting in the way of the development of the main characters.
Characters: I was pleasantly surprised by how well the new Trek was cast. Of course I’d read up on each of the actors as the announcements came about who would be playing who over the last year or two, but I didn’t know half of the young cast and those I did know were still unknown quantities when it came to their performances as classic sci-fi characters.
James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine: This was the most pleasant surprise of all. I though of Pine as a teenaged hearthrob who would be lucky if he could hold his own against the rest of the cast, let alone actually be James T. Kirk. He avoided doing a Shatner impression, but managed to deliver the same swagger, hubris and humanity that embodies the Kirk character. He was very much exactly how I’d imaged a young Kirk behaving - brash, confident and very much leap-before-you-look. I look forward to how he’ll play the character over the course of the (presumed) sequels.
Spock, played by Zachary Quinto: Quinto was one of the first actors to be announced for a role in Star Trek, and I was initially very pleased. He certainly looks the part, and from his role on Heroes I knew that he could handle the intensity of the Spock character. Over time though, I grew nervous (after seeing clips and hearing rumors) that we might see less "Spock" and more "Sylar In Pointy Ears." I’m very pleased to say that this wasn’t the case at all. Except for one prominent emotional outburst (which has been shown in most of the trailers), Quinto pulled off the classic Spock stoicism very well, while always hinting that there was something just under the surface - emotions he hadn’t quite learned to completely master yet.
Leonard McCoy, played by Karl Urban: More than any other actor in Star Trek, Urban does an impression of the character’s original inhabitor (DeForest Kelley). Still, it never comes off as crass or mocking and for the most part it works very well. There are one or two times that his McCoy one-liners feel forced, but in general they fit in and add to the comedy.
The Kirk-Spock-McCoy relationship doesn’t get a chance to fully flower in this movie (mainly because Kirk and Spock spend most of the film as rivals, not friends), but you can definitely see the seeds of the triumvirate taking root. I hope they explore this as fully in the new Star Trek universe as they did in the old.
Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana: Although she has a bigger part to play than she did in most TOS episodes (and most of the films), it still feels like Uhura is a bit underused in this movie. She plays a fairly prominent part in the Academy scenes, but once they get to Enterprise she kind of fades into the background (with one or two exceptional scenes with a certain science officer). Still, that’s not out of line with how the rest of the "secondary" bridge crew is traditionally used. I didn’t get a good gauge on how well I liked Zoe Saldana in the part, but I get the sense that she’ll do fine with it going forward. I’m particularly interested to see how a certain unforeseen romantic relationship will develop.
Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho and Pavel Chekov, played by Anton Yelchin: There’s only so much an actor can do with a secondary character, but Cho and Yelchin do it well. Sulu’s swordfighting and Chekov’s accent were minor annoyances, but nothing of any real importance. Chekov’s accent began to grow on my and Sulu’s swordfighting was brief and pretty awesome in its own right.
Montgomery Scott, played by Simon Pegg: I love Simon Pegg. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two of the best comedies in recent memory. However, his portrayal of Scotty is essentially in the film solely for comedic relief and it annoys after a while. Not badly, but it does annoy. Despite his Scottish accent being far more accurate than James Doohan’s, I think Scotty of all things is the character that I felt most put-off with by having to accept a new actor in the role. I’m hesitant to blame Pegg for this, as most of the shortcomings of the character were written into the script. I’m hoping they’ll make the character a little bit better mixture of drama and comedy in the next film. Scotty rarely gets the spotlight, but when he does it came make for some of the most dramatic moments in Trek ("He stayed at his post...when the trainees ran!").
Christopher Pike, played by Bruce Greenwood: This was one of the true delights of the entire movie. Bruce Greenwood was born to play a Starfleet officer, and from his encouragement of young Kirk to join Starfleet to taking the Big Chair on the bridge of Enterprise, he adds gravitas to any scene in which he makes an appearance.
The villain known only as "Nero," played by Eric Bana: I’ve always liked Eric Bana, especially his turn in Black Hawk Down and even Hulk (which was very flawed compared to its 2008 counterpart, but Bana did an admirable job with the part in my opinion). As mentioned, Nero is merely a catalyst for the crew’s coming together, and isn’t meant to be a primary element in the story. However, Bana does a pretty good job with what he’s given. Nero is at times a little campy, and his portrayal occasionally becomes a caricature of itself. But none of that detracts from the film and I think it’s mostly due to how the character was written and directed.
The rest of the cast holds up the backdrop of the film well, but there are few other standouts.
Special Effects: There’s just not much to say here other than "awesome." Paramount hired Industrial Light & Magic and spent a fortune on the effects, and it shows.
Aesthetics and other Nerd Stuff: This is the area where Trekkies are most likely to take issue with the new film, and I’m no exception. I want to make clear that none of the criticisms that follow swayed my generally favorable opinion of the film, but they were minor annoyances. And that’s not to say it was all bad, either.
For instance, one of the "new" things about this Trek that I liked was the fact that they replaced the formerly-internal viewscreen with an actual window at the front of the bridge (over which data could be overlayed). It made sense, given that the requisite technology for this sort of thing is at hand even in our time. It was a small thing, but I liked it.
I also liked: The "new" uniforms (except the red cadet uniforms, but hey - they’re cadet uniforms for a reason), the "new" warp effect (not necessarily better than the old, but I liked it), the "new" transporter effect and...after getting a good look at it and seeing it in action, I actually like the redesigned Enterprise. The Kelvin, other Federation spacecraft and Spacedock were also well done.
What I didn’t like: The new hand-held phaser is crap. I’d read about the details when the new toy was released but wasn’t prepared for how stupid it looked on-screen. I won’t "spoil" it for you, but you’ll definitely know what aspect of the prop I’m talking about when you see the movie.
The interior set for engineering onboard both Kelvin and Enterprise was completely lame. I don’t know why the rest of the ship is shiny and well thought-out and engineering has to look like a poorly-maintained nuclear power plant. I always liked the idea of the warp core being the "heart" of the ship and making it all distributed throughout a giant space was annoying.
Some of the other tech stuff bothered me. The means by which they achieve the time travel and by which the baddies get their "ultimate weapon" is kind of goofy, but ultimately not important and kind of ignorable. The villain’s vessel is scary, but confusing and nonsensical in its design.
For the most part, the other starship interiors were good. The Kelvin bridge was nicely done, and the so-called "iBridge" on Enterprise was not as irritating as I thought it would be (I still think it was a little overboard, but I got over it quickly).
In conclusion, my general impression of the film is definitely positive. I think J.J. Abrams succeeded in making a film that, although it has minor flaws, achieved his goal of not only bringing in a wider audience to the Star Trek universe but also managing to make a Trek film that the fans can enjoy (at least this fan did). And, if the public’s reaction to the movie is anything like the reviewers’ reactions (from both fans and professional critics) that I’ve seen, it will hopefully help ignite a rebirth of the franchise that will keep it going for another 40+ years.
Rating: 8 (Sam Ferguson)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2233.04 to 2258.42: In an alternate universe, Starfleet cadets end up on the USS Enterprise and become unlikely heroes in defending the Federation from a terrible threat from the future.
This film brings us back to the origins of the crew of the original USS Enterprise. In doing this, it attempts the near impossible, to appeal to new viewers while trying to remain faithful to more than 40 years of pre-existing Star Trek material. To appeal to new viewers, the look and feel of TOS had to be updated, but then this will contradict with the pre-existing material. The only logical way to overcome this was to move the story to an alternate universe. This frees up the set designers to introduce sets which look cool to new viewers, and directors to create completely new storylines. These, combined with bucketloads of special effects makes Star Trek XI an excellent movie. But I do not think that it is an excellent Star Trek movie.
Moving to a new universe however is very disappointing. Sure this is better than an outright reboot, but this means that for the first time in 40 years, we cannot add the events seen on screen (apart from those of the 24th century) to the Star Trek universe as we know it. I loved to see how Kirk cheated in Kobayashi Maru, or how he met Spock for example, but we can only speculate if things happened even remotely similar in the original universe. Any future movies or TV series will undoubtedly be set in this new universe and further add to this problem. On a side note, the official Star Trek Countdown visual novels were great in closing out the stories of Spock on Romulus and the TNG crew, and explaining things like how the Narada got from a simple mining ship into a terrible weapon and why its crew has those silly tattoos.
