Mike Matei / May 8th, 2009
Star Trek 2009 – Movie Review
April 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm
I actually enjoyed the new Star Trek movie from beginning to end even though I’m not as much of a casual Trek fan as you are. Some of the ridiculous moments you mentioned doesn’t bother me too much, so I just ignored them.
At first, Chris Pine might seem very unlikely to fill the shoes of the great William Shatner, but he was not too bad. I mean I’m sure the producers could’ve picked a much worst actor to play Kirk. Zachary Quinto was actually casted fittingly as Spock because if you watched him as Sylar in the TV show Heroes, he has a vulcan-like mentality to his character which makes him a perfect fit!
Overall, it’s a great summer blockbuster and I’m glad the critical and commercial success guarantees a sequel. Maybe the next one will have more of the heart of the original series than you can desire with more into the voyages than what this movie had to offer!
April 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm
One thing I disliked about the movie is that it portrayed what many of us were expecting, the commercial style in an attempt to appeal to most age groups, thus creating an obvious dumbing down and a lack of techno-babble.
As said, I found the kirk to be too much of a rogue and especially too young for the part (perhaps he will look more refined and mature in the next movie?)
and also as said, There was a big lack of depth which will no doubt pass into the next movie aswell.
It really seemed to be a case of “let’s cram 20 years into 90 minutes” which caused alot of limited explanation to what was actually taking place and making the federation seem like a food court in regards to promotion (you turned up,therefor you’re promoted).
It does seem to fit (abit) with the original series and the effects were good (especially liked the rapid-fire phasers on the enterprise) and ofcourse the actors do actually look abit like the original cast, so I cant fault them for that.
Overall, I’d rate it as
8/10 as someone just looking for a movie
5/10 as a star trek fan
April 25, 2010 at 8:43 am
I actually hate Star Trek, generally speaking. I can only think of a few people who have ever been so much as associated with the series that I can even stand; so when it came to this, I assumed I was being dragged into what was basically about to be my personal worst movie of the year. Now, I have to qualify that I have a passing familiarity with a fair amount of Star Trek concepts and major characters that I picked up from the myriad of people who I know who all think it’s the shit. This is necessary for my following comment to make sense:
Like you, I felt the introduction sucked. I especially disliked the way they brought characters into Kirk’s life. The doctor in particular was over the top hammy and badly done, it actually grated on my nerves to hear him slag out those one-liners, as though the characters knew beforehand that they’d be life-long companions. Aside from that, it felt like most of the movie was just cliff-notes on how the Enterprise and it’s crew fell under Kirk’s command while the real story was about Spock and his coming of age.
Which was actually, surprisingly enough, a pretty good story- combined with the background action, I left pretty satisfied overall.
Personally, I could’ve done without the music video sequence as well.
I’d give it two stars if someone wanted just a rating like that- and the only other Star Trek thing I’ve ever even considered that good was Wrath of Khan.
Personal note: I’m glad they dropped the techno-babble. Too much of it in most media is just incorrect, or flat out made up- and when you’re wincing at things like that it makes what you’re watching seem fucking stupid; not intelligent. It’s sad when it happens in Star Trek as well- because the underlying foundational idea of Star Trek is really pretty damn cool. It sucks to know that when there’s a host of things that prevent me from getting into it.
April 25, 2010 at 10:01 am
Dunno about this one. I got my GF to go watch it with me which is good but that’s about it. It really didn’t feel like a Star Trek movie to me.
Maybe I was expecting something else … 5/10
April 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm
I really liked this movie, I honestly think it was one of the best of 2009. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time and I’m not that big of a Trekie, I never watched the original series with Kirk and Spock, instead I was more into shows like the Next Gen. and DS9, over all I’m more of a Star Wars guy, but I still thought this movie was epically awesome.
