Movie Review: ‘Star Trek’

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 12:00 am.

startrek_2009movieSummary: The 2009 version of Star Trek presents the back-story of the legendary sci-fi characters: Captain Kirk, Spock, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura and more. Beginning at Starfleet Academy, the film follows the younger version of the sci-fi icons as students who join the Enterprise in order to stop the evil Romulans from destroying planet Vulcan and Earth.

Review: Star Trek marks the eleventh film based on the hugely successful franchise, which started from a book and television series in the sixties. Normally, eleven versions equate disaster, but somehow, someway, director J.J. Abrams and the creators of Star Trek managed to pull off the best sci-fi movie since The Matrix.

What makes this version of Star Trek work is not just the perfect casting, immaculate special effects and strong storyline, but the movie manages to stay true to the history of Star Trek. Many times franchises lose the zeal of the original roots.

Each scene the characters are familiar, you believe their attitudes, conflicts and style. These personalities aren’t strangers; they are television icons etched in pop culture history and now on the big screen.

There is one major change with Star Trek—diversity. Lieutenant Uhura, played by the stunning and talented Zoë Saldana, is no longer segregated with her back to the camera, which the television series was deeply criticized for. Lieutenant Uhura is an essential part of the script, has a love interest and a three-dimensional character. Nichelle Nichols, who was the original Lieutenant Uhura, was so important for her time that in 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urged Nichols not to leave Star Trek because she was an important role model for the Black community. It’s amazing to see the character Nichols gave life forty years ago is still relevant today.  In addition, the entire movie has  a range of diversity.

With all of that said, at times the plot is a bit hard to follow, when characters warped from the past to the future to the present. Nonetheless, this is a nearly flawless sci-fi film and ranks right up there with the likes of Star Wars. I have never been in a theatre where people clapped and cheered after nearly every scene. But, this is a film impossible not to like from the cameos with folks like Tyler Perry to the sarcastic Star Trek humor to the eye-popping special effects. Whether or not you are a “Trekkie,” Star Trek is an out of this world start to the blockbuster summer movie season.

Star Trek is in theatres tomorrow.

Grade: A

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