Movie Review: Star Trek (2009)


Kirk was never one to follow orders. As an older captain he did so when he thought it was right, and as we see in this film, he does the exact same.  There is a force which has destroyed an entire fleet of ships, captained by the romulan Nero. His single goal is to have revenge on Starfleet and the people who let his planet get destroyed.

Spock and Kirk of course, are having none of that. As fresh recruits in Starfleet, they gun the engines on the Enterprise, and take off full throttle to save the universe like they always do. This time however, there is a problem in the time continuum. What was may not be, and what will be has never happened. Gone is the original timeline of the Star Trek Series, and Kirk may have, just once to many times, bitten off more than he can chew.

Things I Liked

I don’t believe in no-win scenarios. ~James T. Kirk~

James Kirk is about as bold and proud as they come. In some ways, this is a good thing, giving him courage in the face of battle. But is mostly a detriment, getting him in unneeded amounts of trouble. He begins to learn, bit by bit, that arrogance brings adversity. And while he never grasps the entire point, we see him learn and mature into a Starfleet officer. He is a continual optimist, and never believed he can or will be beaten. This is a dangerous, yet powerful mindset.

Spock has to deal with his split heritage of being vulcan and human while growing up. He is mocked for being impure on the Vulcan planet, yet performs the best out of any other student. When he turns down acceptance into the best school in the universe, he again is mocked by the Vulcan council. His only support comes from his mother, who loves him so dearly, it tears him apart when she eventually dies. He carries this with him and has to learn how to deal with emotions, rather than let the emotions control him.

The acting in this film is so top notch I have to mention it. All the characters mimic the original ones perfectly. The recreation of young classic personalities is so well done you would think they are truly the younger versions of all the people we see in the original series.

Things I Didn’t Like

Kirk has a consistent flaw in sleeping with other women and aliens. We are shown him and a green woman in bed making out, until Uhura walks in, where he jumps under the bed to hide. He then watches Uhura, (so does the camera) undress to change into civilian clothes. Uhura finds him, and kicks him out while he is just in his boxers.

Spock and Uhura have a “thing” in this film. They kiss several times.

With the amount of violence rivaling all the original series episodes combined, this movie brings to us breathtaking spacial battles, but a mind blowing body count. Nero’s ship has the ability to destroy planets, and he does so- killing billions of people on it (much like we see in Star Wars and the Planet Alderan). His ship rips apart and entire fleet of StarFleet cruisers and battleships. We see the aftermath- bodies and debris floating everywhere.

Other less epic, but just as deadly, violences includes some people and aliens get vaporized by energy beams. Phasers take out many people and aliens. Kirk is beaten up by Nero, and also by some guys in a bar. One alien is stuck by some swords. Another Starfleet officer is gored in the gut by a trident type weapon.

McKoy in his true form, lets loose a barrage of foul words and phrases. Most the S and D word paired with the Lord’s name. The B- word is used occasionally, and Hell is used out of context.

Closing Thoughts

Spock, in this case, do yourself a favor: Put aside logic. Do what feels right.
~Spock Prime~

This much needed reboot of the Star Trek franchise brings all the characters we know and love in the original series back with incredible authenticity. We are given the character interaction, the personalities they all have, and the classic Star Trek adventuring spirit which made the original series great.

And with this reboot, we find similar flaws that are in the original series- Kirk’s involvement with women, Mcoy’s classic expletives, and violence found in any star trek film. This one ups the ante, like all good modern hollywood films do, and stays true to the content we would find… illegal as well.

At the core however, we find what makes Star Trek truly great- the adventure of both universal and personal discovery. All the characters are attempting to figure out where their place is in the universe. For Kirk, it is resolving his father’s death when he was young. For Spock, it is resolving his half human/Vulcan heritage. Through these conundrums we see them make decisions both bad and good. We are shown the Kirk’s attitude is not only immature, but destructive. We are shown Spock’s division is misplaced.

While the movie definitely feels and is one of the greatest reboots in the last decade, it is logical to recognize and criticized the amped up violence and continued immoral life of Kirk when it comes to women. It is the mission statement of Starfleet to “Boldy go where no man has gone before!”. In some ways regarding character development they have done so, but in others in terms of content, it is what we’ve come to expect. Star Trek brings back everything we love and hate about the series, and for that, I’ll give J.J Abram the Vulcan salute and wish this next generation of reboots to “Live Long and Prosper“.

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