Sunday, 18 November 2012

Film Review: Star Trek XI

About the film
Star Trek is a science fiction film which was released in 2009 and directed by J. J. Abrams who is well known for TV shows such as Fringe and Lost. The film is rated 12A due to action, violence and some brief sexual content. Star Trek has a run time of 127 minutes. 

The film begins when George Kirk takes over as captain of his ship but dies in a last stand against a strange time-travelling alien vessel. The other vessel is looking for Ambassador Spock, who, at that moment in time is actually only a child who is being bullied for being half human. The day that George Kirk dies is also the day his son James is born. 

Years later, James has grown into quite the trouble maker and after getting into a huge fight, he is challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to make something better of himself, something that his father would be proud of. However, James makes a few mistakes and isn't living up to the expectations made of him. When there is an emergency at Vulcan, James finds himself on the USS Enterprise even though he isn't supposed to be and finds himself in a situation very similar to his father's but will he suffer the same fate? 

What I thought
I'd been wanting to watch this film since it came out at the cinema three years ago and it's taken me this long to get around to it. I bought it recently is Sainsbury's for only £3. I haven't seen any other Star Trek films although my mum's ex-boyfriend used to watch the TV shows all the time so I did know the characters beforehand. 

On the front of the DVD box, there is a quote that claims this is the best action film of the year (2009 obviously). As earlier stated, J. J. Abrams is the director of this film and due to some of his other works, I was unsure about how this would work out. Abrams is known for thoughtful and complex storylines and with this film, it is all about the action and excitement. I'm so happy to say that Abrams gets it spot on with Star Trek. From the very beginning of the film, it is clear to see why these claims were made. With a huge budget, there is plenty to keep action fans happy. As this is a film set mainly in space, there are some fantastic scenes with fighting ships, explosions and all kind of things flying around. With this film, Abrams proves that he is a director of many talents and someone that can pull off a wide range of projects. 

The plot is quite simple, although it seems a little confusing to begin with. This confusion is mainly down to the time-travel plot but once you get your head around who everyone is and when they're from, it all becomes quite clear. I really liked the way that James Kirk's story was intertwined with his father's and that there was a question of him having the same kind of fate. What was especially good about the plot was that it didn't take anything away from the great effects that this film has. It is easy enough to follow once you get into it and it is really entertaining. This is where Star Trek is unlike other things that Abrams has done. There are no weird and strange complicated sub plots which are hard to follow but instead there is only a basic but extremely good story. 

The casting for this film is really what makes it so special though. Quite unknown to me is Chris Pine who plays James Kirk. Although I hadn't seen him in anything before, he does a wonderful job in this role as a rugged and quite untamed character. His delivery of lines was very convincing and while there isn't too much emotion needed, when it was, Pine did well. He has a great chemistry with all other actors involved and appears to be very much a part of the Star Trek family. As a character, James was very likeable due to his past experiences and what he goes through to become someone better in the film. 

As good as Pine was, he is easily outshined by Zachary Quinto who plays Spock. Leonard Nimoy, the original Spoke, also has a role in this film as Spock Prime. It was a really nice touch that the original actor was involved with the film and also that Quinto had the opportunity to work so closely with him in order to perfect his own role. Quinto really throws himself into the role of Spock as he prepares for a long time before acting began and also shaved those massive eyebrows which he is so well-known for. Although Quinto brings back to somewhat stiff and unemotional characteristics of Spock, he also breathes new life into such a famous character. I really think that Quinto was amazing in this role and it is so far from Sylar from Heroes or Chad in American Horror Story. 

Other cast members unfortunately take a little bit of a back seat to these two main characters. Zoe Saldana plays Uhura, fellow Starfleet member and love interest while Simon Pegg plays (beam me up) Scotty. Both do a really good job but they're just outshined by the story, effects and other cast members. It was nice to see Pegg step slightly out of his comfort zone though in such a big film in comparison to the British films that we are used to seeing him in. Here, he also breaks his stereotypical character expectations which was a good thing and it helped to show his diversity. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and really can't fault it. Star Trek was everything that I was hoping it would be and more and I highly recommend it!

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