Trekkies be thankful. J.J. Abrams has made your beloved franchise relevant again. Aided greatly by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman’s concise script, Abrams’ Star Trek is a blast of from start to finish, a supped up revamp that uses time travel, alternate realities, and fated encounters to reinvent familiar and characters and scenarios.
Maybe my expectations were low considering I’d just watched Robert Wise’s abysmal 1979 feature, but the new Star Trek takes its icons seriously, throwing in a hint of ironic humor to lighten the often weighty character exchanges. The action scenes, which probably owe more to the new Battleship Galactica than most would admit, are superb kinetic displays of multi-directional movement, something the film offers in spades. Everything from the galactic free fall by Kirk (Chris Pine) and Sulu (John Cho) to Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) bracing space battle feels meticulously mapped out, providing a window into the epic consequences of their individual actions.
Abrams achieves this by cutting to a number of different wide angle shots to close scenes, final and epic exclamation points often shrouded in the silence of deep space. Some have compared Star Trek to last years Iron Man (apparently in reference to quality and release date), but Abrams’ film outshines Faverau’s simply because the former constructs a coherent and satisfying ending while setting up for sequels to come. In short, Iron Man fails in this department, like many modern Hollywood films do in this regard. Thankfully the Summer of ’09 begins with an exciting rarity.