Alternate universe aside, I feel there is no reason to change the look of the USS Enterprise purely just for it to look cool to new viewers. I cringed when I saw the disproportional stardrive section and the ugly nacelles of the new design. The original design to me is as historic as the real-life tall ships like Endeavour or HMS Victory and I feel that it has been desecrated. The internal sets were not right too, from the Apple store bridge to the engineering sets which do not look like they belong on a starship. Also why completely change the effects for transporters, weapons fire, etc? I think these changes are completely unnecessary and only serves to cement my perception that the creators of this movie do not care about TOS.
Story-wise, this is a fast paced action movie with lots of fighting. To call it Star Trek seems a bit strange as trek implies a journey or exploration and discovery, which are elements in the best Star Trek stories. I am giving it a 5 as on one hand, it is a great movie to watch, but on the other hand, it is bad for the Star Trek universe that we know and love.
Nitpicking: In my opinion there is visual evidence that suggests that Nero’s Narada and Spock were not transported back to the past of the original Trek universe, but the past of an alternate universe. That is, the history of an alternate universe was changed. The crew of the USS Kelvin already have metallic Starfleet arrowhead pins, while we know from TOS that this symbol is unique for the USS Enterprise and only subsequently adopted for the rest of Starfleet. The destruction of the Kelvin, terrible as it was, is not enough to explain how Starfleet technology looks so different. Also any such major change in the timeline will certainly prompt the gang from the 24th century, or even 26th or 29th century timeships to follow the Narada back in time to attempt to correct the changes. Also it would be technically incorrect to call the explosion that destroyed Romulus a supernova, as it still exists after the explosion. The shock wave must have moved at FTL speeds, similar to the explosion on Praxis.
- Remarkable quote: "An alternate reality?" -Uhura. Indeed it is...
- Remarkable dialogue: Spock talking to other Spock
- Remarkable scene: Showing the Vulcan Science Academy hanging like stalactites on a cave
- Remarkable prop: Kirk's stepfather's antique car, with a possibly antique Nokia phone.
- Remarkable fact: Nero's crew are smooth-brow Romulans. In this alternate universe, the numbers in the Stardate before the decimal refers to the year.
Rating: 5 (Tze King Lim)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
The new film Star Trek, directed by J.J Abrams has not only wowed audiences of today, but had re-invented the phenomena. Maybe not even re-invented, but erased the entire trek chronology "in favour of its new matrix." Spock with his time tampering ad his assumption that he alone, albeit with help from the Vulcan Science Academy, would be able to prevent the Romulan Sun to go Nova. Needless to say an event like that would alter the political and military situation in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
But, one would assume that the Romulans themselves would be able to evacuate their own planet. But apparently not. The planet was destroyed, Spock along with Nero and his excessively large mining vessel thrown back into the past. With this event, it really did erase everything we know of Star Trek and its entire chronology and setting an open canvass for new stories. One would wonder what the future of Picard, Sisko or Janeway would be now that Nero messed up the space time continuum?
Overall the story was very well produced, with great acting and some noticeable homages to the style fo the old crew. There is a significant amount of humour in this film, in fact it went back and made Star Trek the adventure genre that it was intended to be. So, no real spoilers, just an opinion on what happen and will happen in the newly re-created show.
- Remarkable nitpicking: Uhura mentions some sort of Cardassian beverage. Yeah, those guys don't show up till later.
- Remarkable quote: "Did you leave the parking brakes on?" -Capt. Pike's inquiry to Sulu's navigational faux pas
- Remarkable scene: The intro of the fleet. The destruction of Romulus. The destruction of Vulcan. Kirk having sex with a green woman. First person to die on Enterprise Away (Kirk, Sulu and Olsen) was wearing red.
- Remarkable prop/ship: The new fleet. Three nacelled ship, one nacelle ship, the Narada the Jellyfish ship.
- Remarkable fact: The Vulcans are now a distinct minority within the Federation. "An endangered species." Their way to reproduce is quite limited.
Rating: 10 (HM3(SW) Jeff Priela (USS Ponce LPD-15))
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2233.44 and 2258.42: The new movie (contains some spoilers)
The most impressive special effects I've seen in ages. I loved the opening sweep of the USS Kelvin the sound track added levels of poignancy to the movie. It is interesting to note that the only tv series which isn't altered by the new movie is Enterprise. It is hard to fault this movie and it is nice to see that the writers remembered that in the original series it was Spock or McCoy who tended to be successful with female encounters. I would have loved to have seen more of the fleet that was sent to Vulcan but it was nice to see T'Mir and Surak classes in the movie.
- Remarkable quote: "Out of the chair." (Captain Spock to First officer Kirk)
Rating: 10 (amos greig)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
Let me say first that I really enjoyed this film. Once I got over how Nero changed the Trek universe I have lived with for the last 40 years.
Only a a couple of things really bugged me;
Uhura and Spock. It just didn't seem right to me, ok, I'll get over it.
Someone else mentioned this also, but what happened to their phasers when they parachuted onto the drill platform. If Sulu could bring a sword...
Transwarp beaming of Kirk and Scotty to the Enterprise. I didn't think that the transporters on a shuttle were capable of beaming over great distances, let alone at transwarp speeds. Was the Enterprise not that far away?
Rating: 9 (Les)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2258.42: Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same. It's the Crisis on Infinite Star Treks.
Actually, I wrote the review in Portuguese and put it up on my blog's accessory pages. Bernd, please take no offense, I really only mean to diversify. The review is here: http://sratoz.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/star-trek-redux/.
- Tip of the hat: Kirk eating apple as Kobayashi Maru comes to his fruition -- much like he ate another while explaining his cheating to Saavik...
- Plot hole: Spock would never have thrown Kirk out of his ship, no matter what. This is completely out of character.
- Character flaw: Spock would never kiss anyone in front of third parties. That would be an assumption of emotion and an impairment of ship's efficiency. Not to say, he would never have dated an apprentice! There is still some ethics in the 23rd century.
- Deus ex machina: There is no causality that would make Kirk land on the same planet where Spock-Nimoy had been stranded. That was a rabbit out of Abrams's hat and completely unjustified.
- A nod to the classics: All mandatory noises are there: the viewscreen's "caged bird", the transporter's whine, the alarms...
- Tip of the hat: George Kirk had been so named in the books. And, in an aside, Winona was the name of Jim Kirk's mother, as is the name of the actress who portrays Spock's mother...
Rating: 9 (João Paulo Cursino)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
First of all, seeing the first images of the new Enterprise and the general style of the movie I was not very enthusiastic about watching it. But, I have been a Star Trek fan for 22 years now and so far, I have given every incarnation a chance and therefore it was a must to see the movie. Was I disappointed when I left the cinema? Well, I did not expect much and the movie has not surprised me in a positive way. All in all I will just give it 4 out of 10 points. Two points for the many well-placed in-jokes and references to TOS. I particularly liked the scenes on Vulcan with young Spock and the other Vulcan boys, a perfect reference to TAS: "Yesteryear". The other two points go to Leonard Nimoy, it was just great to see him again especially since I already wanted to see him in "Nemesis". I also agree that the actors did their best to fit into their roles, I just felt that Scotty and Chekov were a bit over the top. The Romulans, unfortunately, play the standard villains and their leader Nero is just a copy of Khan or Shinzon. The whole story did not impress me at all, the entire time travel business was not at all convincing and the destruction of Vulcan did not really shock me, I just found it very irritating that nothing was done to reverse it. Abrams himself said that he is more of a Star Wars fan than Star Trek... agreed, he made the movie in many ways similar to the SW franchise... but Star Trek is NOT Star Wars and despite the different look I always expect to see Star Trek as I know it. This movie certainly does not belong to the Star Trek I like. Finally, I am happy for everybody who enjoyed the movie but I will not watch it a second time.
- Remarkable error: Vulcan's blue sky, the "Factory Look" of the engine room, the multiple warp cores of the Enterprise, bad science concerning the black hole phenomenon...
- Remarkable scene: Uhura embracing Spock... what the hell???