April 27, 2010 at 2:33 am
Star Trek fans are the most difficult fans to please. These people expect so much from the films. I wonder what your thoughts are, James, on trying to make anything in the Star Trek saga..I mean, could you imagine having to live up to those expectations? I suppose, the only thing you have to fall back on is existing long history that already exists (so you copy and reprise etc.), and so how could one ever do anything that is new and fresh. It seems impossible to me. I think this film attempts to walk this line and seeks to give new innovation by going back to a time before anything had happened….except I suppose for the time travel aspect …doing something really fresh is hard. I think they managed that here a bit.
April 28, 2010 at 12:52 am
I liked it, the movie moves more towards people who have never seen star trek before, I’m going to have to research into the old ones and see what the fuss is all about, overall I give it a 8.5/10
April 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm
I really enjoyed the movie but since i didnt get the chance to see any of the old movies i have a small opinion but my favorite character was scotty mostly because the actor who played him is most known as the guy from sean of the dead and hot fuzz
May 14, 2010 at 11:56 pm
What I remember strongest from this movie is that it completely messed up and threw over the established star trek canon.
It’s like people spent time and effort to make the tv shows and old movies, and then some new guy shows up saying “I like star trek, but it should be entirely different, so I will make some guys travel back in time to prevent the entire continuity from happening.”
And that is why I don’t like it, and in my opinion 2009 Star Trek never happened.
May 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Even in launching an alternate continuity, they still fucked with the original time-line by destroying Romulus in it. It’s like, “Screw ‘Nemesis’ and its huge expansion of Romulan lore, possibly finally bringing the Federation and Romulan Empire to a better relationship – we need a planet to blow up!” Ugh.
Yeah, “Sabotage” kind of drew me out of the immersion since it seemed so out of place in a Trek movie. Then again, they’ve had modern references in other time travel plot lines.
Kirk riding up on the motorcycle remind anyone else of Anakin’s speeder bike scenes?
The reason for young Kirk’s personality shift can be explained in this time-line by the fact that he wasn’t raised by his father like in the original canon but instead was raised by an uncle who he didn’t like and rebelled against.
All said, it was a decent reboot of the franchise after it was practically killed by the studios when the TNG spin offs lost steam. I would have liked it to stick closer to the original canon, but some changes were made to bring in a more mainstream audience to a franchise in need of fresh eyes. You know the saying, “you can’t please everyone.”
May 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm
I will start out by saying that I am a massive Star Trek fan. I don’t think everything in Star Trek was good, but I definitely can sit down and watch it anytime. I saw the movie “Star Trek” twice the first week it came out, but I haven’t seen it since. I thought the best thing I could do is post my review that I had made on Netflix the week I saw the film.
My big complaint about this movie was that all the space-based action scenes are filmed in micro-vision. I have seen the film twice, but if you showed me a diagram of the Romulan freighter, I still could not tell you where its missile launchers were. Heck, I could not tell you where the Enterprises launchers were, if I did not already know. Everything is filmed so close to the action, that it is difficult to get a feel for what is going on. It is like they wanted to keep our attention using flashing lights and sounds. The movie is full of action, but there was only one scene that I felt had gratuitous action (the scene in the snow). On to the possible spoilers: The film makers must have had a big task on their hands. How do we make a prequel to Star Trek, using different actors in classic roles, and minimize the Trekkie backlash? Well, time travel and parallel universes go with Star Trek like peanut butter and jelly goes with bread! If we can do the entire thing in a parallel universe, then we can do whatever we want to the characters, and the Trek fans can not say, No! It did not happen like that! In Sci-Fi, there are two prevailing types of time travel lore: First: Whatever has happened will happen (Back to the Future). Second: Whatever can happen does happen in infinitely branching realities. The latter is typically used in Star Trek. Just to emphasize the concept in the movie, the film makers made obvious changes to the nature of their universe that can not be ignored. These characters from now on are not the same characters that you have seen before. They do not have to match the previous portrayals, and if you are a real Star Trek follower, you will understand that (Mirror Mirror and the like). So, in the end, what did we get? We got a loud, shaky-cam, flashing-light action flick, with two heart wrenching moments and a ton of laugh-out-loud lines and inside jokes. Overall, I had a fantastic time!
