For many of us, if we didn’t grow up watching the original Star Trek we certainly had parents that did and enjoyed checking out the old re-runs. I’m definitely in the latter category as the original aired far before I was born, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve always had a fondness for the series and was immediately interested at this new development upon hearing that J.J. Abrams was attached. So the question remains- is Star Trek worth the price of admission?
The answer, fortunately, is a resounding, “yes”. Without giving too much of the plot away, I’ll say only that this is precisely the same crew you likely grew up with, but re-imagined in such a way as to allow the series to be completely unconstrained by the mythos of old. While die-hard purists may take issue with this, for most of us watching the action build and the characters become fleshed out in a very balanced way is fulfilling indeed. The original crew come together with a solid explanation of their functions on board the Enterprise and plenty of thought and care has been put into their roles aboard the ship, ensuring each aspect of the (admittedly, slightly hard to follow) plot is neatly sewn up. Despite jamming so much into this film, it progresses at a comfortable pace, wrapping up at just over two hours. It’s not that I don’t mind the occasional three-hour epic, but it’s always nice to see quality over quantity aptly represented in a blockbuster film such as this.
Audio is clear and the massive sound systems in most theaters will take full advantage of the plentiful action within Star Trek with its bevy of sci-fi sound effects from phasers to photon torpedoes . While a far cry from the aging special effects of the original films, Star Trek’s special effects are second to none with very crisp CGI that never becomes too intrusive. That is to say instead of relying only on the dazzling production values to appeal to movie-goers, they never steal the spotlight in a distracting way from the richly detailed characters that keep the story moving.
Speaking of which, the casting is top-notch, with each actor wholly committed to their role in a way that makes it clear many of them were, themselves huge fans of the source material. There are more than a few nods to the original series that are delivered in such a way to appeal to fans, but never outright distract or get in the way of newcomers’ enjoyment. Karl Urban in particular does a bang-up job representing Dr. Leonard McCoy with a nigh-perfect performance of the comically pessimistic Chief Medical Officer. It’d be easy to praise these actors on the merits of their individual performance, but what really ties it all together is watching the undeniable chemistry amongst the various crew-members, each wrestling with their own reasons for joining Starfleet and slowly but surely building a comradery that has surely set the stage for many a sequel.
Star Trek is an outright through-the-ages legacy for those of the geek and nerd persuasion. By the time the credits roll, you’d be hard-pressed not to see at least a few people around you bathing in the nostalgia conjured by many of the film’s key moments and characters. In the end, whether you grew up with Shatner and Nimoy or you’re completely new to Star Trek, you shouldn’t have trouble enjoying this film and it’s surely worth checking out on the big screen.
10 out of 10.