- Remarkable ships: The new Enterprise... the ugliest Enterprise ever including the "Apple store" bridge. The Kelvin... actually an interesting design, if one overlooks the interior. The Narada... and I thought it could not get worse after the Scimitar.
- Remarkable fact: Since when do we build our starships on the ground?
Rating: 4 (Timm)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: [SPOILERS] The long-awaited reboot of the franchise arrives. A rebellious young Kirk hooks up with Spock and McCoy aboard the Enterprise where they are instantly thrown into the action against Nero, a vengeful Romulan from the future and the killer of Kirk's father. Captain Pike, in an effort to protect his crew and give Kirk and Sulu a chance to save Vulcan, gives himself up to Nero. Unfortunately, Kirk and Sulu don't manage to save Vulcan, where Spock's mother dies before him as he tries to save her. After ditching Kirk on Delta Vega, Spock warps off to join the rest of Starfleet. With help from Montgomery Scott and future Spock, Kirk returns to the Enterprise and takes command in time to thwart Nero's plan to destroy Earth. Captain Pike survives and Kirk is permanently promoted to Captain, along with the crew we all know so well of Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, McCoy Scotty and Spock.
To be clear, this IS a reboot. TNG, DS9, VOY, maybe even ENT... forget them; there is every possibility none of them happen the way fans remember. And personally I have no problem with that. Star Trek is all about accepting diversity and change, so why shouldn't we welcome a new and fresh vision of the show and movies we all love? Just because this story changes the timeline and ditches everything that came before it doesn't mean we have to choose between one or the other.
That said, I'll say a little something about the movie as a whole.
Abrams had an impossibly high bar to jump over, and he managed the impossible. Spock, Kirk and McCoy steal the show and are flawless representations of the characters we remember so well. Kirk is slightly more dogged and brash, Spock is younger and his human side shows more, but for the most part they are all the same. The Enterprise looks fine. When I first saw it I didn't like it, but after seeing it in action I don't have a problem with it. The initial introduction of the ship was a throwback to the Motion Picture introduction of the new Enterprise, which, despite being less grand and majestic (and shorter), shared the feeling of wonder and awe at seeing THE ship.
Nero, the bad guy, was a disappointment. As a character he had real potential, but the fast pace of the movie and the emphasis on the heroes prevented him from really developing as a character. Sadly the need to focus on other things left him out of the spotlight, and we as fans were left with a generic, run-of-the-mill bad guy.
To get more nit-picky, I was disappointed with the engineering room; and I've read a few things from people online who echo this sentiment. It looked much too out of place with the rest of the ship. It looked more like the bowels of the Titanic or the inside of a factory. I'm guessing Abrams chose it for its size so that it would convey the feeling of the Enterprise being big.
Chekov's accent was way too thick and overdone.
Where are the shields? The dialogue kept mentioning the weakening shields like we are all familiar with in Trek battles, but we never saw them on screen. Fail Abrams.
The bridge viewscreen being a window of glass? Come on.
What was up with the phasers? I couldn't really tell but they seemed to have revolving barrels or something. Kinda stupid if you ask me. I guess it was just something to make them look "cooler" without actually having any rational explanation for it. Oh, and beams. I miss the beams. For some reason I've always equated beams with Star Trek and energy pulses with Star Wars.
Kirk rose up in rank way too fast. He went from cadet to Captain in a day.
The action was good, but unfortunately its pervasiveness made the movie a bit too fast for me. The humor was amazingly well placed and thought-out.
I'd like to say more but my memory is already slipping on the details. I'll have to go see the movie a second time. I'd definitely recommend this to everyone, Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. Hopefully a sequel will be made that will be free of all the expectations this one was under and have the advantage of a greater appreciation of this new universe. 9/10 (nothing's perfect, right?)
- Remarkable ships: The Enterprise AND the Kelvin. Both uber badass.
- Remarkable quote: "All I've got left are my bones." (McCoy, explaining where his nickname came from).
- Remarkable dialogue: "Do you have a numb tongue?" - "NUMB TONGUE?!?!" (McCoy trying to treat Kirk)
- Remarkable character: Captain Pike. Originally a throwaway hero, now a father figure for Kirk. Awesome.
- Remarkable scene: Engineer Olsen. Even in alternate realities redshirts die dumb deaths.
- Remarkable fact: Five warp cores? Or was it six?
Rating: 9 (Dylan Riley)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: This is my Star Trek review, posted previously at my website, Steve Likes to Curse, as part of Star Trek Week. I felt like sharing.
I haven’t been watching Star Trek as long as some. The television series had been off the air for eleven years when I was born, and the first entry of the film series had already come and gone. Still, we go back a ways. When I was around eleven or twelve my dad and I went up to spend the weekend at the clubhouse at Woodmont, a private hunt club he and my grandfather used to work at as guides. Hank, the club manager and my self-appointed honorary uncle, met us outside and stage-whispered to me that "Star Trek: The Search for Spock is on tonight at eight o’clock!" So we sat there in the great room of the Woodmont clubhouse, the three of us, and watched Star Trek III together.
And let me tell you what I remembered most fondly about that when I thought back on it earlier today. We didn’t nitpick the bridge looking different than in Star Trek II, or Lt. Saavik being played by a different actress. We didn’t question the plausibility of Kirk, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov being able to steal the Enterprise and fly it to Vulcan all by themselves. We didn’t struggle to explain why the Klingons in the movies looked entirely different from the Klingons in the TV show, but no one seemed to notice — if we brought it up at all, it was to laugh at it affectionately. We smiled, we joked, when Kirk disintegrated a Klingon with a quick-draw phaser blast, Hank’s eyebrows went up and he said "Nice shot." We never got hung up on technicalities or minute matters of canon or continuity. In short, we enjoyed ourselves, and we didn’t ask anything more of Star Trek than it wanted to give us.
That — and rather long-windedly, at that — is why I enjoyed the new Star Trek film. It was made by writers, producers, and a director who are obviously great fans of the franchise — not canon nazis, not zealous super-fans who insist that every utterance, every fleeting visual agree perfectly with everything else in the last 42-years’ worth of this stuff. It is the least nerdy, most accessible, and most fun Star Trek film I have ever seen.
But that isn’t to say it’s the best. The highest compliment I can pay this movie, which I liked a hell of a lot, is to say that it didn’t feel like the eleventh Star Trek film. It felt more like an adaptation of the original television series, as though the previous ten movies had never happened. Objectively, very little in Star Trek is all that original. The characters, played by new actors, with a few tweaks here and there, are essentially the same as they were on TV in the 1960s. The scenario, involving a time-traveling alien bent on revenge, with the Enterprise the only thing standing in his way, is fucking Star Trek 101. But it’s remarkable what a fresh set of eyes can do. J.J. Abrams and the rest of his production team have really accomplished something with this film’s look and feel. Star Trek hasn’t been this fresh since Nicholas Meyer took the helm for Star Trek II. And the work of Abrams and company here is even more impressive. Meyer had to work with the leftovers of Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Abrams is starting over entirely.
Bernd Schneider can relax — the ship still has the same configuration as before and Spock is still a dude (both of him). But this version of the Star Trek universe seems much closer to our own reality than its predecessors. Passengers on shuttlecraft are obliged to buckle their seatbelts, photon torpedoes actually look like torpedoes, and generally the various areas of the ship we see feel more like locations than sets erected on soundstages. Ship-to-ship communications sound much like the transmissions sent by NASA astronauts, which I thought was a nice touch. And the various buttons and gizmos at the fingertips of the crew look like they have actual functions, instead of being random looking arrangements of jelly beans and Jolly Ranchers.
To these design touches, Abrams adds a multitude of lens flares and naturalistic camera moves, including a nice one where the shot tilts to the side after a ship jumps to warp speed, as though the camera has been caught in its wake.
There’s more to recommend Star Trek than the visuals. Like I said, the story moves along familiar lines, but Abrams and his writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman manage to give the presentation a mythic quality. And key scenes, particularly the prologue involving James Kirk’s doomed father, and a brief scene between Spock and his father following a devastating tragedy, pack an impressive emotional wallop. The filmmakers hit the perfect tone, too — sincere but not over-serious, irreverent without lapsing into self-parody.
