‘STAR TREK’ (2009)

March 14, 2013 23 Comments

Though it boasts an amazing cast, and a theme song that nearly anyone will recognize, this sci-fi re-boot isn’t as captivating as I expect, and want, it to be. For two reasons, I’m going to write more about the production aspects of the film than writing a proper review. Story wise, this film is the re-boot of a franchise that has an impressive following to say the least.

Star Trek (2009) Film Review

It stars Chris Pine as James Kirk, the cocky son of the heroic man who saved over eight hundred lives – including those of his mother and himself – when he went down with a starship battling the captain of a now disbanded tribe. Years later, Kirk’s life coincides with Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) who once knew James’ father. Issued a dare, Kirk joins the cadet program, a choice that will test his mettle in ways he’s not been challenged. Intersecting with his life is that of Spock (Zachary Quinto), a brilliant Vulcan whose questionable paternity leads him to leave his tribe and Bones (Karl Urban), a dedicated physician and James best friend.  

‘STAR TREK’ (2009). James Kirk and Company reimagine the classic sci-fi story in this updated feature re-make. All text © Rissi JC
‘STAR TREK’ (2009) #FWarchives Click To Tweet

What I first saw him in, I don’t know but Chris Pine is an actor I like in leading roles. Because of its high praise and the cast, why it had to take me four years to finally see this, I don’t know. Let me start out by clearly saying, I like the movie. A lot. Many of its quirks are pure brilliance though I cannot say the same for the script. It seems mediocre in many of its story elements. Probably the greatest, most engaging surprise was the humor. How well it carried the film was wonderful. It’s difficult to balance humor against nail-biting suspense unless you are Star Trek. The effort is one of many rewards since it plays as if it is actually effortless making the suspense less important while the audience gets caught up in the character’s not the pulse-pounding excitement which plays second string.  

FILM REVIEW | ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ (2013)

Special effects are really impressive and in particular the rescue mission in the final moments has selfless heroism and some nail-biting uncertainty. The pacing keeps up, and in addition to a solid ending that doesn’t fizzle out, it also opens with a strong, emotional set up. In spite of that good climax, it’s the cast who keeps this movie going. Pine and Quantino are excellent as is the supporting cast, including a nearly unrecognizable Eric Bana. This is true for everyone except perhaps Zoe Salanda whom is more expendable than important; something that normally wouldn’t be a point of contention other than as a means for bit of cute romantics. Then there is the script which is a mix up of bitter rivals, and futuristic predictions come in just when you think you have a grasp on who is who and the part they play.

Putting aside any flaws, this made for a fun night of entertainment and is one that I’ll look forward to seeing again. It has charisma in ways most movies never achieve and it is also a part of a legendary series that likely took the genre of science fiction to new heights. As the first in a re-booted series, Star Trek is an excellent piece of film work; curiosity for ‘Into the Darkness’ is now something to anticipate. Despite all of its spectacular effects, comedy and other frivolity, I’m remiss to not share its greatest error. Killing off Chris Hemsworth in the first fifteen minutes; I don’t know if that is a forgivable offense. *wink* 

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Star Trek (2009) digitally on Amazon Video

CONTENT: There is a brief sensual scene between Kirk and his date [he is on her bed, both are in their underwear before he is
forced to hide when her roommate returns]. There is an early scene of childbirth [non-graphic]. Various characters die; Kirk gets into a fistfight and someone captures and tortures another man. The movie is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Charity March 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Knowing the Trek lore might not have helped you — it might angered you, as it did many Trek fans, in the huge ways it screws up previous Trek lore. Like… killing off Amanda. Like… having Kirk be a jerk. Like… destroying Vulcan. These things never happened in the original franchise. But… I like the reboot. I like the cast, I like the humor, it's fun.

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Good to know! Thanks, Charity. :)

      I liked the humor and characters A LOT. Despite Kirk being a bit of a jerk. It was just more the confusion of who everyone was to each other than anything else. All in all, I really liked the movie and will certainly watch it again.

      …and I keep forgetting to tell you: the sequel LOOKS AWESOME!

