I'd like to preface this review by saying that I am not a trekkie, or trekker, as avid Star Trek fans prefer to be called.
I am not a fan girl, either. I’m just someone who loves good movie-going experiences. That said, had I been a trekkie or a fan girl, I would have thoroughly enjoyed the latest Star Trek movie. Seeing as I’m not, Star Trek – which warped to number one at the box office last weekend— is decent, but not great.
Yet another origins film in the pre-summer of origins season, Star Trek is the story of how Captain James Tiberius Kirk (played by Chris Pine) came to be captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I’m not sure how much of an origins story this is, though, because the characters get a lot of help from the future.
Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the TV series “Fringe, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,’’ “Xena: Warrior Princess’’ and “Alias’’ as well as movies Mission Impossible II, Legend of Zorro and the coming Star Trek sequel) told a good origin story. But I question how good the story actually is.
With time warp and blasts from the future, the plot gets a little confusing. I couldn’t tell if the film is set in the present or the future. I’m leaning toward the present.
In Star Trek (the beginning), James Kirk loses his father, Captain George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) to a Romulan bad guy named Nero (Eric Bana), who has just lost his home.
On this day, James is born. This event sets off a chain reaction, turning James Kirk into a rebel Iowan farm boy who goes looking for trouble.
Now, in his twenties, James has been asked to attend the Federation Academy, where he will learn about space ships and how to maintain and fly them. Through some trickery, a hostage situation, and Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) meltdown, James becomes captain of the Enterprise. Now, all he has to do is save earth from total obliteration by Nero.
All of the lovable characters of the popular film and TV series created by Gene Roddenberry are in this movie as their younger selves. Karl Urban is Dr. Leonard “Bones’’ McCoy. A bit of an over actor, he almost segued into cheesydom.
Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura is, not only Spock’s love interest, she’s also a little too on the mean side for me. Simon Pegg as Scotty is pretty funny; he does the older Scotty justice.
John Cho is a butt-kicking Hikaru Sulu. Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov is kind of creepy with his thick accent and smiley face. He looks as if he would kill anyone who would cross him, with a smile.
Winona Ryder makes an appearance as Amanda Grayson, Spock’s human mother. So does Jennifer Morrison as Winona Kirk, James’ mother.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two other actors of note. Leonard Nimoy gets to play the older Spock in this film. He is the future Spock, but he’s still the same Spock of yesteryear, just older. And, Tyler Perry plays Admiral Richard Barnett, the head honcho of Starfleet. Perry, in all of his scenes, looks as if he’s two hairs from laughing every time he delivers dialogue. Likewise, his co-stars look as if they’re going to laugh with him.
Director J.J. Abrams of “Lost’’ and “The Office’’ fame, is a great director. His name is synonymous with great TV. His direction in Star Trek is superb. Too bad the script was so convoluted that I spent 15 minutes after viewing the film trying to figure out the plot.
After a slight headache, I gave up. The story line is decent, but the different happenings and all of the time travel is done in such quick succession that, once I got my head wrapped around one thing, it was canceled out by the next.
Orci and Kurtzman are great screenwriters in their own right. But this particular script needs a lot more work and refining to make it more audience friendly.
In the end, I am asking myself whether or not I enjoyed this film. I liked it, but not enough to give it a great review. The convoluted plotline and the back and forth of time makes this film an undesirable in my book.
I would only recommend it to die-hard trekkies and science-fiction fans. They would get a kick out of seeing all of their favorite characters in young form.
But if you are not a fan, save your money. Hopefully, the sequel that’s already in development will be better than the first/last Star Trek film.