Composer Michael Giacchino helps give this Star Trek fresh ears, too, writing a brand new score that avoids all the familiar musical themes until the Alexander Courage theme from the original TV series plays over the closing credits. And while not all the dialogue is great, it’s almost entirely free of the meaningless technobabble that has infested Star Trek shows since the beginning. By the time the Star Trek: Voyager series came along, entire scenes consisted of nothing but conversations based around inertial dampers and Heisenberg compensators. Here, the tech talk is fleeting and mostly kept to the background.
Don’t let me leave you with the impression that everything works here. The acting is terrific for the most part — particularly Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as the new Kirk and Spock, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, and the flawless Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike — but one big soft spot is Leonard Nimoy, in a small but important role as Old Spock, who, like the villainous Romulan Captain Nero, has accidentally traveled back in time from the next century. He gets a great entrance, a brilliantly staged scene with Kirk in an ice cave that reminded me of the frozen wilderness that frames Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. But there’s something very off about Nimoy’s performance. He’s too loose, too comfortable, too much of himself, maybe. He speaks and acts nothing like Spock ever has, and most of his line readings sound like narration from a video game.
The script goes a little heavy on the foreshadowing. Young Kirk hears repeatedly about how he will be a great starship captain one day, both from Old Spock and from Nero, but do we really need that? Isn’t that a foregone conclusion? That heavy-handedness and some very clunky dialogue spoil what could have been a great moment when Nero tells Kirk that he was "a great man. But that was another life." At least that’s how the line went in the trailer; in the film it’s got lots of extra words and doesn’t have nearly the same impact.
Additionally, the rapidity of Kirk’s rise to the captaincy and the assembly of the classic crew is a stretch, I think. Kirk goes from a third-year cadet to the captain of the fleet’s brand new flagship within — what, a few days at the most? It’s not totally implausible; Abrams presents Starfleet as a smaller, more upstart organization than we’ve seen before, so promising new officers getting fast promotions, especially following heroic, galaxy-saving adventures, isn’t out of the question. And getting Kirk into the big chair by the end is the whole point of the movie. But it all happens awfully fast, and it seems like lots of faceless superior officers have to bite the dust to clear the road for Kirk, McCoy, and the rest. Still, I much prefer rushing things a little like this to the George Lucas route of dragging a threadbare prequel plot out for three fucking movies to tell a story that nobody needed to see in the first place.
And while this movie handles humor a lot more adroitly than Star Trek traditionally has, there are some failed attempts at low comedy, particularly when Kirk experiences complications from a vaccine, like swollen hands and a tongue that goes numb while he tries to relay critical information. Kirk’s annoyance at McCoy constantly sticking him the neck with syringes to treat the symptoms is funny, at least.
So no, it’s not a perfect movie. It’s still a damn good one. Nothing that’s going to change your life, nothing you’re going to remember thirty years from now, nothing that ought to be studied frame-by-frame in film class — but a hell of a lot of fun, and an impressive fresh start for the Star Trek franchise. Ever since I first read Harlan Ellison’s original screenplay for the classic TV episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," I’ve thought it would be a good idea to recast the classic crew with younger actors and go back to telling Captain Kirk stories for awhile. Star Trek is a great first step down that road. It feels as rousing and new as any movie based on a 40-year-old television series could be, and provides the Star Trek franchise with the fresh breath of life it so very much needed.
I wonder what Hank would think of it.
Rating: 8 (Steve Shives)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
As a bright, loud, jangly summer blockbuster, ST XI succeeds admirably. -- As a thoughtful movie about beloved characters, it pretty much fails.
The pacing is frantic, the story is thin, the characters and acting are variable.
This movie feels made by someone who was told what Star Trek should be, but had never seen it themselves. I guess that's true considering only one member of the producing crew seems calls themselves a fan (but of TNG, primarily, not the story they are telling here).
The plot is fairly ludicrous, and this movie focuses on the least important part of the story. They should have made a movie out of the prequel comic and focussed on the epic threat to the universe and one man's need for revenge instead of these stupid chases and pointless phaser-fights.
But this is the problem with most action pictures starting with James Bond and continuing through to Michael Bay and beyond. There is only enough story to get from one action set-piece to another without really examining the motives and qualities of anyone involved. Instead of looking at what festering hate does to a man like Nero (for 25 yrs!), our heroes are only concerned with cutting the red or blue wire. Some movies can skate by like that, but Star Trek has generally given us more.
Again, this is summer blockbuster movie-making, not thoughtful science fiction. Time-travel, duplicate characters, black-holes, faster then light travel, and transporting are treated like items on a checklist instead of the ingredients for an epic space opera.
This even has an obligatory romance motivated by nothing and telling us even less about the respective participants.
Pine and Quinto are fine in their respective roles of Kirk and Spock, bringing the necessary emotional underpinning to their otherwise underwritten characters.
Karl Urban as McCoy seems to be over-acting the worst of the character's traits and is given a couple of terrible "I'm a doctor..." lines out of sheer fan-service. I want to see more of the bitter divorcee.
John Cho as Sulu is solid. Anton Yelchin brings a youthful exuberance that suits the young Chekov. Unfortunately, both Sulu and Chekov are made to look like fools in their introductory scenes.
Zoe Saldana as Uhura is lovely and smart, but never gave me the idea that she has ever been near Africa. Sulu, Chekov and Uhura all get a little more screen time than we've seen in the past and it's all welcome.
Scotty shows up late in the story primarily for a little comic relief. Simon Pegg plays Scotty with a light touch, but the character as written is made to look more like a lucky fool than brilliant & dedicated.
As an origin story, no one really gets their due (except, maybe, Spock). All of the other characters are sketched in movie-making short-hand without any sense of why they are doing any of this and why they want to do it as a group.
Eric Bana as Nero is menacing enough but has so little screen time and so few lines, it barely registers that he is a Romulan or why he's here.
Leonard Nimoy is underused and could easily have been replaced by a character named 'Ambassador Exposition'. He is given a nice farewell scene and funny line, but young Spock seems singularly unaffected by the whole chain of events.
This movie is fast and loud, underwritten and over-produced. The acting is good and the direction shows a sure hand, even if it's all lost in the flash edits.
As a movie it is an efficient thrill delivery system, but hardly thoughtful science fiction or satisfying space opera.
As a long-time fan, I can only accept this as taking place in a completely parallel universe (or that it is a reboot regardless of what anyone says to the contrary).
Little here conforms to anything we have seen previously and even Spock Prime is a stranger to these eyes. A little bit of my fantasy life died today.
Rating: 3 (AdmNaismith)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: A thrill ride with a heart and a great reboot to the series in a stroke of genius by the filmmakers.
In short, I give it an 9 out of 10. Otherwise, spoilers ahead.
This is not Roddenberry's Star Trek. This is not Wise's Star Trek nor Harve Bennett's nor Nicholas Meyer's. It is the amalgamation of each with bits of the four spin-off series, yet is nothing like any of them. This is a liberated Trek that is able to pull the fruits of its choosing from the tree while not being tethered to canon. It's exhilarating, innovative, and damn good-looking. It's not a perfect movie, but it's a thrill ride with a heart. It's akin to peeling through your childhood neighborhood in a Mustang when you've previously only seen the view from your bicycle. It feels familiar, but it's a whole lot faster.
The window to this new world is Jim Kirk. The premise of an alternate timeline is pitch perfect, and its explanation three fourths through the film ripples back to the opening scene to establish this James T. Kirk as a completely different character than the one portrayed by William Shatner. Shatner's Kirk was born and bred Starfleet, and by the time we meet him, even in the original series, he's an officer through and through, a thoroughbred captain with a honed balance of bravado and experience. It's important to understand that Chris Pine's Kirk (and his inevitable crew) is displaced. It plays as a tragedy the more I reflect on it. The Nero may not have accomplished everything he set out to do, but he won. He won the moment his ship unwittingly traveled back in time and destroyed the USS Kelvin. Shatner's Kirk was born on that ship and probably spent his infancy and toddler years there in blissful security and stability. Pine's Kirk is born into chaos and war, with the death of his father and the destruction of his would-be home. He's orphaned from Starfleet, and this film is about his journey to find his destiny. New Kirk makes Old Kirk look like Picard by comparison. This is a true maverick. By the end, when the usual suspects are functioning officially as a crew for the first time, we get the eerie sense that this was meant to happen regardless of any time-space continuum anomalies.
