Main cast: Chris Pine (James T Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov), Bruce Greenwood (Captain Christopher Pike), Eric Bana (Captain Nero), and Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime)
Director: JJ Abrams
Now, how does one reboot Star Trek, which has long become a punchline in a joke that involves nerds that can’t get laid, Klingon lube, and busted blow-up dolls in one tasteless mix? Producers JJ Abrams (who also directed) and Damon Lindelof decided that they would risk the wrath of the legions of fanboys by completely deconstructing the original flavor and transforming it into Mass Effect.
Star Trek, the first in a planned reboot of the movie franchise, pretty much shows how James T Kirk becomes buddies with Spock as they end up on board the ship called USS Enterprise. Yes, the ship that is supposed to go around the galaxy seeking out new cultures and such, only to get involved in all kinds of alien drama. The bad guy here is Nero, the perpetually scowling time-traveling Romulan who wants to track down an Admiral Spock, and Kirk has a personal score to settle with Nero as Nero blasted the ship that Kirk’s father was serving on during the prologue.
Kirk in this movie, played by the plastic-looking Ken doll Chris Pine, has his maverick rebel without a cause factor ramped up to the point that he’s almost a dumbass twit that typically plagues a script written by James Cameron. He wears leather, speeds on a bike, and has Renegade Shepard attitude! He doesn’t care about the rules even as he gets all the ladies!
Spock is Spock, played by Zachary Quinto in the way he always plays all his characters, and the movie definitely plays up the homoerotic undercurrents between these two. Spock could be Kaidan to Kirk’s Shepard, just as the feisty Nyota Uhura is the Ashley Williams of USS Enterprise.
Rounding up the multicultural cast of secondary characters are Hikaru Sulu, played by the cute John Cho and Pavel Chekov, played by Anton Yelchin who looks slightly less annoying than he usually does. Meanwhile, Karl Urban puts on weight a bit and looks much more easy on the eyes as Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy and Simon Pegg camps it up as the neurotic Montgomery Scott. Oh, and you didn’t hear from it, but Bones totally wants to sleep with Kirk too.
Watching this movie, I certainly don’t remember this franchise being this action packed, until I remember, oh yes, this is Star Trek: The Mass Effect. Given that I was never a fan of the original flavor of Star Trek, I actually like this. Zachary Quinto’s portrayal of the conflicted Spock, who tries so hard to be emotionless like a “real” Vulcan (he’s half-Vulcan, you know), is a good mix of deadpan humor and unexpected poignancy – I actually feel for him, pardon my saying so, in this movie. I can’t care less about the obnoxious Kirk, and Chris Pine looking too pretty to be taken seriously doesn’t help matters, but he and Spock play off each other in a way that will launch another thousand slashy fanfiction for another fifty years. Zoe Saldana is no stranger to roles like Uhura, but she carries herself off perfectly here. It’s also great to see a lead female character who doesn’t give Kirk any time of day – she likes Spock, which only demonstrates her good taste.
The other cast are all pretty memorable as well, making this movie the a start of a pretty promising franchise.
The plot here isn’t anything to get excited over, as there’s a been-there, done-that feel to things, but still, the movie is pretty watchable. The thing is, the things that I don’t like about the original flavour are still present here. The uniforms are still silly looking, although in this movie they look at least better than the cheap-looking stuff in the original flavour. USS Enterprise is still made of paper, as a single explosion can wreck things badly, and everyone starts throwing around numbers like 6% shields remaining or something like that. Repairing anything requires manual calibrations, as automated processes are apparently all useless here, and going manual requires jumping and crawling through a maze-like path of obstructions.
I walked into Star Trek with minimal expectations, as I wasn’t fond of the franchise in the first place. However, I’m pleasantly surprised by how pleasantly enjoyable I find this movie. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but it will do. It’s just too bad that Kirk is so obnoxious in this movie and he’s loved for this, ugh.