Star Trek (2009) Dir. J.J. Abrams

STXI“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Oh, boy. Oh, boy.

I love this movie! I actually knew it after the first few scenes of the attack on U.S.S. Kelvin. It is thrilling, exciting, and fascinating. For a little more than 2 hours I was on the verge of my seat. (With this review I’ll try to cut to the chase.)

The story. As a ST fan, I’m fascinated by the story. I love the way this alternative ST reality is presented. It’s nicely developed. And it’s nicely interwoven with the ST mythology. The attention to details is impressive. Moreover, the story is plausible. It watches great.

The characters. I like the way they are (re)created here. Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is an absolute blast! I should say all Spocks are. But seriously, the young one is fantastic, amazing, and strangely alluring. I have doubts about his relationship with Uhura (Zoe Saldana). I wouldn’t go this way with this character, but that’s just my reflection. Anyway, the rest of the characters are super as well: Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), just to name a few. Now, I’m getting to the touchy issue of Captain Kirk (Chris Pine). I’m sorry to say he is not William Jim Kirk Shatner. He is a little bit unconvincing as the Kirk we know and love. Some fans badmouth him all the way, even going as far as to call him a douchebag. I don’t want to do that. The thing is he’s not Shatner, and that’s all. As for the major villain, Nero (Eric Bana), he’s really exciting. I like his ruthlessness and the ominous air around him. Great!

The special effects. Let’s put it simply – I was breathless throughout the whole time. The visual side is a huge reason to watch this movie. It’s astounding and tremendous. My favorite scene is when we see U.S.S. Enterprise for the first time. The ship is shown almost with a religious reverence. The streamlined shape. Beautiful!

The cast. The quality of acting is exceptional: superb Zachary Quinto, pitiless Eric Bana, gorgeous Zoe Saldana, hilarious Simon Pegg, again just to name a few. I even like Chris Pine. I only object to his Captain Kirk. One thing that bothers me, though, is the fact that most of the actors are known, or even well-known, to me. Sometimes it “gets” in the way. In other words, I’ve seen Karl Urban or Winona Ryder so many times before that they’re not Bones and Amanda Grayson for me. Interestingly, Bana became Nero so impressively that I hardly noticed it was Bana.

The music. Michael Giacchino, thank you! The music fits perfectly – it’s as dynamic as the action itself. It creates an enormous atmosphere that somehow combines the elements of the original series with a fresh, new approach. I don’t know much about music as such, but I love the drums and trombones (if there are any). Of course, at the end I was moved by the ending theme from the original series. By the way, it’s a fantastic idea to take original (it seems the key word today) sound effects, like the teleportation sound, and embed them into the movie. Perfect!

J.J. Abrams. I love this guy. Anything he touches changes into gold, or a fascinating cinematic experience for that matter. Every scene shows his amazing style. In some moments, I felt like I was watching “Lost” or “Cloverfield.” And that’s an advantage. His style can be characterized in terms of grandiose and incredible excitement as well as warp-speed action. It’s the magic of cinema.

Watching “Star Trek” only once is not enough for me. I feel I missed many details. I want to relish this movie again. Even with Kirk being too presumptuous, and Spock too romantic. This is an unforgettable voyage.

Steady as she goes, Mr. Sulu.

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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