Rated PG-13; Directed by J.J. Abrams; Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Leonard Nimoy
What can you say about the new Star Trek? After 10 movies that started with the Enterprise of Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock and eventually moved to the Enterprise of Capt. Picard, this 11th one comes along and manages to re-ignite the aging franchise, returning us to the Star Trek of Kirk and Spock. The movie gives us the tale of how both end up on the Enterprise, not as friends, but as antagonists. It’s so delightful.
Director J.J. Abrams, a perfect cast, and wonderful special effects manage to make something fun and new out of the old “Star Trek.” The screenwriters work some magic in creating the story of young Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) facing off against each other. Though they don’t like each other, they must work together to stop the plans of Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan out for revenge. That’s a very shorthanded description, but telling too much could spoil the surprises. Just expect space battles, time paradoxes, romance, monsters, and the forming of the well-known crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
What makes this movie so enjoyable is the cast. Chris Pine has the hardest task: become James Kirk without doing a poor imitation of William Shatner, yet echo what Shatner originally created. Pine succeeds beyond expectations. Zachary Quinto’s Spock is also perfect. He brings intensity to the “emotionless” Spock that works in the rivalry with Kirk. The rest of the cast is excellent, with Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy and Simon Pegg as Scotty stealing their scenes. They all have the chops to make the comedy succeed amidst all the drama — and there is plenty of drama.
The movie offers an excellent reboot of the Star Trek universe. The plot doesn’t rely on an audience knowing details of the original TV series, but there is enough to please the loyal fans. The movie goes for more action and less science fiction than hoped for, but as a way to restart the Star Trek franchise it works. It works magnificently.