Review: Star Trek

Finally watched ‘Star Trek’ over the weekend and all doubts on this franchise re-boot is beamed out of the window as J.J. Abrams delivered with aplomb a more adrenalin-fueled voyage of the classic ‘Star Trek’ series while successfully re-introducing a fresh sense of wonder and bewilderment not experienced in the previous 'Star Trek' films over the many years. Dare I say it, this J.J. Abrams version boldly went to no 'Star Trek' film has gone before.

Many would think that this would be the dumbed-down version of 'Star Trek' to satisfy the tastebuds of the commercial masses, but I must defer. Yes, the weight is indeed shifted from sci-fi hardcore to a more light-weight version with a little sprinkle of steroids, but right now with J.J. Abrams version, there is finally a balance between the two. Hardcore trekkies will obviously despise the departure from the deeper themes of scientific exploration to a more suspense-filled sensory joyride, but I believe the film retains enough of the original Gene Roddenberry’s influence and yet successfully pumped-up the volume to create a more satisfactory end-product as a whole.

Armed with cash as big as any Vulcan rock, it is satisfying to see that the cash is used to optimum effect. The production designs are superb with ships so detailed it tingles the fascination to imagine if such a universe would eventually exist – and that this film is just a sneak peak into what our future would be. The space battles oozes with sublime special effects that would put any ‘Star Wars’ films to shame as it is the most convincingly real ever to be put into celluloid form. The sound design too is also truly extraordinary, for instance in a few sequences the use of sound – in this case the non-use of it - to convey the noiseless vacuum of space is skillfully manipulated and adds a priceless sense of distinction to the film.

But ‘Star Trek’ is not all about the technicality of the movie-making, but also about the characters that fill each of the seats on the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The young actors that were called on to convey the classic characters of much-loved individuals like James T. Kirk, Spock and all are obviously daunting. But to their credit, their performances were credible. Chris Pine came off best as James T. Kirk, although being way too serious at times that made him lack that winking feeling (which may change as the origins story moves along). Zach Quinto delivers an OK performance as Spock, although I just can’t help but to see him as Sylar with a funny haircut and mutated pointy ears. There’s one scene where Spock uses his powers to make someone unconscious with his hands, and that just screams SYLAR.

The rest is Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and at times he is uncanny with his mannerisms and dialogue, while the others like Anton Yelchin provides some light humor (and accent) as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu providing some “fencing” relief and Saldana as Uhura portraying the strong but dynamic love interest in the film. And if you have not heard it yet by now, Leonard Nimoy (yes, the original Mr. Spock) makes numerous appearances, and he is just as stellar as always. Although limited in his role, just to hear him speak simply makes his performance wonderful. And yes, he did display the iconic Vulcan salute and utter the infamous words of “live long and prosper”, so thus serious Trekkies will no doubt shed a tear or two.

All in all, ‘Star Trek’ is finally fun again and depending on any fan’s view whether this is good or bad, J.J. Abrams did however successfully managed to re-position this franchise into a whole new light, and revived this fading series that will set warp speed at the maximum to a successful future ahead. J.J. Abrams re-boot is a fitting beginning to a bold new destination that no ‘Star Trek’ has gone before, and by the end of this film when the crew is finally together and finally settled in their original positions on deck, one can’t help but to feel that the familiar universe once so loved now feels so wide open and new. One just can’t help but to feel excited to go on another voyage, to go on another Trek, and I’m sure this is a feeling many Trekkies haven’t felt for a long time. And hence, live long and prosper.

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

Verdict: 9/10


HuLp said...

I think this is the best Star Trek movie EVER and the best movie so far!!

Raymond said...

I agree also!!! I watched it 3 times so far in the cinema LOL ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice review!! Love your reviews as always

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