Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Movie Review - Star Trek

by Alex Popp

The future begins in "Star Trek," the alternate reality/prequel to the classic TV series, directed by J.J. Abrams.

On the day of James Kirk's birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy's medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

At first, it just looked like Hollywood was running out of ideas, but I am looking forward to the sequel. You don't need to be a huge fan of the series to enjoy this prequel. This was one of the most highly acclaimed films of 2009, and one of the best of that year. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who do the lead characters, play the parts so well, it was funny. Simon Pegg, who will be voicing Reepicheep in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," also made a neat performance. I was surprised that it wasn't nominated for any award for acting. The visual effects are great and the makeup is very well done; I would almost say the pointy ears for Spock put "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Lord of the Rings" to shame. The movie isn't really about the battle scenes, although there is one in particular when a planet is being drilled into. This scene is very thrilling. But the real thing about "Star Trek" is the whole premise about what happened prior to the famous stories from the seventies. Although, if you haven't seen any episodes from the television series, you may be a tad confused.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and some unnecessary sexual content.

Three and a half stars (out of four) for the slick and well-written "Star Trek."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.

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