Only this time, it's different, and that's pure genius on the part of the filmmakers. They can play in this universe on their own terms and with distinctly different versions of our fundamentally similar characters. It's this attribute that feels uniquely J.J. Abrams and makes me long for the opening episodes of Lost again. The Romulan ship's appearance parallels the crash of Oceanic flight 815, and the familiar Star Trek characters are effectively lost. Aside from Kirk, the best example is Quinto's Spock. He is still the half-Vulcan, half-human science officer we'll rely on for reason and quiet leadership, but he has suffered loss greater than any of us could imagine. Add to this meeting his older self and being told to trust his feelings, he's on a much different path than Nimoy's Spock, who always seemed more Vulcan than human.
The film has its flaws. The beginning feels like paint-by-numbers filmmaking, maybe because the first 20 minutes contain 90% of what we've seen in the trailers and clips, so I was able to anticipate it. Sometime along the 40-minute mark, though, I felt a lurch in my stomach. I can't be here expecting a recreation of the original series, I realized. This is all uncharted territory, and it's exciting as hell.
The three-year jump cut was jarring. I don't need to see Kirk's every moment in the academy, but a little peek inside that time period would have been interesting.
The ending reminded me of superhero origin movies – this was a fun adventure, but it was foreplay, the set up for what's to come. It begs to be continued, and I was left thinking, "Okay. That was cool. Now where shall we go?"
Like all good Trek movies have ended.
Rating: 9 (Chad-Michael Simon)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main TOS listing
As Captain Picard once said, "Well... it seems we're truly sailing into the unknown".
One of the many great things about this movie is not only it has the concept of "This is not your father's Star Trek", while still being "your father's Star Trek". In short, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek is not a reboot, but the same old Star Trek pushed into unknown territory.
The movie is not one big homage to the original series, but flows with not only the original series, but the entire legacy as well. And as any good Star Trek film, or any good sequel/prequel/installment, you don't need to know any of the other movies to understand it. What is even better that even with the alterations to the time line, much of what is known about Star Trek’s legacy is still maintained, including the Kobayashi Maru scenario.
From a Trekkie's point of view, that even the course of Star Trek history has been drastically changed, it doesn't have the "screw the original series" feel, but rather that we are now boldly going where no one has gone before, and what is to happen with Star Trek with these drastic historic changes. Sailing into the unknown.
Star Trek blends comedy, suspense and action perfectly, though it hardly give you time to breathe. Basically, the one scene from The Last Samurai where Tom Cruise took out 3 assassins at once and later the events caught up with him. This is the feeling you get from this movie at the end. Where it all finally comes together. With all that, it also has the same fantastic feel as did the original Star Trek did, making the old seem new again, and not betraying Star Trek at all.
The Enterprise is a beauty. Keeping it true to Walter "Matt" Jefferies original design, while re-envisioning the look of the 23rd century by today's standards and keeping it true to Star Trek legacy. The design of the bridge, transporter room, everything, as though the designers have the technology to extract imagination directly out of imagination itself.
Onto the characters. Chris Pine’s portrayal of James Tiberius Kirk (why he left it as James T.) is shown a someone who is very impulsive, cocky, and ready to use his fists, while at the same time showing his light hearted side and that sense of apprehension. In other words, exactly like James T. Kirk. He does not portray him as William Shatner did, but that would be more like a parody as shown many times over.
The case of the 2 Spock’s, their performances are, I wouldn’t say identical, rather they are almost indistinguishable from each other. Both Zachary Quinto who does a nice performance of the same old Spock we all know and love, and Leonard Nimoy able to go back to his famous role after 18 years.
Probably the best performance is Karl Urban as Doctor Leonard McCoy where he is not doing an impression of DeForest Kelley as McCoy, but that his performance is almost a dead ringer for that of DeForest.
Altogether, this is by far the best Star Trek I have ever seen, and recommend it to both the fans and the non-fans.
- Remarkable error: Kirk's eyes were originally brown. They are now blue.
- Remarkable quote: "Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved over 800 lives, including yours." (Pike, to Kirk)
- Remarkable quote: "Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence." (McCoy)
- Remarkable ship: The Enterprise. What a beauty! Making it look like the ship was from the 23rd century from the vision of the 21st century, while at the same time keeping it true to the original design. And the saucer looks more like the saucer from the motion picture, making it easier to refit the Enterprise for the motion picture.
- Remarkable set: The bridge. The look of the bridge is still true to the design but like the rest of the Enterprise, making it look like it actually belongs to the 23rd century from the view of the 21st century.
- Remarkable fact: The origin of Bones' nickname: "All she left me was bones."
Rating: 10 (Robert H.)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
All right, I will address some of the negatives presented here and elsewhere. There will be spoilers, so you have been warned.
- Yes, Vulcan got eaten. A planet was destroyed much like Star Wars or the threat presented in Nemesis. Could they have come up with a different threat? Perhaps. But recycling a threat did not hurt Star Trek IV any.
- The movie moved too fast. I do not think so. It was two hours of action packed excitement and I was able to easily follow what was going on. The film had to introduce all the characters and provide an origin of this new universe, so it had a lot of ground to cover.
- Parts made no sense (i.e. Kirk getting command of the Enterprise). True, some elements were a stretch, but we have seen similar implausibilities before in 'Trek; people serving for fifteen years on the same ship without promotions regardless of a war going on, for example. Or people staying the rank of ensign for seven years. At least in Kirk's case it was about a reward for saving Earth and avenging Vulcan. -- Trek reviewer sfdebris pointed out in one of his reviews that people are willing to provide a suspension of disbelief if the story is written well enough, and where this movie was concerned I was quite willing to cut the writers a lot of slack because I enjoyed myself a great deal.
- Alternate universe? Sure, why not? Is it any sillier than seeing God in the middle of the galaxy? Or the massive plot holes delivered in Insurrection? Or the Star Trek II rip off that was Nemesis? And the way it was presented does not invalidate the good (and bad) 'Trek presented before.
Honestly, I loved this movie. I laughed, something I have not done with a 'Trek movie in years. I gave a damn about the characters, something I have not done since First Contact (and that includes the television series Voyager and Enterprise). The visuals were stunning, something the past two films were sorely lacking. And the cast was spot on while Picard and company felt tired and worn out in the last couple films.
I pray the movie does well enough so I can see more of Pine, Quinto and company return again and again.
Rating: 8 (katefan)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2233.04-2258.42 (or something). Stardate 2233.04: Federation survey vessel USS Kelvin NCC-0514 was attacked by Nero and the Narada that emerged form the 24th century. With the Kelvin's captain killed and the ship heavily damaged, acting captain George Kirk ordered the crew to evacuate the ship as he plots a ramming course towards the massive Romulan ship, destroying the Kelvin and saving 800 lives...and causing an alternate timeline. Stardate 2258.42-.46: Federation starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701 investigates a disturbance and a swarm of a destroyed fleet over Vulcan which was caused by the massive Narada. Captain Christopher Pike, after leaving Spock in command, and on his way to the Narada, ejects James T. Kirk, Hikaru Sulu, and Olsen (redshirt with bullseye) onto the Narada's drilling rig. Olsen was killed in action, and Kirk and Sulu was nearly killed before beaming out. Vulcan was destroyed by Red Matter that was deployed inside the planet's core. Kirk, having been knocked out, was ejected to Delta Vega, where he met Spock Prime. Kirk has learned that in the year 2387, Spock saved the galaxy, but not before Romulus was destroyed by the Hobus Supernova. Nero wanted revenge, so he was pulled into the black hole to destroy Vulcan....and his next target is Earth. They meet another person named Scotty, who, like Kirk, was exiled to D.V. Using the Transwarp formula, Kirk and Scott were beamed back to the Enterprise to relieve Spock of command. Elder Spock's plan worked, and Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise and rescue Pike, saves the Earth, and destroys the Narada with Spock's help. After the "Narada Incident", Pike's promoted to Admiral (and in a wheelchair), and Kirk's been promoted to the full rank of Captain, and with Science Officer Spock, Dr. McCoy, and his new crew of the Enterprise, they will "explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before."
