Film Review: Star Trek
By James Zimmerman
The erstwhile Star Trek franchise beams back into theaters this spring with its eleventh feature film. But this isn’t exactly a continuation of an on-going story-this time, the Enterprise goes where every action hero is going these days: back to the beginning.
Kicking off with Lucas’ disappointing trilogy of box office smashes that explored the origins of Darth Vader, movie studios have dutifully followed suit by offering theater-goers the origins of Batman, Superman, James Bond, Wolverine, and others. Captain James Tiberius Kirk can now be added to this on-going fad.
But don’t hold movie studios’ slavish following of the latest gimmicks against this deeply cool film. Star Trek (annoyingly left without a subtitle, or even so much as a Roman numeral) tells a compelling, riveting tale and, this time, does so with all the state-of-the-art special effects wizardry the legendary epic has long deserved.
Fans of Star Trek will revel in learning how their heroes got their start: How did McCoy get that nick-name? How exactly did Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru? And attention is paid to ensuring the actors are faithful to their original incarnations: Zachary Quinto is a dead-ringer for a younger Spock, and Karl Urban plays an impeccable Doctor McCoy. Still, the fans (and Trek’s fan are famous for their intensity) may dislike the retooling of their favorite story line, and the deux ex machina explanation for not resetting that pesky space-time continuum. As the Onion hilariously panned, Trekkies might bash the new film as ‘fun, watchable’.
But that’s just what it is: fun and watchable. You don’t have to be a die-hard Trekker to have a good time, but you’ll appreciate the story much more if you do have some knowledge of the Trek universe. And if you’d like to go in to the theater fully informed on the back story: read the prequel comic book Star Trek: Countdown. It won’t ruin the film for you.
Whether you’re a hard-core fan, or just a casual viewer, you will have a great time at the theater. To quote the lead Vulcan, you’ll find it “fascinating”.
In the meantime, I’ll wait for Captain Picard: Origins!
Depiction, where explicit or implicit, of deities: 5/5
Depiction, whether explicit or implicit, of religion: 5/5
View of valuing this life as opposed to an afterlife: 5/5
Positive view of self-reliance: 5/5
Championship of reason: 5/5
Bottom line: 5/5