ReviewWriter: Chin Vin SenWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
JJ Abrams, blazing action, "Star Trek" the original TV series
In one short line, J.J. Abram's Star Trek has all the elements of a great blockbuster success, but will also stir unbelievably strong emotions among diehard fans. It is delivered as a brand new take on Gene Roddenberry's original '60s futuristic TV series, and in a way, take it where no Star Trek has gone before.
To those who have never really followed the 'technically complicated' and 'boringly slow' franchise on TV or at the cinemas, it's time to let go, disregard the connections, and enjoy it on its own. This package comes with heavy doses of heart stopping action sequences, wholesome plot of good defeating evil for a seemingly conclusive closure, strong characters and a worthy cast for their roles, as well as very refined visual and sound effects.
Fans however will have a lot to appreciate, being taken back, before the beginning, to follow the developments of the series' key icons Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and Scotty.
The first 15 to 20 minutes takes us through the childhood of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) as an adventurous carefree farm boy, and Spock (Zachary Quinto) growing up in personal conflict between the clashing ideologies of his human and Vulcan parentage. Uhura (Zoe Saldana) shows up early, injecting a sexy feminine addition to the predominantly male view, and eventually reveals a shocking surprise for fans. Sulu (John Cho) has an action packed mission with Kirk on an adrenaline-rush sequence, while 17-year-old genius Chekov (Anton Yelchin) shows off gadget-wizardry in saving the day just as your heart stops. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (Karl Urban) becomes Kirk's first friend at Starfleet Academy having enlisted together, and Mongomery Scott (Simon Pegg) who joins the lineup last, gets picked up from an obscure outpost, with the coincidental help from an older Spock (Lennard Nimoy) to complete the circle.
Similar to "Star Trek: Nemesis" in 2002, the villain is a bald leader (Eric Bana) of a Romulan race, in an extremely evil-looking space ship with great distructive firepower, bent on victimising a member of the USS Enterprise's command crew, with aspirations to destroy the Federation and it's centre, Earth. This time however, the evil ship is even bigger, destroys not just other space ships but also entire planets, and has a much bigger crew for the Kirk and Spock duo to infiltrate and do a video arcade styled shoot-'em-up, like rescuing their ex-captain, Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) who was held hostage in an earlier encounter.
Throughout the movie, there is no escaping the very dynamic big screen effects of J.J. Abram's brand of cinematography, often putting you in the thick of the action. Watch it in a good hall and you'll feel the impact of the punches that fly, the crossfire of (phaser) 'gunfights', the damage the ship takes from its intense battles and fighting the black hole.
Unlike the prequels of George Lucas' "Star Wars", which try to align unfolding storylines to the already known series, J.J. Abram's Star Trek takes a very fresh approach, almost along the lines of "Batman Begins" and Daniel Craig's "Bond" movies of late. Going beyond just bringing the action and technology up to date, whole new ideas and concepts are introduced. Most of it will definitely open it to a much wider audience and build new following. Some however will hit long-time fans with a realisation that things have now changed.
For those who may still 'cling-on' to 'Live long and prosper', well, good luck. \\//,Cinema Online, 23 April 2009