I'm a man of few words, so I'll just come out and say it: It's my first review I've done with this movie. I'll say what I've said about this movie: I LOVE THAT MOVIE! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL! It was incredible, wonderful, funny, yet dark, and filled with danger (I lllooooooove danger ^^). It's sad to see Amanda die, though...and the planet Vulcan destroyed.
- Remarkable quotes:
- "I may throw up on you." -McCoy
- "So, the Enterprise has had its maiden voyage, has it? She is one really fine lady. I like to get my hands on her ample nacelles if you'll pardon the engineering parlance" -Scotty
- "Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. Solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait till you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles, see if you're so relaxed when your eyeballs bleed. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence." - "I hate to break it to you, but Starfleet operates in space." - "Yeah. Well, I got nowhere else to go. The ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I've got left is my bones." -Kirk and McCoy
- "Space: the final frontier. These are continuing the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before." -Elder Spock (final lines)
- Remarkable scene: In the bar in Iowa, during the fight, Kirk "accidentally" grabbed Uhura's breasts, and got smacked. Later, in the Academy, Kirk sees Uhura from under the bed as she strips her uniform, but she can hear him breath though his mouth. If I were him, I'd stay quiet as possible. ^_~
- Remarkable prop/ships: I love the new phaser design. Switching emitters from stun to kill is impressive. At first, I didn't like the new design of the USS Enterprise, but now that I've seen her in action, and that I understand that it's in the alternate timeline, I got used to the new design. I wish the DST would make that model better than Playmates.
- Remarkable fact: The Klingon D-7 battlecruisers still retain their hull design in the "no-win situation".
Rating: 10 (Eric Gardner)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: The USS Kelvin is in the process of investigating a mysterious "lightning storm in space" when a massive ship giving off a Romulan energy signature emerges from this distortion. When the Commander of the menacing ship forces the Kevin's Captain to fly a shuttle aboard for "negotiations", first officer George Kirk takes command. He gives his life helping his crew and family, including newborn son James T. Kirk escape by shuttle, altering history forever. Several years later an angry Jim Kirk is encouraged by Captain Christopher Pike to join Starfleet. He does, and in his third year he is thrown into a desperate situation in which he and the young crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 must face the very same vessel that destroyed his father's ship. This massive ship, which is revealed to be from the distant twenty-fourth century, destroys the planet Vulcan using a substance only known as "Red Matter" which is dense enough to create black holes, leaving the Vulcan race only ten thousand strong. After meeting Ambassador Spock, also from the future, Kirk learns that the Romulan Commander Nero is seeking retribution for Spock's and the Federation's failure to save Romulus from destruction in Nero's time. Armed with this knowledge now Acting Captain Kirk sets off on a quest to defeat Nero and save not only Earth but the entire Federation from Nero's wrath.
This movie made extensive (unacknowledged) use of the "Butterfly Effect", which states that even the slightest change to history could change the present until it is barely recognizable. Though no technology from the future made it to Starfleet of the past, the USS Enterprise was an entirely different and in many ways vastly superior ship. Also, believe it or not, Spock and Uhura (yes, Uhura) have a relationship in this new timeline. This is just one aspect of this much more Human Spock's personality that is explored in this movie. Aspects of Starfleet technology was just completely different, such as segmented warp cores and view screens that double as windows. But (and this is coming from an avid fan of the original Enterprise) the redesigned ship was simply beautiful. The situation that lead to Kirk taking eventual command of the ship in a time of crisis was entirely plausible and entirely Star Trek. The young actors played their parts exceedingly well, and at times I even forgot that I was looking at anyone but the characters that I loved from the original series and the subsequent movies. Kirk was confident and was stricken with a perpetual swagger. McCoy was pompous and sarcastic. Scotty was loud and brash and full of his own brilliance. Chekov was young and overly eager. Sulu was, well, Sulu. And Spock, despite his differences, was just as logical as always, and just as perpetually torn between his two heritages. The way that the characters all came together despite the differences in the timeline was inspiring, though somewhat unlikely. Despite all of the technological differences and new special effects, the movie gave me chills at times. J.J. and his writers reminded me that Star Trek is not about the props and the effects, but the people, and the story, both of which were, in my opinion, portrayed perfectly.
- Nitpicking: The movie was filled with minor differences that just weren't necessary. Though the "Butterfly Effect" can be used to explain all of them away, it reaches a point where it's just too convenient. Many of these differences, though not the end of the world, just didn't sit right with me.
- Remarkable quote: "I am and always shall be your friend" -Ambassador Spock to Cadet Kirk, "The wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All she left me was my bones." -Leonard McCoy to Kirk.
- Remarkable scene: Ambassador Spock's conversation with Commander Spock. As if Leonard Nimoy were passing the torch to this new actor who would inherit from him a difficult and beloved character.
- Remarkable prop: Hikaru Sulu's compound Katana. I just loved it, and I want one.
- Remarkable fact: Montgomery "Scotty" Scott is marooned on Delta Vega for beaming "Admiral Archer's prized Beagle" to another planet to prove a point to a colleague. I laughed so hard.
Rating: 9 (legendhiro)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: Most entertaining of Star Trek films
Of all Trek films, this is the first one that did not feel like an extra long TV episode. Consistency may not have been adhered to to everyone's liking but I was a rousing story with very good acting and fleshing out of characters. The movie could be interpreted as Trek is essentially starting over but I think that could be a good thing. I'll still keep my DS9 DVDs, my models of ships from the previous Trek incarnations and collect new ones, both from this movie and previous ones, as they become available.
There were some set that I would have like to have seen done better (engineering, mostly) but I enjoyed this Trek film more than anyone previous.
Rating: 9 (Michael Paquette)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2258: Synopsis in main Abramsverse listing
Es war der Schöpfer der gefeierten Science-Fiction-Serie Babylon 5, Joe Michael Straczinsky, der Star Trek einmal mit einem edlen Sportwagen verglich. Paramount als Rechteinhaber war dermaßen besorgt einen möglichen Wertverlust zu riskieren, dass der Wagen kaum noch das Tageslicht sah und in der Garage verstaubte. So geschah es, dass Star Trek irgendwo in den Neunzigern, kurz nach dem Höhepunkt seiner Popularität, stehengeblieben war. Fast all die Entwicklungen der modernen (TV-)Science-Fiction wurden verschlafen, was letzendlich zur Absetzung der zwar leidlich bemühten, aber nicht mehr zeitgemäßen Serie Star Trek - Enterprise und damit zum vorzeitigen Ende des Franchises führte.
Fast auf den Tag vier Jahre später nun schickt J.J. Abrams sich an all die Versäumnisse der späten Berman-Ära aufzuholen und das Vehikel Star Trek mit Vollgas wieder auf Kurs zu bringen. Und zwar im Rückwärtsgang.
Die Idee, die Abenteuer des jungen Kirk und Spock auf der Akademie in einem Film zu thematisieren, war schon zu Zeiten des ehemaligen Trek-Produzenten Harve Bennett im Gespräch. Dieser war 1991 nicht der Meinung, dass man dem Kinopublikum noch mal die alten Herren der Enterprise in ihrem nunmehr sechsten Abenteuer zumuten könne. Ganz abgesehen davon, dass sicherlich auch Überlegungen, dass junge, unbekannte Schauspieler mit Sicherheit weniger kostenintensiv für die Produktion wären als Shatner und Nimoy eine Rolle spielten. Diese Idee war und ist im Fandom bestenfalls...umstritten, zeigt aber auch welche Faszination von der Konstellation der klassischen Trek-Figuren ausgeht. Kirk und Spock sind das Herz und der Verstand der Serie gewesen, dies zu erkennen sollte dem Autorenduo Kurtzman/Ocri nicht schwer gefallen sein.
