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J.J. Abrams reboot/prequel to the "Star Trek" film franchise.

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To Boldly Go...

  • Dec 7, 2009
I was never a big Star Trek fan.  I had moments where I watched the original and where I watched Next Generation but for the most part I found the series to be well... boring.  Some of it was the science fiction stuff, others was because sometimes it seemed as though Star Trek could never get to the point.  That's not to say I hated Star Trek or couldn't stand it.  There were certain episodes of the original series that I rather enjoyed.  Some parts of The Next Generation I enjoyed a lot.  Put simple, I wasn't a Trekkie, but damn it, I could never hate it.  When it came to those Star Trek movies, however, the only one I ever enjoyed was the Wrath of Khan.  I never got into any other ones.  So when I saw the trailer for this particular flick I was quite amused because I was actually interested in it.  There was a quality about it that seemed as though it could be very enjoyable.  Sure enough it was.

J.J. Abrams is a unique guy.  He's a well known Trekkie and tends to enjoy a lot of the Science Fiction kind of stuff.  When he decided to reboot the series (and made the first film take place before the original series begins) it must've raised a lot of worries.  In the first place, by making it a prequel it had a chance to screw up and change things.  It's no surprise that Abrams took many risks with Star Trek.  In the first place people weren't sure if a prequel was the way to go.  In the second place, how do you replace William Shatner?  The big one, however: J.J. Abrams wanted to make the film appeal to Trekkies AND Non-Trekkies alike.  Abrams said in an interview that in order to do this he looked to the original Star Wars Trilogy for inspiration.  They were movies that, to Abrams kept the fun going while giving movie goers a good coherent story.  What you get as a result is something that cuts back a bit on the science and one that gets heavy on adventure.  Of course, this is J.J. Abrams so you're also going to get quite a bit of character out of it as well.  

The movie begins in the past where we see a starship, the USS Kelvin investigating a lightning storm.  Within the storm is a huge Romulan ship.  Captain Nero of the Kelvin decides to meet with the Captain of the mining ship... and is shortly thereafter killed, leaving a man named George Kirk in charge.  Kirk orders an evacuation of the Kelvin and shortly thereafter dies a hero... but before that happens he hears his wife give birth to a boy.  Future Captain James T. Kirk.

From there we go slightly further into the future to see Kirk as a teenager.  It is here we're introduced to this brazen youth.  It's there to foreshadow that James plays by his own rules.  We then cut to a young Spock on the planet Vulcan who has to deal with the fact that he has a Vulcan father and a human mother.  A conflict because he is to be logical, but is also a huma with emotions as well.  Obviously these two are the centerpiece of the film in and of itself.  And years later we still learn about the two.  Kirk being the brazen guy that he is and Spock steal dealing with his mixed heritage.  The two eventually join starfleet.  Their paths finally cross when it comes to a test called to Kobayashi Maru test.  The test is designed in such a way that you can't pass.  Unfortunately for the man who designed the test--Spock, James T. Kirk doesn't like to lose.  And he doesn't here.  By hacking into the test and altering it so that he can win he manages to beat the test.  This shows that Kirk has some intelligence.  He isn't just brazen and tough, he's got a good head on his shoulders.  Of course, him cheating on this test does not sit well with Spock.  Needless to say they don't get off to a great start as friends.

And yes, you'll meet a ton of the other standard characters.  Uhura, McCoy (one of the best characters ever) and Scottie (just to name a few) but I'd actually rather not give too much away.  As for how Abrams deals with altering the timeline, he relies quite heavily on the theory of time travel and fate thing.  But he does it in a far less annoying way.  The "future" changes, but we assume Abrams is going off on the idea that perhaps the future was unwritten to begin with.  You can debate about it down in the comments section later.  The point is that it fits into the plot and it works out fairly well.  Meaning that Abrams has free reign to do what he wants in the future should he decide to continue it.

However, Star Trek isn't just focused on a lot of action and the like.  It spends a great deal of time focusing on its two central protagonists.  Kirk and Spock.  It doesn't focus too much on the other characters, though... which means that for those who are nostalgic, you'll find yourself more familiar with the characters than those who aren't.  At the very least the movie makes them likeable.  If there's a future for the franchise (and I assure you there is) then perhaps those guys will be fleshed out more. 

While Kirk is an interesting character all on his own and gets into some of the craziest situations, Spock is the one who might peak your interest a little more.  The events in the movie really take a toll on him as he learns to deal with his mixed heritage.  Kirk and Spock begin to learn from each other.  From Spock's ability to look at just about everything logically and Kirk's ability to just not give a rats ass about certain regulations and break the rules when he wants to.  The film plays these two contrasting personalities off by showing that Spock is sometimes annoyed while Kirk is, for the most part, laid back with all this.  You sometimes wonder how these two could possibly become friends, but it does work. 

