I originally watched this in the theater and it was spectacular. Years later I am watching it again. This is the result.
To this day I think the movie is fantastic. I grew up watching Star Trek the TV series (including Next Generation) and I personally think they nailed it with the main characters in this reboot of the franchise. It generously provides some background to the characters for those who aren’t familiar with the originals without getting all crazy. This enables new fans to follow along without having to deep dive a bunch of rabbit holes. Although knowing the mannerisms and attitudes of the old Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty really do help. They even look similar (to some degree of course) and I sometimes found myself getting the new and old mixed up.
Chris Pine as Kirk; nailed it. Karl Urban as Bones; nailed it. Zachary Quinto as Spock; nailed it. Simon Pegg as Scotty; nailed it maybe, I think? I also never noticed that Chris Hemsworth was in the beginning… amazing how that works.
I never paid much attention to Sulu or Uhura in the TV shows that much but since this film is technically taking place in an alternative reality some changes can be made to provide some more character development and subplots. Like the love-thing between Uhura and Spock which I never would have caught in the originals if it was there. I’ll have to pay more attention to those characters when I catch re-runs on TV.
The visuals are refreshing and not over the top. Obviously, watching the film for the second time, it loses some of the unpredictability but certain scenes in combination with heroic music still gave me the sense of pride one would expect. You know the scenes of the ship rising out of the clouds and escaping the explosions etc. etc. Or when you think all hope is lost and the U.S.S. Enterprise comes dropping out of warp weapons hot. You either get the chills or you don’t, I can’t explain it more than that.
It does have some small details that don’t make any sense and probably something only I would notice. The door for instance in the Federation base, as Kirk and the ‘original Spock’ enter the base to meet Scotty, has a handle you’d find on an emergency exit door. I mean it is what the 23rd century and we still have those doors… and that tile on the wall… anyway not important but it is there.
Story wise there is no real sense of time due to how fast the ships move and it feels that in just two hours (viewer time) they complete a hell of a lot. This reminds me of how the TV series is. In one episode they usually respond to trouble and solve whatever problem it is in a short period of time, yet it could be weeks or months story wise. Nothing wrong with that but it does make the time fly by when you’re hooked in. I feel they did it all within the same day unless they were calling out Star Dates in the Captain’s Log and I missed it.
If you’re a fan of Star Trek or you have never heard that you can set your weapons to stun, I highly recommend you add this one to your watch list. You’ll be telling people to Live Long and Prosper before you know it!
It deserves a four out of five stars for its excellent casting, great visuals, and being able to provide old fans with a good show while giving new ones a way to start Exploring the Star Trek universe! I take a star away because it has some short comings that hardcore fans might pickup on that could cause some grumblings and they don’t really solve how to save Romulus from the event that started this entire thing in the first place.