Star Trek (2009) is not your father’s Star Trek, but dammit, Jim, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s not as cerebral or as tactical as old school Trek, but it a solid blend of action and sci-fi that captured that sense of wonder from the old series.
This Star Trek reboot can be enjoyed by anyone, from Trekkies to casual Trekker to the sci-fi agnostic. Abrams went out of his way to write a story that tied in with the old series and creatively came up with a way to reboot the series without damaging the legacy of Star Trek. He also did his homework throwing in many tips of the hat to the old series, for example, using Enterprise’s mascot beagle Porthos, the familiar bridge sounds, and reusing the Kobayashi Maru’s no-win scenario.
Abrams’ team did an amazing job with the casting. He created a palpable dynamic between the crew and gave each of them the opportunity to shine on their own. I was really impressed with Bruce Greenwood’s portrayal of Captain Pike, playing a great mentor and leader. Karl Urban nailed Bones, channelling DeForest Kelly.
You have to give Abrams credit as he successfully rebooted the franchise which had been on life-support since 2002. While hard-core fans may denounce the movie, you can’t argue with its success, which was achieved on so many levels. Star Trek had an international gross of over $380 Million and was one of the top films of 2009. It proved to be the most attended Trek film of the franchise, showing that it had not only pulled in the classic fans, but tapped in the next generation of fans as well.
Unlike a comic book universe where the characters don’t age, this reboot was necessary as the various iterations of the cast had aged beyond being able to lead an 11th franchise film. Abrams also restored that sense of fun and humor that I think the later Star Trek films had deviated from.
To all those hard-core Trekkies, your Star Trek is still there. You can nostalgically revisit your youth watching your DVD collection of the pre-Abrams era, or you can come out into the light, toss aside your angst and gripes like it was unwanted Denebian slime devil, and enjoy this amazing ride for what it is.
Star Trek (2009) leaves you wanting more and after a four year wait, Star Trek Into Darkness lands this weekend!