For the most part the adventure is fun.  Because Abrams manages to mix a good story with a lot of good adventure.  But he does it without wasting too much time.  In most cases you never get the feeling he's taking his sweet little time, but is often sticking in many sequences to keep the plot moving rather than having awkward shifts and transitions.  Don't think this means it just tosses out all the science for those curious.  It doesn't.  It just makes sure that you don't have to be a brainiac to understand it all.  You can watch Star Trek whether you're a nerd or just someone looking for good action.  In terms of appealing to Trekkies and Non-Trekkies, Star Trek does manage to succeed.  It's simple and fun, but not without focusing on some of the techniques that would make a good movie.  It's got some well written dialog, some of it filled with a lot of clever wit and good humor.  The film manages to balance it's action, adventure and drama quite well.  Even though you're not getting a lot of drama, it's still good because you still care about the characters involved.

The cast also manages to do a fairly good job.  Chris Pine plays Kirk.  He said that he was inspired by Tom Cruise's role in Top Gun as well as well as Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones.  This is pretty obvious--especially that Indiana Jones part.  And while he's no William Shatner... he doesn't have to be.  He is, after all, portraying a younger Kirk.  Zachery Quinto as Spock is also does an incredible job, if only because he's able to be so emotionless so well (I never thought I'd use that as a compliment for anyone other than Arnold Swar-- I'm not even going to try and spell that).  Considering Quinto's past roles this is a pretty big accomplishment. 

If you never quite became a Trekkie as was the case for me, you might enjoy it.  If you DID become a Trekkie, you're not guaranteed to hate this.  Nearly every Trekkie I've spoken to has enjoyed this movie.  It's unique.  In terms of reaching fans and non-fans, Abrams succeeded.  In short, regardless of who you are, you're likely to enjoy it.