    • Charity March 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Basically, with the exception of Spock and Kirk, everyone is in this movie like they are in the original series — only a lot younger, and a LOT cuter. Spock is totally unemotional in the series; here, he's struggling with his emotions. Kirk is an absolute doll in the original series (albeit, stupid, since he falls in love every other episode); here, he's a self-centered brat. But… he'll mature. But OH MY GOSH I LOVED THEIR SCOTTY AND BONES. Checov was cute too — "wecktor wecktor-too!"

      Yeah, it does. Can't wait to see it — going opening day.

    • Rissi March 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      We can always use a little "cuter," right!? ;)

      The character's are great – Bones annoyance and friendship to Kirk was wonderful and now you mention it, I did get a kick out of Scotty as well (that actor is a really good comedic). Before seeing the sequel (which I'll likely rent), chances are, I'll watch this one again. In the case of this re-boot, I suspect that this will grow on me. More than it already has. :)

      Will enjoy your thoughts on the sequel!!!

  • Rosie March 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    lol! Rissi, Spock is a Vulcan not a Romulan. ;-)

    As for the movie, my family never watched a lot of the original series but I did have a basic knowledge of the story and whatnot. A few things Trekkies forget when watching this is that this is a reboot. They aren't trying to copy ye olden days (and in my opinion they shouldn't.) Anyway, the humor in this one still makes me smile even after several viewings. :D SO glad you liked it, Rissi!

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Ooops! Thank you for pointing out my error, Rosie – golly, I am so blaming my source this time… although that really isn't justified since it was merely a misread. Maybe I could blame it on being tired since I was editing this and getting it ready to publish last night!? ;)

      (Its been a while since I watched the movie so I had to look it up. My bad. ;D)

      This was a really good film – the humor was FANTASTIC and despite Kirk being a bit of a jerk (albeit a likable one), I enjoyed the character's interaction. He and Bones were hysterical together. :)

      See I didn't even really know the basics of this story. I don't know, it just hadn't really crossed my path so going in completely blind was a bit of a disadvantage. Normally I know something about the movie/show. This time, I didn't. Nevertheless, I agree with you about fans remembering this is a re-boot. In re-makes or re-boots, I tend to give leniency unless I dislike it for other reasons. Then I am as harsh as the next person. :-D

      It was a fun flick and one I'll enjoy watching again, Rosie.

    • Rosie March 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      No problem! It actually brought a much-needed smile to my morning. ;D

      Oh, gosh. Bones and Jim's banter is hilarious and upon seeing a new trailer for ST2 this weekend I'm happy to say we'll be seeing more of it. :D Well, at least now you have some Trek knowledge- even if it is based on a reboot. lol!

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Glad to have helped obliged. :) Hope your day gets better.

      It sure was! I enjoyed their friendship – possibly the best out of every other relationship. Happy to know the trailer suggests a continuation of that – cannot wait!

      I think this is one of those movies that really deserves a second viewing before I can decide whether or not I really grasped everything about the characters and their relationship with everyone. Nevertheless, despite my ignorance, it was still fun – plus I am finding myself more and more drawn to sci-fi. :)

  • Serena Chase March 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    "its greatest error was. Killing off Chris Hemsworth in the first fifteen minutes; I don’t know if that is a forgivable offense. *wink*" — love that!

    Sadly, I loaned my copy out and I can't remember to whom. But my whole family enjoyed it. :)So much better than the original I had to suffer through reruns of with my dad and brother as a kid!

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      Hello, Serena! I couldn't resist adding that last line – my friend mentioned he was in the beginning and it somehow seemed criminal that Chris should die as he did. :)

      That is a mystery. My family usually puts a name sticker in our DVD's so that anytime we loan them out, the borrower knows whose DVD they have. I hope you find out who you loaned it too – when a favorite movie goes missing, it's disappointing.

      I enjoyed the fabulous humor! It was just… so entertaining. :) And, I can well imagine this is better than the original – as far as special effects go.