Diese schaffen es eine interessante und spaßige Story auf die Leinwand zu bannen, die durchaus den Geist von Star Trek atmet. Zumindest jedenfalls den Geist von Star Trek im Kino. Denn auch in den vorangegangenen Kinoausflügen der Enterprise könnte man bemängeln, dass die Geschichten oftmals reichlich dünn waren. Daraus resultiert die Meinung, dass Star Trek seine Wirkung wahrscheinlich nur im Fernsehen voll entfalten kann und die Filme eine Art kurzweilige Dreingabe dazu sind. Vollkommen logisch und nachvollziehbar ist das Script jedenfalls nicht immer. Das Ende verlangt zum Beispiel sicherlich ein bisschen Augenzudrücken, denn dass Kirk direkt von der Akademie zum Captain befördert wird, ist wohl nur der Realität des Films und einem potenziellen Sequel geschuldet. Doch um der Wahrheit die Ehre zu geben: damit wird ja beinahe eine Tradition aufrecht erhalten, denn wie der erste, sowie der vierte, fünfte und siebte ST-Film zeigten, hat sich Kirk ohnehin nie in einem anderen Rang als dem des Captains wohlgefühlt.
Und wirklich unverbraucht ist die Geschichte um Zeitreisen (Teil IV und VIII) und Rachsucht (Teil II und X) natürlich auch nicht, weder für das Kino generell, noch für Star Trek. Gänzlich neu hingegen ist die Präsentation. J.J. Abrams inszeniert den elften Teil der Reihe rasanter als jeden Vorgänger und schöpft sein großzügiges Budget von 150 Mio. Dollar dabei sichtlich aus. Zum Vergleich: der erfolgreichste Star-Trek-Film, Der Erste Kontakt, spielte 1996 weltweit überhaupt „nur" 146 Mio ein. Und dennoch fühlt man sich nicht überrannt und als Zuschauer nicht ernst genommen, wie es in so vielen anderen Filmen dieser Tage der Fall ist. Star Trek XI ist einfach ganz anders und doch irgendwie vertraut, der Spagat gelingt tatsächlich, was z.B. im Score deutlich wird. Für viele ein Schwachpunkt der Produktion, halte ich die Mischung aus klassischen Trek-Arrangements und Micheal Giacchino Kompositionen sowohl passend als auch gelungen. In mir erzeugten sie dieses Kribbeln endlich wieder ein Enterprise-Abenteuer auf der Leinwand erleben zu dürfen.
Auch der Vorwurf, Star Trek würde unter Abrams' Egide zu einem seelenlosen SFX- und Action-Vehikel verkommen, muss sich als falsch herausstellen. Mehr geschossen oder gekämpft als bspw. in Star Trek - Nemesis wird hier auch nicht. Vielmehr untersucht Abrams die Beziehung zwischen Spock und Kirk, zwei Figuren, die unterschiedlicher kaum sein könnten und sich doch so gut ergänzen.
Doch gibt es auch Schwächen und diese zu verschweigen wäre nicht richtig. Abrams hat ein modernes Actionabenteuer auf die Leinwand gebracht, mit allen Vor- und Nachteilen. Ein Kinofilm des Jahres 2009, mit Lense-Flares, Wackelkamera und allem, was dazugehört. Bisweilen können die flotten Sprüche der Protagonisten doch etwas von der Geschichte ablenken, besonders Chekov und Scotty scheinen manchmal nur als Witzfiguren zu fungieren. Und auch McCoy wird, zumindest was Story-Relevanz betrifft, ein bisschen außenvor gelassen.
Andererseits: Zachary Quinto zuzusehen, wie er dem (jungen) Spock Leben einhaucht, ist eine wahre Freude und die äußerliche Ähnlichkeit zum Original bisweilen verblüffend. Die wirklich Entdeckung hier ist aber Chris Pine, der als James Kirk nicht versucht das eher eigenwillige Schauspiel William Shatners zu kopieren (wie es Karl Urban erfolgreich mit Ur-„Pille" DeForest Kelley gelingt), sondern stattdessen wahre Präsenz und Leading-Man-Qualitäten beweist. Auch Chris Hemsworth als George Kirk hinterlässt trotz seines kurzen Auftritts einen sehr starken Eindruck, von ihm hätte ich gerne mehr gesehen.
Auch Eric Bana als Nero macht seine Sache ordentlich. Dass der Romulaner kein vollkommen übergeschnappter Bösewicht mit Hegemonialansprüchen ist, sondern im Grunde nur ein Arbeiter, der versucht seinen Schmerz zu kompensieren, ist meiner Meinung nach eine große Stärke des Films. Neros enormes Potenzial als Führer spiegelt sich in Kirk wider und ist ein Hauptaspekt der Geschichte des Films. Der Unterschied zwischen den beiden ist nur, wofür sie ihre Kraft einsetzen. Auch wenn Banas Bösewicht nicht besonders viel Screen-Time eingeräumt bekommt, funktioniert die Figur dennoch besser als so manch anderer Antagonist in der Geschichte der Reihe.
Das größte Geschenk an die Fans ist aber mit Sicherheit Leonard Nimoy. Zu ihm braucht man im Grunde nicht mehr viel zu sagen, denn er atmet Spock geradezu nachdem er die Rolle 40 Jahre lang gespielt hat. Es war das erste Mal, dass ich im Kino Szenenapplaus erlebt habe, als der alte Spock das erste Mal auf der Leinwand in Action war.
Und natürlich bringt eine Neuinszenierung (um das unangebrachte Wort „Reboot" zu vermeiden) auch viele Neuerungen mit sich. Das geniale Design der Enterprise von Matt Jefferies wurde verjüngt, zwar ist diese Ikone so immer noch erkennbar, ersichtlich ist der Grund dafür hingegen nicht so recht. Auch die Kostüme, sowie die Sets wurden, mal mehr, mal weniger erfolgreich, einer Verjüngungskur unterzogen. Besonders sauer stieß mir dabei der vollkommen austauschbare und unlogische Sternenflotten-Maschinenräume auf. Diese nehmen sich eher wie industrielle Produktionsstätten aus und strapazieren die Kontinuität und innere Logik der Trek-Geschichte doch schon arg.
Und es lässt sich nun mal nicht jeder Logikfehler mit einer neuen Zeitlinie oder einem Paralleluniversum hinwegdiskutieren. Warum Beamen bspw. 100 Jahre nach Star Trek - Enterprise dermaßen große Schwierigkeiten macht, ergibt einfach keinen Sinn. Aber wer auf der anderen Seite argumentieren mag, dass der junge Kirk hier mit einer alten Corvette über die Felder Iowas heizt, wohingegen ihm das Konzept von Verbrennungsmotoren in der TOS-Folge „Epigonen" noch vollkommen fremd war, der zielt einfach vollkommen am Kern der Überlegung vorbei. Star-Trek-Filme, wie sie waren, waren ganz einfach nicht mehr rentabel, weder finanziell und in vielerlei Hinsicht auch narrativ nicht. Und wenn es diese kleinen bitteren Pillen sind, die man schlucken muss, um sein Lieblingsfranchise weiter auf der Leinwand erleben zu dürfen, dann sei es eben drum.
Der lakonische Titel Star Trek allein, ohne Unter- oder Nebentitel ist ein deutliches Zeichen an Sachunkundige, dass sie sich diesem Film gefahrlos ohne Vorkenntnisse näher können. Und in der Tat: es funktioniert! Star Trek ist ein zeitgemäßer Sci-Fi-Film geworden, dem dennoch nicht der gewisse Charme abgeht., der das Franchise ausmacht. Er handelt von Schicksal und Entscheidungen, von Potenzial und Selbstverwirklichung. Und wenn der junge Kirk sich entscheiden muss, wo seine Loyalitäten liegen, wenn er beschließt dass das Wohl seines väterlichen Freundes Captain Pike schwerer wiegt als Bestimmungen und Regeln, fühlt man sich angenehm an die ersten Star-Trek-Filme erinnert.
Ob Anleihen an Star Wars (Monster) oder Battlestar Galactica (Warp-Effekt, Doku-Stil) bspw. nun nötig waren oder nicht, darüber lässt sich streiten, andererseits entspricht es durchaus auch der Tradition der Franchises auf einander Bezug zu nehmen. Entgleisungen wie Product Placement mögen heutzutage vielleicht an der Tagesordnung sein, ich persönlich finde sie aber besonders in einer geldlosen Gesellschaft wie der Föderation mehr als unangebracht. Wenn Kirk sein Nokia-Telefon betätigt, fühlte ich mich auf sehr unangenehme Weise in das Jahr 2009 zurück versetzt. Dies ist eine Kröte, die ich nur sehr ungern noch einmal zu schlucken bereit bin.