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December 12, 2009
It seemed pretty much like any other action/adventure film with about 20 minutes of TREK related material added in. That didn't particularly bother me since I trekked out decades ago, but when you go to see Star Trek you should be getting Star Trek and this was pretty generic stuff for the most part.
December 13, 2009
Thank you! I had a feeling you and I would see eye to eye on this, Karen. The idea was nice and gives it freedom to do with whatever it wanted to with the franchise, problem is, I felt like we have seen it all before.  Take off the Star Trek brand name and what we have is something very generic. Abrams is pretty good in hiding flaws I'll give him that.
December 14, 2009
Pay no attenton to the man behind the curtain.
December 08, 2009
Great review, Sean. I liked this but rated it a 3.5 out of 5 because maybe I didn't think it offerred me anything new to the scifi genre and there were a lot of mistakes in the narrative. It was fun, cheeky and very happy with itself but a little lazy in storytelling. Still, a good reboot of a franchise (better than Bayformers) I just couldn't help looking at my watch when I saw this movie. I also can't help wondering what the film would be without the Star Trek brand? Seems rather stereotypical when I think about it. It is a great mainstream movie. Excellent review!
December 14, 2009
I meant to get back to this one earlier. I have to admit that Star Trek, this film... yeah, it doesn't really offer up much new. I suppose for Trekkies it really doesn't... but it definitely offers nothing new to J.J. Abram fans either. But in all honesty, I didn't find any of those things to really be so bad in and of themselves. I felt that, for the most part, much of what it did do, it did pretty well. I didn't really find it to be all that... well... generic in all honesty. I've always felt that execution is just as good as anything else. Don't know what would happen if you removed the Star Trek Brand, though... but if you did I still think what I would've received I would've enjoyed.
December 14, 2009
Yeh. this was a fun ride. The timing and the energy the movie exuded covered up its cliched elements nicely. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but I liked Next Generation better than the original series. Maybe that's why I just couldn't really love it. Thanks for the reply, buddy.
December 14, 2009
LOL, I wasn't much of a Star Trek fan... but I too was a bigger fan of The Next Generation than the original.  If only because the original one was so... campy. 
December 14, 2009
don't let Scotman hear you say that ST is campy...he'll stalk you forever like a Twilight fan! LOL! don't pay attention to me, I just thought about it...I gave Killer Klowns a 3.5 LMAO!
More Star Trek (2009) reviews
review by . March 23, 2013
What was your first impression? Very negative        Plot summary? A new cast of the characters having the same name is introduced with a new storyline. Kirk and Spock forge a friendship under fire.        What's the bottom line?      There are some bad moments that will turn off many long-term Star Trek fans but if that happens, watch it a few more times and concentrate on the relationships between the main characters. 
review by . December 12, 2010
Let's just be clear, I am not a trekkie nor have I ever been a trekkie, and this film did not make me a trekkie, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this reboot of the franchise. The acting was great, the special effects were great, the story was great, and I recently found out that this was the only Star Trek film to win an Oscar (best makeup). It did tend to drag/ be too talky and sometimes hard to follow in some scenes, but for the most part, the movie worked.      …
review by . May 03, 2009
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Just as a warning, this review is going to be very spoilerific, so if you hate spoilers don't read this, but I just can't help myself. Now then, may I just say that this might be the BEST Star Trek Film ever?! And that's not comparing it to The Wrath of Khan or First Contact. This Trek film stand alone among all of the other ones. When J.J. Abrams set off to make a Trek film that was accessible to both non-fans and fans, he apparently knew just what he was doing. This film was also an ensemble piece. …
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posted in SF Signal
How is it that a film that has been so anticipated, has had so much money and hype devoted to it ends up on the screen with a continuity error in the first half-hour? I refer to the scene in which McCoy is sneaking Kirk onto the shuttle to the Enterprise: Kirk enters the shuttle wearing a red cadet's uniform and then appears on the Enterprise wearing a black uniform. I won't even go into McCoy's breaking the 'do no harm' mantra of the medical profession... Yes, I'm probably …
review by . August 26, 2010
To be honest, I didn't think it could be done. I'm one of those old-time fans. I grew up on episodes of Star Trek in syndication. I cheered the return of the original cast to the movies. I followed closely -- at times more with a sense of loyalty than enthusiasm -- the various series set within the Next Generation, and I even stepped back in time to the early days of Enterprise. But when Hollywood chatter turned to rebooting the saga from the start, placing new actors in the roles of …
review by . May 25, 2009
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"…To BOLDLY go where No Man had Gone Before.".. …or something like that. The immortal tagline of the operatic TV franchise that had gone on for many generations. First off, let me tell you that I am a casual fan and more of a "Next Generation" kind'a guy, although my favorite Star Trek movie is still "The Wrath of Khan". After the failed box-office outings of recent ‘Star Trek" films ("Nemesis" for one) and the less than dominating …
review by . September 10, 2010
I grew up with "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Since I didn't have cable, I rarely got the chance to watch the original Star Trek series. As I grew older, however, I got to watch TOS and found myself preferring it to TNG. It didn't matter how many new incarnations of Star Trek hit the television or the big screen, so long as no one messed with the original characters and the actors who portrayed them, I was fine. Then comes along J.J. Abrams. I have to admit that I followed the developments of …
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Honestly speaking, Star Trek is something I had never gotten into, though that slightly changed when an online friend of mine kept posting episode commentaries on the original TV series she was rewatching..     Of course, when I saw the trailer for the new movie in the cinemas, and seeing how amazing Zachary Quinto looked as Spock(I personally love Quinto), I knew it was a movie I had to see. The fact that J.J. Abrams was directing was a bonus.     After watching …
review by . December 01, 2009
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It's 2233, and the USS Kelvin is researching a space anomaly. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) is left in charge of the ship when Nero (Eric Bana) orders Captain Richard Robau (Faran Tahir) to board his ship. When Robau tells Nero the star date, Nero kills Robau and attacks the USS Kelvin. When Kirk realizes that he cannot save the ship, he orders an evacuation or everyone else. His pregnant wife Winona (Jennifer Morrison) begins to give birth, and asks Kirk what he wants to name his son. Kirk decides …
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


 Star Trek
tells the story of James T. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew, following their time together at Starfleet Academy as well as their first mission together.

  • Chris Pine as James T. Kirk
  • Zachery Quinto as Spock
  • Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime
  • Bruce Greenwood as Captn. Christopher Pike
  • Karl Urban as Leonard "Bones" McCoy
  • Zoe Saldana as Uhura
  • Simon Pegg as Scotty
  • John Cho as Hikaru Sulu
  • Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov
  • Eric Bana as Nero
  • Ben Cross as Sarek
  • Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson

J.J. Abrams Star Trek represents the first time in sixteen years since Leonard Nimoy has played the character of Spock.

Originally, Star Trek was slated for a Christmas 2008 release, but it was decided that the film would fair better as a summer blockbuster.  It would also allow for more media coverage as well as more time to work on the films visual effects.

This Film also represents the last time that Majel Barrett Roddenberry played the voice of the Enterprise Computer.  She died shortly after she had finished her work on the film.

J.J. Abrams' 2009 feature film was billed as "not your father'sStar Trek," but your father will probably love it anyway. And what's not to love? It has enough action, emotional impact, humor, and sheer fun for any moviegoer, and Trekkers will enjoy plenty of insider references and a cast that seems ideally suited to portray the characters we know they'll become later. Both a ...
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Director: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Release Date: May 8th 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
DVD Release Date: Unknown
Runtime: 126 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot
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