If you aren’t one of the legions of Trekkies that follow this classic science fiction series like a religion, and thus dismissed the latest installment in the long running movie franchise out of hand, you are probably pretty surprised to see this film show up as a possible candidate for best movie of 2009. In fact, you are probably thinking that I am probably a Trekkie myself and that I am letting my personal bias cloud my judgment. However, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.
I watched the original series as a child, and I’ll admit to enjoying <i>Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan</i>. However, beyond that I wasn’t much of a fan of the series at all. I’ve only seen about half the movies, and never got into spin-offs like <i>Next Generation</i> and <i>Deep Space Nine</i>. As a result it was with little anticipation that I went to check out the latest film. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a vast understatement.
This isn’t your father’s <i>Star Trek</i>. Gritty, intense, dark and violent the movie is a complete reinvention of Gene Roddenberry’s original vision, and is very reminiscent of the film <i>Batman Begins</i> that breathed new life into that flagging comic book franchise a few years back.
That being said the movie has plenty of light moments as well, and you’ll find yourself just as entertained by the humor in the film as you are engrossed by the action. Long time fans of the series who are “in the know” will find even more funny moments, being privy to some of the inside jokes, and homages to the original series that most of us will miss.
The film is actually a prequel to the other movies, taking us back to a time before Kirk and Spock and the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise ever met. The casting of the film is brilliant, and the actors portraying Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Bones, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu are all believable as younger versions of the actors who played the crew on the original series.
This time around the crew isn’t battling Klingons, but is instead taking on the rogue captain of a powerful Romulan ship from the future that has the horrific ability to destroy entire planets. I’m sure we can look forward to some Kirk vs. Klingon action in the inevitable sequels however.
Overall, <i>Star Trek</i> is a film that should hold nearly universal appeal to film-goers everywhere. With tons of action, plenty of laughs, and a surprising amount of emotional depth it is a movie that is hard to find flaw in. Sure, the scientists in the crowd might take some issue with some of the time travel paradoxes that occur in the film, but overall this is a fantastic movie and is a powerful challenger for the coveted title of best film of 2009.