I gave it four out of five stars on Netflix.
May 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Alright. Well, I’m a die hard Star Trek fan. I’ve seen lots of episodes from all their series. I’ve also seen all their movies, so I kinda have an idea on what I’m saying.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The new Star Trek was decent. There was a lot of good action scenes, they kept a couple things right, even Leonard Nimoy made an appearance as the old Spock. Now, in my opinion, those were the only good parts
There were so many bad parts, i almost didn’t want to watch the movie. For example, Kirk is an ASSHOLE. in the original show, he was supposed to be the good guy, the leader of the group. There’s also the whole relationship between Spock and Uhura. WTF?! In the original series, there was no relationship between the two other than friendship. My explaination for this: love story. J.J. Abrahms was running low on ideas and wanted to throw in a love story of sorts. So, he took two characters who, at their time, were completely different, and gave them a love story that NEVER happened in the original show.
Now, the thing that pisses every Trekkie, and has even started an underground petition online, is the fact that it completely fucks up the timeline. It’s easy to explain: the Romulans came from the future. In doing so, they caused a chain of events that wouldn’t have otherwise occured. For example, Kirk’s father was killed aboard the Felix in the beginning. Now, in the show, it was said that his father was still alive at that time. Also, Kirk was born in space (technically), instead of being born in Iowa.
Gene Roddenberry had set a universe from a simple 60’s tv show. From that stemmed 4 more series, 10 movies, and plenty of fan episodes. But now, Abrahms has to come and FUCK IT UP. It’s just really annoying because Roddenberry has set up this carefully defined universe. Sure, there were some parts that made people go “WTF?” but all in all still had it’s Star Trek magic. (A good example of this would be Scotty. In an episode of The Next Generation (Relics), Scotty come’s out of a transporter after being stuck there for almost a century. Upon awakening, he asks where Captain Kirk is. In the TNG movie “Generations,” Scotty comes to the conclusion that the captain has been sucked out of space, though he was really sucked into the Nexus. Why would he inquire where the captain is if he figures that the captain is dead?)
One more added comment, thanks to this new movie, everything, yes, EVERYTHING, that has happened in all of Star Trek history now doesn’t exist. All 5 series, 10 movies, and fan made episodes don’t exist. So, thank you Abrahms, for directing a shitcicle of a movie. That’s like if i were to shit on a popcicle stick, freeze it, and give it to a kid, telling im its a fudgecicle. That’s how Trekkie’s reacted to this new movie.
I am done.
June 10, 2010 at 10:40 am
The movie I guess is ok, I like the special effects, they happen to be nice so I’ll give it a 4/5 for effects.
I have something to say about the story line, from what I’ve heard its really an alternate story line, so it is kind of original. Its just telling their alternate origins, which is nice, but I want to know the true origins of the characters dang it!!! 2/5 for not being true to the series.
Now for the characters and cast. Three words: NO WILLIAM SHATNER!?!
Not even a cameo I think. Now for new Kirk. He’s the whole reason I don’t like this movie much. HE’S A TOTAL A-HOLE!!! this score is mostly because of new Kirk: -162/5
July 1, 2010 at 9:28 am
I would agree with that review. Special effects and action sequences were pretty decent (although that random monster chase in the middle of nowhere was silly) and the actors were generally ok. The first half does suck. It’s just really stupid and the plot skips so much that you wonder why it’s even a prequel. It barely explains anything new or particularly interesting about the characters and the whole film feels like it’s rushing to get to the iconic characters we all know and love. It never quite achieves that though.
The Uhura/Spock romance was…retarded. It came out of nowhere and felt tacked-on and awkward. The Romulans looked nothing like they’re supposed to and the whole parallel universe thing is kinda clever but confusing. Overall, it was an ok blockbuster just don’t think too much about it because you’ll soon start hating it lol
July 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm
I loved this movie. But I agree completly about the early car chase scene. I remember thinking at the time “why are they playing sabatoge?”
