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Star Trek

(8/10)

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Current Rating 9.33/10 | 27 Votes

Star Trek tells the origin story of the characters in the much loved Star Trek movie and television series. A science fiction gem, Star Trek even made this Star Trek hater’s heart race.

In an Iowa town, a little boy, James Kirk, shows his rebellious streak, throwing caution to the wind. After a chance encounter, Kirk (Chris Pine) decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Star Fleet. It is on his way to training that he meets Dr. McCoy, (Karl Urban) a surly ships doctor. Vulcan/human half breed Spock (Zachary Quinto), seen as handicapped by the Vulcans, struggles to find his identity. Almost instantly Spock and Kirk begin to fight with each other, even as the maiden voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise goes awry, and this bunch of inexperienced cadets are thrust into a situation that will require all of their skills in a skirmish against the Romulan enemy Nero (Eric Bana).

Quality acting is cornerstone of success for a science fiction movie, because it is the responsibility of the actors to make relatable an unrelatable circumstance. If the acting fails in a science fiction movie, all the great visuals, amazing gadgets and cool creatures will not make a lick of difference to its watchability. The acting in Star Trek is no exception, it succeeds on the quality of the actors. Chris Pine is piggish, strong and funny when the scene calls for it. Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, has a brief appearance but makes the audience laugh enough that it will be hard to forget him. Zachary Quinto, who has the hardest role by far, was able to create a surprisingly tender and warm character for someone whose primary source of wisdom is dispassionate logic.

The writers, Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and to a great extent Gene Roddenberry, give the actors a script rich with character development, romance, humor and science fictiony goodness. The dialogue is natural enough as to almost be invisible; it is just part of the story. The only exception are the cliché Star Trekisms required by Trekies across the universe. I could’ve done without the cheeseball dialogue that made the original series such a misery to watch. I refuse to “live long and prosper” or to “stop acting like an infant.”

On the upside, the blinking lights and ridiculous omni-directional deck movements are replaced with more sophisticated visuals. In fact, the computer generated special effects are so well crafted the audience can take them for granted. The heat coming off the explosions and the cold areas of space feel as if they change the temperature of the theater. With the exception of one scene where they got the lighting totally wrong, it is hard to distinguish the green screen effects from standard backgrounds.

Director J.J. Abrams has to be credited with making the unbelievable aspects of Star Trek in a way the audience has no choice but to believe it. Hell, I had as much fun as the fanboys in the theater.

Star Trek is an exciting not to miss sci-fi adventure that will appeal to those who can spot the Tribble and those who think a Tribble is something basketball players and babies do.

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