Directed by J.J. Abrams
There is consensus among film critics that many remakes in the last couple of years have influenced the originality in movies way too negatively. However, it’s safe to state that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek belongs to the most successful Hollywood remakes ever made. Not only has the director given an entirely new dimension to the franchise, he’s also opened it up to a wider audience. Now, fans of the original series, the real Trekkies, as well as fans from the younger generations can rejoice at the premise of Star Trek which optimistically brings its known characters once again on a journey of a lifetime.
Most noticeably known for television series like LOST and ALias, Abrams has been able to gather a solid number of followers over the years. His style is a constant factor in all of his works, whether he was a director or producer: the abundant use of mystery injected in the main plot is a remnant from his days in the world of television. Moreover, there is a certain feel to any Abrams movie which sets the tone immediately. Same goes for Star Trek.
Now I’m not a Trekkie by all means. In fact I was not even aware of what the story was leading up to and it is quite possible that I did not get all the references. Hence I found Abrams decision to start everything from the beginning quite a wise choice. Portraying Kirk and Spock as two young men in two juxtaposing worlds was a clever technique in developing two characters who are vitally important in understanding the essence of the franchise.
The acting was quite okay for a sci-fi movie. Don’t get me wrong though: the Star Trek franchise has known many actors who have brought life to the crew and world of the U.S.S Enterprise. One might think that it would be too difficult for any new actor to add something new, but the truth lies far away from that. Chris Pine’s realization of the enigmatic and charming Kirk gave a modern touch to the protagonist’s personal struggles. The rest of the cast, including Karl Urban as Bones, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Zoe Saldana as Uhura, brought a familiar feeling to the Star Trek family and made me feel as if they’d been around since the earliest Star Trek productions.
The film gives a clear cut interest in developing the relationship between Spock and Kirk, but in that process does not forget the other characters. Productions that feature many different characters could learn from this well-balanced focus from Star Trek. The story stays gripping, because with so many characters around, no one is sure which one is going to survive. This healthy dose of mystery is combined with an optimistic outlook achieved through the lighter tones of the film (partly thanks to Karl Urban’s hilarious portrayal of Bones).
While my criticism on this film reaches as far as one aspect, it is after all the most important one. The film’s narrative is an illogical blend of a villainous character avenging his home planet and, there it comes, time travel. I have always had an aversion to films using time travel as a plot device (like Looper), because it creates unexplainable notions of a rather enticing story. There is this urge to make the Star Trek franchise as real as possible, but then all hope is lost when the villain of the story Nero (Eric Bana) has planned to exact his revenge on Spock by using time travel. That’s just sci-fi overkill and consequently turned the ending of the movie into a ridiculous misfit.
Nevertheless, Star Trek‘s character development and compelling adventurous storyline had me interested at once. Coming from a true fan of the Star Wars franchise and considering all the fallacies which Trekkies have most definitely been able to recognize, Abram’s Star Trek has laid a solid foundation for a new series… to boldly go where no man has ever gone before.