Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Director: J.J. Abrams
Running Time: 127 mins
Star Trek is an American film following maverick Starfleet cadet James T. Kirk as he boards the Starship Enterprise in his father’s footsteps, only to clash with various personalities onboard whilst a Romulan from the future aims to destroy the peace-keeping Federation out of revenge.
This isn’t just one of the best reboots ever made, it’s one of the best blockbusters ever made. I was absolutely stunned by Star Trek’s incredible capacity to provide powerful and captivating drama throughout, along with brilliant comic relief, a wonderful sense of adventure, and most importantly, thrilling action and suspense from start to finish, making it a truly fantastic film that’s absolutely enthralling from the word go.
In fact, the 12-minute opening sequence sums up the rest of Star Trek perfectly. Kicking the film off with a bang, there’s beautifully-directed and hugely exciting action everywhere to be seen, but what makes it such a brilliant start to the film is the degree of emotional heft brought within such a short space of time.
Centring on James T. Kirk’s father’s heroism aboard the USS Kelvin, the opening sequence builds an entire backstory that some films take hours to get across in some style. Most importantly, it presents us with a genuine and convincing background to how James’ life has unfolded prior to the film’s main story, making for an immediately compelling watch as the film moves into its principal act, and that’s something very special that’s not all too common amongst Hollywood blockbusters.
However, as good as the first 10 minutes are, the rest of Star Trek is exhilarating to watch. Clearly taking on influence from Star Wars with regards to how it tells the story of the rise of Kirk from nobody to interstellar hero, as well as in some of the more dynamic action sequences (which look absolutely stunning thanks to J.J. Abrams’ innovative and exciting direction), but the film still establishes its own identity away from both Star Wars and the original Star Trek TV series.
Rather than be a simple space opera about fighting aliens and discovering new worlds, the main focus of this film is the characters. Star Trek does an incredible job at acting like a big blockbuster, but in fact telling a very grounded and human story about the relationships between the Starship Enterprise’s main crew members, and that’s what makes it such a compelling film to watch.
With more than the overplayed ‘fate of the universe’ at stake, the action sequences are more emotionally investing because the various characters have deep personal motives and dangers at stake (with the exception of the somewhat simplified villain).
And one final element that really helps this movie stand out as a real triumph is the performances. At the centre of it all, Chris Pine is dynamite as the quick-witted maverick James T. Kirk, bringing great comedy to the role as well as making what would seem like another Luke Skywalker story truly fascinating to watch. Meanwhile, supporting players such as Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Bruce Greenwood as Pike, and Anton Yelchin as Chekov are all excellent, and they give the bridge of the Starship Enterprise a great vibrancy in characters, something that really has to be commended.
Overall, I was thrilled to be experiencing a big-budget sci-fi movie that balanced thrilling visuals with such enthralling character focus. From start to finish, my eyes were glued to the screen watching this hugely entertaining, beautiful, intelligent and absolutely fascinating film, and that’s why Star Trek gets an 8.9 from me.