      Thank you so much for dropping by, Serena. I really appreciate it. :)

  • Lianne March 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it Rissi! I need to re-watch this movie before the second movie comes out, lol. I remember being really excited for this when it came out at 2009; I grew up watching Star Trek (TNG and DS9 mostly, never got around to the original series but I knew of it) and I've been a fan of J.J. Abrams for years, I'm glad he was able to pull it off =)

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      How great to know that a fan of the originals enjoyed this, Lianne! I felt at such a disadvantage which was probably the reason that I didn't get this review up sooner. It seemed like my ill-informed mind shouldn't be contemplating the "who's who" of this franchise by forming it into a review. Nevertheless, the comedy was great as was the cast. :)

      Hope you enjoy another viewing – I really need to re-watch it also as I suspect it will change (for the better) my opinion. :)

  • Diane Estrella March 14, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I agree. Ok but not the greatest! :O)

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Coming from a girl who knows nothing about the originals, somehow I expected this one to be "more" dynamic than it was. Still… the humor and cast were fab. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Diane! Appreciate it – and hope you enjoyed your visit.

  • Ruth March 14, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Oh I love this movie! I was never able to get into any of the original Star Trek television shows or films, so I loved this reboot and thought the cast and crew did a fantastic job. Looking forward to the sequel!

    • Rissi March 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      So am I, my friend, so am I! If possible, I think the sequel looks more awesome than this re-boot. Or maybe that may just have something to do with Sherlock, er… I mean Benedict starring. ;)

      My dad made the comment after I saw this one that he never did get this series, I don't see myself looking into the originals however I'd enjoy re-watching this movie. It boasts a talented cast plus some great laughs.

      Will look forward to your review(?) of this come May. :)

  • AnnaKate March 14, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I rally like this one. It's a lot of fun, and it has Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth in it. IN THE SAME MOVIE. Ahem.


    But really, I enjoyed this one a lot. here's hoping the Benedict Cumberbatch-ian sequel follows in its footsteps!

    • Rissi March 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      As did I, AnnaKate. It was so much more fun that I thought since I expected a more serious-minded sci-fi flick. Glad to have been proven wrong.

      Enjoyed the acting talents of both Chris H. and Chris P., only wish the former hadn't died in the first fifteen minutes. I mean, really, that is an unforgivable act. ;)

      Hoping the sequel is as good – it looks BETTER. Would enjoy your thoughts if you see it in theaters! :)

  • Kara March 15, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    I really need to see this movie! I've been wanting to, but just haven't. Not any special reason why really.

    I've never seen the original TV series either. But my mother (yes, my mother) loved the movies. We'd watch them often. Plus The Next Generation TV series. And the other multiple series too. Of course it's been years since I've seen any, but still. She's also read a lot of the books based on this. My love of Star Trek (and scifi in general) began with my mother. Thanks mom!

    Anyway, great review. But you keep adding books and movies to my to-do list! I only have so much time Rissi! ;P

    • Rissi March 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Aw! That's a neat memory, Kara. My mother doesn't care for sci-fi (in general) and the other day she was talking with my cousin and said that I didn't like the genre. Basically I looked at her aghast and was like, "excuse me, but what do you think all those superhero movies are that I gush over!?" Then a friend remarked that she wasn't sure if I liked the genre. Now, I am thinking I need to re-think my strategy. :)

      I've never seen any of the Star Trek shows though I have seen random episodes of the Stargate franchise. One I could easily get addicted too. It was quite good.

      LOL! My bad for reviewing all these, Kara. Sorry about that. :) If you do watch this one, hope you enjoy – the humor is really great!

      …and – as always – thanks for reading.

  • Jennifer March 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    I love this movie. Though I've watched some of the original Star Trek series (and was quite a while into Star Trek: The Next Generation series), I was not a huge Star Trek fan when I watched this one. But, I thought it was really well done, and at least with the special effects abilities today, it was much more "real" than the original series. I think I just have a hard time with the original Captain Kirk because I can only think of the Priceline Negotiator. :/

    • Rissi March 15, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      This one was a surprise to me, Jennifer – one of the good variety. It was humorous and has a talented cast. This series isn't my thing either but it's iconic and with all the sequel excitement, I figured, "why not!?" So I rented it. Needless to say, I am glad I did. Glad you liked it.

      Aside from the sappiness that some of the original series probably has, I won't really care if I ever see it. Just from seeing previews or photos, this film seems FAR better and an improvement where, as you say, special effects are concerned. And your comment about the lead actor in the show made me smile – that would be something hard to put out of your mind! :)

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