Hey, kids! It’s Dash Jordan here, and 2016 is really a spectacular year for me! Recently, I hit a milestone after writing 100 articles, and now, I also get to celebrate writing my articles for a WHOLE FRIGGIN’ YEAR!
Woooo, indeed! What else can I say, guys? Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sticking with me. I mean everyone! Fans, friends, family, I truly appreciate you guys coming to my site and checking out my articles, hearing what I’ve got to say. I really couldn’t be more grateful and I couldn’t have gotten this far without any of you. I would also like to thank just a few more people. These guys were a part of my very first review, these guys were truly talented filmmakers, and we all share the same-
…I was not gonna say that. Anyway, for my little 1 year special, I’ve decided to dedicate this particular review to a certain someone. If you remember my last article, we’ve sadly lost a promising and highly-talented young actor.
Rather than dwell on how he died, I’ve thought that it would be best to not only remember him but to also pay tribute to an amazing ensemble cast and crew who had the honor of working with him. So, without further ado…Anton Yelchin, this review is for you.
J.J., beam me up…
‘Star Trek’ is the 2009 reboot/prequel of Gene Roddenberry’s widely-successful sci-fi franchise of the same name; directed by J.J. Abrams. While it is the 11th ‘Star Trek’ film, the movie actually takes place in an alternate timeline; this was done as a way to introduce a younger cast and tell a different story that still pays tribute to what made the franchise so memorable, without possibly tarnishing the rules and continuity of the original shows and films. In other words, they wanted to try something new with the ‘Star Trek’ mythos and introduce a new generation of fans to this great franchise, all without pissing off the old fans. Did they succeed, or did this new introduction to ‘Star Trek’ bomb harder than Ceti Alpha V?
Oh! Sorry, I meant Ceti Alpha VI. Well, you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t a bomb as the film opened up to critical acclaim and made well over $385 Million worldwide; making it the highest-grossing ‘Star Trek’ movie of all time(before the release of its 2013 sequel, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’).
But, how’s the movie itself? Does it hold up? Yes, actually. This reboot/prequel actually does its job quite well. I’ll even admit, I was never a huge ‘Star Trek’ fan. I was always more of a Star Wars and Doctor Who fan anyway. In fact, I used to think the franchise was boring when I was a kid. Of course, with shows like ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ and ‘Enterprise’ on the air at the time and the fact that ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ happened to be the first film I’ve ever seen from the franchise, could you blame me? So when I saw the trailers for this movie, I figured that this would be the kind of movie for people like me. Meaning, a reboot that’s only meant for the enjoyment of non-fans with plenty of action and a little bit of comedy, but will be hated by hardcore fans for not having any of the heart and intelligence that apparently helped the franchise last for so long.
Yes! I’m aware, Mr. Spock! I was simply going to point out how happy I was that this film managed to prove me wrong. I’m serious, this movie not only helped me appreciate Star Trek, but it also helped me respect it. Ever since, I’ve tried to watch any of the episodes of the Original Series and ‘The Next Generation’, as well as the rest of the movies. While there is plenty of action, stunts, and explosions, there was still a lot of love put into the film’s story. The whole time-travel and alternate timeline thing is a great way to keep everything true to the world of Star Trek, while also having the freedom of shaking things up a bit and trying new things. I mean, they didn’t really change that much, in my opinion. We still get to see a dead Redshirt!
Ehh, screw Olson! Anyway, I have mentioned before about how there’s a ton of great action in this movie, and there is! This movie has probably some of the coolest action scenes in science-fiction. At the same time, however, since I have grown a greater appreciation for the franchise, I can understand where some people are coming from when they say that there may have been too much action for a ‘Star Trek’ movie. Not necessarily a bad thing as it’s clear that they wanted to take things in a different direction for a wider audience. But I wouldn’t have minded some more subtle and ingenious moments. Especially, since this film had a lot of great actors attached. Boy, do we have a lot to cover when it comes to the cast.
I’ll try not to drag on too much about each actor. So instead, I’ll just do a quick rundown on each actor, how they portrayed these memorable characters, and how good they are in comparison to the cast of TOS(The Original Series). First up, is the U.S.S. Enterprise’s Chief Engineer, Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott a.k.a. Scotty; played by Simon Pegg. If you’re not familiar with ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, or ‘At World’s End’, you’re seriously missing out on a truly hilarious actor. Although, it’s also great to see that Pegg really is a great actor who can do more than just comedy. The character of Scotty was originally played by the late, great James Doohan, and I think that Pegg truly does the character justice. Not just because of the Scottish, the mannerisms, the energy, everything.
Next up, is…the ship’s navigator, Ensign Pavel Chekov; played by Anton Yelchin. What else could be said? While he may not have had a lot of screen time, at least not in this installment, he truly sold that role. Paying more than enough tribute to Walter Koenig’s iconic Russian. Both men were great as Chekov, but I feel as though Yelchin adds just a little more naiveté to the role. Bottom line, he was excellent. Perfect casting!
Speaking of perfect casting, let’s talk about Harold, shall we? Ha! Ha! Ha! Of course, I’m talking about Lt. Hikaru Sulu; played by John Cho. Pardon my french, but I don’t give a Klingon’s wrinkled, leathery-brown ass that Cho is a Korean-American playing a Japanese-American. Cho was fantastic as Sulu. It was great seeing him take on a more serious approach to the character and…Oh, my! Cho was practically handpicked by George Takei himself? Nice!
