‘Star Trek’ **** Movie Review 091909

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The work = ****
J.J. Abrams steps into the ‘Star Trek’ franchise after having just stepped out of the ‘Mission Impossible’ series. Abrams seems comfortable working with material that already has an audience and a back story. As is the current trend, his ‘Star Trek’ film is a restart of the series and it focuses on the development of the crew of the starship Enterprise. A new cast and crew take over the series in an attempt to start the franchise out for a whole new audience. ‘Star Trek’ is successful and Abrams makes constructing dynamic action scenes looks easy. As with his ‘Mission Impossible III’, the film is a little bit long for my taste but I suspect it won’t bother most people. For fans of action/sci-fi features, this one is recommended.

What about fans of the franchise? Will this film be an enjoyable experience? That is a tough one. Abrams seems to have made a very deliberate decision to tailor the film to appeal to a wide audience. Know nothing about ‘Star Trek’? Well it doesn’t matter because Abrams sets everything up and presents the story of the Enterprise crew as an action film. I had asked a friend of mine who is a longtime fan of the series what he thought of the film. He commented that it was too actiony’ for ‘Star Trek’ which (according to him) was more of a drama that sometimes had short action sequences with the bulk of the show and movies relying more on tension and drama than exploding starships. I suspect that some fans may feel the same way as this film hurtles from one adventure to the next. Fans who don’t mind a change of pace will probably enjoy the film as Abrams really is good at crafting dynamic, entertaining, action sequences.

He (and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) focus primarily on Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto.) Kirk is portrayed as rambunctious, trouble seeking, young man who practically stumbles into joining Starfleet Academy. The academy trains individuals to be officers on huge starships that patrol and explore the galaxy. Kirk’s father was the captain of one such vessel. Unfortunately, he was not around and Kirk grew up without ever knowing his father. Kirk could care less about Starfleet Academy but a chance encounter with an officer who knew his father helps get him to join up.

As for Spock, hr is easily the most interesting character in the film. Spock is the offspring of a human woman and alien man. He is torn between his father’s ancestry and his mother’s emotions. His lineage is viewed as a disadvantage in his father’s home world, Vulcan. When Spock is old enough to start higher education he joins Starfleet Academy as a rebuff of the xenophobic Vulcan leaders. Compounding his struggle to honor both sides of his family is the fact that he is falling in love with a human. Spock’s internal struggle and his sort of rise and fall within the crew of the Enterprise is some of the most engaging aspects of ‘Star Trek’. Kirk’s problems are more run of the mill and are not has unique as what Spock has to contend with, especially as the film gets moving.


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