Hat Abrams es nun geschafft Star Trek für die Zukunft fit zu machen? Ja und Nein. Ja, er hat Star Trek verjüngt, doch hätte er die Besonderheiten der Reihe etwas mehr herauskehren können, um sie vom derzeitigen Sci-Fi-Einerlei abzuheben, dennoch gelingt ihm ein großer Film mit kleinen Schwächen. Oder mit anderen Worten: Mission erfolgreich.
Star Trek hatte eine Verjüngunskur bitter nötig, um als popkulturelles Phänomen erhalten zu bleiben und außerdem laufen uns Trekkies die früheren Inkarnationen von Roddenberrys Zukunftsvision nicht davon.
Rating: 8 (Trip)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate 2233.4: A reinvention of Star Trek, based on the early years of Kirk, Spock and co. The film is aimed at both the casual Trek fans, and the new. A strong plot, excellent cast, and brilliant special effects.
Honestly, when I first heard a new Star Trek film was in production, I was overjoyed. That joy turned to sorrow as I heard the movie would be a prequel, set in a time before TOS, and would once again involve time travel.
Having seen the movie however, I was quite satisfied with the result. There was a strong story base to it, a well-written cast, wonderful special effects, and a fair amount of humour to the film.
- The new Enterprise - After seeing the design, I originally didn't like it at all. I thought it was too futuristic for the era it was set in. However, having watched the film, and having seen it in action, I've come to terms with it not being so bad. The only thing I'd change are the nacelles and size of the deflector dish (these, in my opinion, still seem out of place).
- The fact that we got to see several Federation designs, not only with the Enterprise and Kelvin. Granted we didn't get to see a lot of them in great detail, but for the most part, we got the general gist if their shape and size. I had feared we'd only get to see two new designs, and we saw more. I was quite impressed with that.
- The D7 / K't'inga during the Kobayashi Maru - A welcome sight I thought. Granted the Klingons were never shown, it was nice to see a friendly design on the screen.
- The humour - Always good to see in any movie, even if a serious one. The fact Sulu left the brakes on was good, along with Scotty being beamed into a water tank, and beaming Kirk / Spock onto the main bridge. Must love the humour if nothing else, I thought it was a winner.
- The cast and crew - Got to hand it to them, they did a great job. Each of the actors portrayed their role well, and done a superb job. I thought that Scotty was a bit different from the character we've come to know over the years, but everyone else worked well in their redefining moments.
Normally, I'd bring up the USS Relativity, USS Aeon, and Daniel, but to be honest, I see little point. I have ultimately decided that the Trek timeline we know and love, is in fact, three. I know some people will argue this, but to be honest, it is the only conclusion that gives anything any meaning.
First, we've have the 'original' timeline. That being, TOS, TNG, DS9, and VOY, along with all the movies from The Motion Picture, through too Nemesis. That would be the first (and original) timeline. Following that, we'd have the ENT timeline. I believe this is a completely different set of events, more specifically because we've never heard of the Suliban or Xindi since. And thirdly, we'll have this latest one, following Abrams's timeline.
Some people may say that the ENT timeline could be the same one as Abrams's new one, but I'd like to keep them separate until the Xindi show up with Spock.
- Ship size vs ship crew: The USS Kelvin (a ship smaller than the USS Enterprise) somehow had 800+ crew on board. The USS Enterprise (Constitution Class) is about 1/4 the size of the Galaxy, and the Galaxy housed around 1500 people. I cannot personally understand how so many people were living aboard such a small vessel.
- The Federation fleet: I am beginning to suspect that those heading the Federation are in fact, dumb. Why is it, that it seems every capable ship is sent away from Earth during a crisis? When Nero's ship came to Earth, there was no defence. No fleet standing there ready to fight for the Federation. Sure, a lot of their ships were in that one sector (I forget its name), and the rest were around Earth, but then went to Vulcan. Why? Even if Vulcan was in trouble, why send every last resort out to help? If there were a cloaked Klingon or Romulan fleet just popping by, Earth would have been easy pickings.
- The Klingon Empire: We saw none, apart from two or three D7 / K't'inga class vessels in the Kobayashi Maru program. It would have been nice (I think) to see some Klingons in action. There was mention of Nero taking out a Klingon fleet (of 47 ships). We should have got to witness this.
- Vulcan: This adds something to this new 'refurbishment' of Trek. Vulcan (throughout all past shows) has been a planet of considerable importance, it was one of the planets that helped found the Federation. Because of the events in the latest film, we've got two conclusions. We either assume that the new planet the remaining Vulcans go too, is renamed to Vulcan, and named that way onward, or, the planet name 'Vulcan' died with the destruction of it. There are two ways of looking at that, if we take the first, then everything we've seen in any show and movie can still be made sense of. If we take the second, then that contradicts everything in every other show (excluding the Enterprise show).
- The Romulan Star Empire: Two issues I have, firstly being that the Romulan people couldn't tell their sun was going to explode (in such a case, they'd have had plenty of warning), and secondly, I find the idea of a bald Romulan, with Tattoos insulting.
Rating: 8 (Ashley Stephens)
Star Trek (2009)
Stardate not given: By now, everyone knows the plot, so let's move right into it, shall we?
Okay, now that the fanboys have weighed in, gushing about cool explosions and "bad-boy" renegades being promoted to ship captain, can we please have some adult reflection? Let me state from the outset that I am not a fan of J.J. Abrams other work. I was dismayed to hear that he would be at the helm of this "re-imagining" (more on that idiotic term later) of Star Trek, and my worst fears certainly have been realized.
Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek was an adult take on the world around him, using science fiction as allegory for contemporary affairs. Yes, it was limited not only by technical restraints, but of social convention of its time. Roddenberry’s bridge crew were highly trained, sophisticated professionals. There was the much lauded integration of the bridge crew; albeit with an American white, male captain. Remember, though, this was intended for an American audience in the 1960’s.
For the next generation, Roddenberry is quoted as saying that this was Trek as he intended -- without studio interference and using superior technology unavailable before. Again, the characters were intelligent professionals and the stories were -- for the most part -- mature works of science fiction.
Star Trek XI, however, does away with any pretext of maturity and professionalism and reverts to the tired cliché of the loner rebel. He alone knows what is best and it is his very refusal to follow the system that allows him to succeed. Yay! He argues with his superiors. Yay! There’s conflict among the group of "professionals" who should never be allowed within a mile of the bridge. Yay! Stuff blows up.
Most important of all: Yay! The audience skews young. This is a movie by adolescents, about adolescents and for adolescents. This movie is New Coke: far more concerned with milking a few dollars out of a franchise/brand name than in being true to the product.
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, this is a Hollywood entirely bereft of original thought. The very term "re-imagining" is a bastardization of the English language. You either imagine something or you do not. Then, you copy it or you change it. Once changed, it is no longer the original. If J. J. Abrams -- or anyone else -- wants to make a science fiction film, have at it. Create some characters, a background universe, a story, etc. The only thing this movie creates is an excuse to hijack the Star Trek brand for marketing purposes.
What next? I’ve got an idea for a perfectly well-adjusted teen from a loving home in California. He has long blonde hair and gets on well with the jocks and the brainiacs in his school. Oh, he has magic powers and his name is Harry Potter. Should make a fortune with teeny-boppers.
No good? Okay, I’ve got another one. Now, I admit this is so far fetched it will never fly with the studios. Take a Victorian era private detective. Only, instead of getting by on deductive reasoning and looking for clues, he’s a man of action! He’s hot with the ladies and not afraid to kick some bad-guy butt with his own hands. I call him Sherlock Holmes and he’s nothing like that brainy panty-waist in the old books and movies. Oh, what? It’s already in the works? It figures.
I thought true Star Trek fans were better than that, but apparently, I'm mistaken. I’m sure this is a fine movie for 15 year old boys, but it isn’t Star Trek.
Rating: 1 (Paul)