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Star Trek 2009STAR TREK - 2009
USA Release: May 8, 2009
Paramount
Rated: USA: PG-13

Now with Honest Trailer

Don't you hate reset button episodes?

For those who don't know, in sci-fi TV series when things happen that radically change the plot (the deaths of major characters, the revelation of secret identities, etc.) you immediately begin to suspect you're watching a reset button episode, i.e. an episode where something magical or time travelish will happen to erase all the radical changes and put things back the way they were.

Old Enterprise
OUT WITH THE OLD

This is not a reset button episode.

STAR TREK was written by the writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (THE ISLAND, TRANSFORMERS, FRINGE [TV]) and directed by J.J. Abrams (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, LOST [TV], ALIAS [TV]).

The story begins with the Federation starship Kelvin encountering a huge alien vessel. Captain Robau (Faran Tahir: IRON MAN) goes over to talk to Nero (Eric Bana: HULK), the Romulan commander of the huge alien vessel, and that doesn't go well. This leaves George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) briefly in charge and he does what he must to save his pregnant wife and about-to-be-born son, James.

In other words in the first few minutes of the movie, stuff happens that violates the long established Star Trek mythology chain of events.

New Enterprise
IN WITH THE NEW
HMM... LOOKS KINDA ... BUSY.

We jump to a few years later and see the very troubled James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine: CARRIERS) growing up in Iowa, getting drunk, showing great interest in cadet Uhura (Zoe Saldana: VANTAGE POINT), and getting into fights with Starfleet cadets. A good talking to from Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood: DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, BELOW, THE CORE, I, ROBOT) results in young Kirk joining Starfleet.

Meanwhile on planet Vulcan, a young Spock (Zachary Quinto: 24 [TV], HEROES [TV]) makes a difficult career choice and unlike in the original series (and somewhat inexplicably), his father Sarek (Ben Cross: EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, SPECIES: THE AWAKENING) is fine with it.

*
FeoNote: I dunno. I thought Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, as played by 37 year old Karl Urban (GHOST SHIP, THE LORD OF THE RINGS [all], DOOM) looked age appropriate.

DeForest Kelley was only 9 years older when he originated the role.

William Shatner was only 7 years older than Chris Pine when he originated the role.
The same age difference as James Doohan from Simon Pegg.

Leonard Nimoy was only 4 years older than Zachary Quinto when he originated the role.

Nichelle Nichols was only 3 years older than Zoe Saldana when she originated the role.

J.J. Abrams apologizes for the light.

LINKS

Fun With Spoilers!

Crap Movie Comics
STAR TREK

Now before you get the idea that I'm being a nit-picky trekkie let me just state that I really liked the clever way the writers found to erase the Star Trek history as we know it and open up the new crew to all kinds of new story possibilities, unbound by the previous Star Trek timeline.

In fact, I liked a lot of things about the movie. The story moves fast, there's never a slow spot or dull moment, and we find out a lot of interesting details about the personal relationships between the characters.

And I do mean all the characters, because we also meet Scotty (Simon Pegg: SHAUN OF THE DEAD, LAND OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ), Sulu (John Cho: EVOLUTION) and Checkov (Anton Yelchin: ALONG CAME A SPIDER). It bothered me a bit that only Simon Pegg as Scotty seems age appropriate.* Everyone else looks too young to be playing these parts, especially Chris Pine as Kirk.

But what about the science, you ask?

Before I get into that, there are two things I'd like to mention. First, none of the Star Trek series and certainly none of the movies have been known for paying a lot of attention to their science details (some have at least made an effort – Next Generation had a science advisor in later seasons).

Second, although this movie had the classic "sound in space" error during space battles, they did have a couple scenes where unlucky crewmen were sucked into space and those scenes were silent like they should be so kudos for that.

So with those caveats, let's talk about J.J. Abrams'

The Gamesters of Triskelion
NIT-PICKY? US? SERIOUSLY: WAS THE BAR REALLY SET THAT HIGH?

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
Without going into too much detail (to avoid spoilers) let me just say that if you had a mini-blackhole and you wanted to use it to destroy a planet, you do NOT need to drill a hole to the center of the planet first. All you'd have to do is release it in the general direction of the planet and let nature take its course.

The tiny singularity (which, depending on how tiny, wouldn't exist for long thanks to Hawking radiation) would pass right through the unlucky planet and absorb it in seconds.

Continued at Science Moment/StarTrek.

And by the way, Delta Vega is not in the same solar system as Vulcan.

Everyone knows Delta Vega is near the edge of the galaxy. It's the uninhabited planet where Kirk tried to strand Gary Mitchell in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", after Mitchell acquired God-like powers from his encounter with the Galaxy's edge.

Okay, I guess I am a nit-picky trekkie.

STAR TREK gets three shriek girls. I wish I liked it more but here we are.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2009 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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