Left to right: Chekov (Anton Yelchin), James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho), and Uhura (Zo' Saldana) in "Star Trek."
By CAINE GARDNER
I've been hesitant to dub J.J. Abrams Star Trek as a reboot. It's too trendy, too hip, too cool, then it dawned on me -- that's the new Trek in a nutshell.
If you came here looking for spoilers, major plot-points or anything that would give you a definitive idea where the flick goes, you've come to the wrong place. What I will offer is exactly why the film works, why it's going to leave some people scratching their heads and why Abrams is absolutely brilliant.
In a word, Star Trek is exhilarating. It's like driving a white-hot street rod; you jump in, slam your foot to the floor and pray to God the thing doesn't veer off path. Fortunately for fans, the movies is a straight arrow that definitely hits its mark
While Trek offers little in the way of major character development, what it does offer is the foundation for a series that, dare I say it, is set to boldly go where no Trek film has gone before.
We get to see a young incarnations of the characters that we've grown to love over the decades. We are reintroduced to James T. Kirk who is more than slightly intoxicated and reserved to a life of mediocrity; a defiant Spock who suffers alienation due to his duality; and Leonard "Bones" McCoy who is as neurotic as ever. In my opinion, the picture is cast perfectly. You might not look at the actors and see the original characters, if you close your eyes for a split moment -- they are there.
Chris Pine's cocky, arrogant portrayal of Kirk is dead on. I thought it would be hard to see another actor take to the captain's chair as Kirk, but Pine fills those Starfleet boots perfectly. Pine is a star. This guys oozes charisma and his likeability will be a major factor in the film's box office success.
I felt that all the actors inhabiting major roles pulled them off perfectly -- with the exception of one. I didn't buy Zachary Quinto's performance as Spock. Maybe it was the fact that the man himself, Leonard Nimoy, was in the flick or it could have been the fact that this is a different Spock than I was used to, but something didn't feel right.
I continued to find myself squinting at the screen in hopes that the character would pop out and it did, but those instances were few and far between. With future movies sure to follow and Nimoy's shadow not following him, Quinto should be able to get a grasp on the role. After all, it's only logical to assume that.
Abrams does something I really didn't expect. He puts forth an effort that is wall-to-wall action, is able to establish the relationships of the crew and makes it fun along the way. Sometimes the film tries to be a little too cute, but the opportunity to chuckle at classics lines and hear Simon Pegg pull off the greatest Montgomery "Scotty" Scott impersonation ever is welcomed.
Final Cut: Trek has substance, but doesn't take itself too seriously. The story paves the way for Abrams and company to deliver us more voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Like Kirk says to Bones, buckle up because you are in for one helluva ride.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Leonard Nimoy
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci (Screenplay), Gene Roddenberry (Source Material)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence and brief sexual content
In theaters now