“star trek” film review

DISCLAIMER: I am not a Trekkie/Trekker. There really isn’t a difference, but that also depends on who you ask. But I say that to those that are the die hard fans (whether they dress up or not), and to those who are clueless to what a Trekkie/Trekker even is, so both sides know that I watched this movie from the point of view of both fan and newbie. Of course, hardcore fanboys will find something wrong with this movie, but that’s not my problem. When I was a wee boy, I was forced to watch it by my father who is a fan. For all I know, he maybe hiding a Star Trek uniform in his closet to this day… but I’m not judging anyone. I’ve got respect for fans no matter how crazy they may allow themselves to appear in public. Fans are people too… just make sure you have a life.

I can gladly say that if you know absolutely nothing about Star Trek, you don’t need to in order to enjoy this film. You don’t need to watch any of the other previous movie or even the original TV show the movie is based on. If you are already a fan and have been for many years (or your entire life) then I may be preaching to the choir, because more than likely, you loved it and have already seen it seventeen times.

Star Trek, the 2009 movie, is about how Captain Kirk became Captain Kirk. It’s also about how he and Spock became good friends. Consider it the early days of the crew some of us know and love. Except, this is somewhat-sort-of-kinda considered a “reboot.” I’ve discussed reboots before: where it’s not a remake nor is it a sequel or a prequel, more like a reimagining with a bigger budget. Well, this is a blend of prequel and reboot, to keep it simple. Time travel is involved and as any time travelling movies will tell you, once you tweak something in the past, your future is forever ruined. I don’t need to draw you a picture, I’ll just say Back to the Future is one of my favorite examples of this.

Anyway, we do a little growing up with young Kirk and young Spock until they have their collision course at school and ultimately on the Enterprise. For the non-Trek fans, this has nothing to do with the rental car company; however I wouldn’t be surprised if Star Trek is why they named their company that. The Enterprise is a star ship. Like the Navy has battleships and such, they have a space fleet with the same thing.

So if you got some battleships flying around out there in space all willy-nilly, you expect to see some battles, right? Of course! And there are some battles that were battled, indoob. Some lost, some won. Some you weren’t sure of the results until it’s clarified later… but it’s all good fun entertainment. Explosions and flashes and laser beams and lens flares. And for once, some filmmaker got it right: there is no sound in space and when they showed something blowing up in one scene, they kept it silent. I liked it.

But let’s talk about the lens flares for a quick second. Those who have seen it know exactly what I’m talking about. Yeah, they were a bit distracting, but I am a fan of them. They are… fascinating! The director of this film, J.J. Abrams, has played with these flashes before in a hit TV show I’m really a fan of called Fringe. Maybe you’ve heard of it? They don’t show up as much in that show, but I personally feel it’s the director’s trademark. A signature, if you will. I just wanted to note the lens flares (and link it to the awesomeness that is Fringe).

Overall, the hype that you have heard surrounding this movie is indeed true and well deserved. I admit, I wasn’t going to see this movie in theaters, but it was specially requested and plus the fact I already had a genuine interest. Another $10 well spent. There are no special scenes at the end, but the first parts of the credits are worth watching for the visual fun and original theme song. Don’t expect a Shatner-esque Kirk and you’ll almost forget the young Spock is played by Heroes’ Sylar. The acting was that good. So enjoy. And to the Trekkers/Trekkies, enjoy it again. This is worth seeing in theaters. Engage.

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May 2009
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