Now, let’s move on to the ship’s lovely Communications Officer. Lt. Uhura; played by Zoe Saldana. As much as I hate to say it, I think Saldana is slightly better than Nichelle Nichols. Don’t get me wrong, please! Nichols is a legend, a great actress, and both ladies were incredibly beautiful. I just feel that Saldana adds just a bit more fire to the role. She’s more determined, she’s feistier, and has more of an on-screen presence this time around. Oh, and before anyone asks…I don’t care about Uhura hooking up with Spock, it’s fine with me. I’m just glad to see Uhura get more screen time than usual.
Okay, now before I go on to the Big Three of the Enterprise, there is another character in this movie that I want to quickly touch upon. The film’s Romulan villain, Nero; played by Eric Bana. Nero is a pretty interesting villain. Obviously taking a few cues from Kahn, Bana still manages to make the role his own. Not only is he threatening, but he also becomes surprisingly sympathetic when you learn more about his reasons for doing what he does. Great performance, Mr. Bana. Finally, you’re forgiving for Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’.
Alright, time for the big three! Let’s start with the good doctor. Lt. Commander Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy; played by Karl Urban. The late, great DeForest Kelley would be proud, Karl Urban was absolutely perfect. My only gripe is that I wish I could’ve seen more of him. Urban captures the ill-tempered, crankiness of the character perfectly.
Now, after talking about Bones, I feel as though it would make perfectly good sense to move on to the Enterprise’s Science Officer & second-in-command. I’m, of course, talking about Commander Spock; played by Zachary Quinto…AND LEONARD NIMOY?!? Fascinating!
Yes, the original Mister Spock is, in fact in this movie too! As always, the late, great Nimoy delivers. As well as, playing a much more pivotal role. I don’t want to give too much away for those who still have not seen this reboot yet, but I will say that the original Spock(or Spock Prime) is connected to both the film’s villain, as well as the reasoning behind the split-timeline. Not only that, but there’s also this.
Oh yeah, Nimoy also shares a truly great moment with the new Spock. Don’t wanna show you the clip because it may give away spoilers but it’s probably one of the best scenes in the entire movie and a great passing of the torch moment from the late actor. Thank you, Mr. Nimoy. Live long and prosper.
As far as Zachary Quinto’s portrayal…the absolute highlight of the film. Much like Nimoy, Quinto pulls off the cold, emotionless and stoic genius with great line delivery. At the same time, Quinto also makes it is own. There are actually a few moments where we get to see the half-human/half-Vulcan simply lose it and get angry and emotional. Highly illogical…but shocking and awesome as all hell.
Finally, the Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Captain James T. Kirk; played by Chris Pine. Practically an unknown before this movie, I think I can safely say that Pine was born to play this role. I’ll be honest, I do think that William Shatner’s Kirk was slightly better, but that doesn’t take away from Pine’s incredible performance. In fact, I’m actually glad that Pine doesn’t attempt to mimic Shatner’s iconic speech pattern, as he still manages to portray Kirk’s cockiness, cool factor, arrogance, and unhealthy taste in green women.
Point is, Chris Pine really surprised me in this movie and done more than prove his acting chops. I salute you, Chris! You ARE the Captain of the Enterprise…but, Shatner is the Admiral.
Even the supporting cast were all good in this movie. I honestly could not find one bad or awkward performance in this movie…well, I do have one question. What the hell is Tyler Perry doing in this movie?!? Is he just out of ideas for Madea movies and just wants to pop up in my reviews instead? No, I’m not kidding! Tyler Perry is in the movie! Look!
There he is! Why? Why the hell is Madea in a friggin’ ‘Star Trek’ movie?!?
Shut up! Anyway, one of my absolute favorite things in this entire movie. Not any of the actors, or the script…but the score. After this movie, Michael Giacchino became one of my favorite music composers. Yes, the way he handled the original show’s theme is absolutely beautiful, but what really blew me away was the original music he composed specifically for this film; which he would later improve in the next movie. Honestly, this score gave me goosebumps, and the main theme is hands down, one of my absolute favorite ‘Star Trek’ themes. Also, listen to the way Giacchino incorporates the original theme to the 2009 theme…just gorgeous. The way this guy makes his music may bring you to tears. You’ve been warned.
No disrespect to the hardcore fans, but I absolutely love this movie. Of course, there are much better ‘Star Trek’ movies, and there was more emphasis on the action this time around. But I can’t help if I had an absolute blast with this reintroduction to one of the most important sci-fi franchises of all time. Amazing acting from the entire cast, interesting story, a fresh and smart way to revamp the franchise, awesome action, great effects, powerful and energetic music, but most importantly, this was the movie that officially made me…a Trekkie. Now, before I go, I want to thank every one of you again. Here’s to another year. For my next trick…why not? It’s Request Time!
The choice is yours, guys! Until then, Gotta Dash…Maximum Warp!
Written by Shane Moose
Special thanks to the three big F’s in my life(Friends, Family & Fans) for helping me get this far, for pushing me to go even further and for putting up with me when I try going even further than that. To hell with the limitations!
…and a very special thanks to Anton Yelchin. He boldly went where no actor has gone before.
Videos & Photos:
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Star Trek(2009)(owned by Spyglass Entertainment, Bad Robot Productions & Paramount Pictures)
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn(owned by Paramount Pictures)
Star Trek: The Original Series(owned by Paramount Television, CBS Television Distribution & Desilu Productions)
Kung Fury(owned by Laser Unicorns & Lampray)
Friday(owned by New Line Cinema, Priority Films, Ghetto Bird Productions & Cube Vision Productions)
Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself(owned by Lionsgate & Tyler Perry Studios)