But I wanna note that the opening scene was amazing. Theres a part where the ships getting blasted but with no sound just a calming classical music score while Kirks father pulls a kamakazee. I thought it was epic.
July 3, 2010 at 6:10 pm
I’m not a huge Trekkie, in fact, I wasn’t even into Star Trek before this came out, the only reason I watched this was because Zach Quinto is in this, who plays Sylar in Heroes. His version of Spock is brilliant, he even looks a lot like Leonard Nimoy. The storyline was very good and the special effects definately deserved the BAFTA and Oscar nominations they got.
July 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Words cannot begin to describe how angry this film makes me.
I am not going to go over all the complaints that everyone has already voiced, but what really pisses me off about this whole thing is it is just another attempt to milk a dying franchise. Instead of doing something fresh and original while staying in the original universe, the idea is ” hey lets fuck with the timeline, and then just say none of this ever happened.” It’s a cheap and easy way to create a new franchise without having to worry about stepping on the toes of it’s predecessor. It’s cheap, it’s lame, and it’s reprehensible. So now, all the fucking games, movies, television shows, merchandise, etc, are going to be based on this “new” universe, and lets face it, Star trek is a franchise that is over 40 years old. Let it die already. Keep the memories fresh in the minds of those that grew up with the originals, and don’t try to reinvent it. If it is not broke, DON’T FIX IT! It’s just another greedy Hollywood ploy to make money.” Hey, if it says Star Trek, it will sell.” Ugh. At least with Battlestar Galactica, the writers didn’t try to alter the timeline, or do anything to invalidate the original series. They just told it in a different way, updated for today’s audiences. Hell, Lawson was a part of the creative process of the new series, and both of them have their respective charms. Not so with the new Star Trek. Nothing good will come out of this. At All.
July 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm
Not being too much of a Trekkie myself, I really can’t comment on the Star Trek aspect of the movie. The first half was definitely slower paced than the second half, but it wasn’t bad. They had to introduce all the characters, set up the story, blah, blah. Scenes like the bar fight was as exciting as they could get. I also think Leonard Nimoy’s cameo was cool, though the way they incorporated him into the story was kind of contrived. I guess it had to be. But come on, Kirk happens to land on that exact planet, right next to the cave where Spock’s been hiding? And McCoy happened to be within walking distance with all the equipment capable of handling his inventions from the future? What? Ok, I guess that’s Star Trek for you… Overall though, I liked the movie. I expected far worse when I first saw the trailer. It had some good action scenes and it kind of succeeded in getting me sort of “into” the whole Star Trek thing. Hell, it got me enough to register and comment about it, so it must have triggered something! Love the videos, James!
July 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm
I really loved you opinion on this movie, but the you might missed a huge point, which happened early in the movie. Kirk’s father dies, as far i can remember his father was in the original series. The movie tries to diviate and renew the series, with the an alternative timeline, and thats why Kirk is starting out as a “dickhead” and Spock as a vulcan, who has issues to control his emotions… Another huge plot twist that the Vulcan explodes… So this is anything but proof that they are creating an alternative universe, where a Uhura and Spock romance can be forged for example :). (PS: I really loved the idea that Kirk and Spock are Rivals… instead of this friends till death motive) Personally i really loved this movie, because they kept the attitude of the original cast, but threw something new in it as well. Overall i really loved this movie, and exceeded my expectations… Not too much technobables, its focusing more on the action, but what do you except nowdays, the slogan is more action less talking… Back then, explain yourself before you do anything. (Before you ask, no i’m not a 40 year old trekkie, just a 25 year old Fan). Keep doin your videos James. Regards Dexy from Hungary
July 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm
Yeah, that scene with the Nokia tune going off and the young Kirk, completely unnecessary. We get the point that he’s a rebel when he starts the bar fight. That’s the only scene that really bugs me about the movie. It was flashy, fun, not quite the Trek I grew up with but it was still a good movie with very few plot holes. I definitely look forward to future Trek movies with this cast. I particularly liked how they successfully emulated the characters as portrayed by the original series. Kirk’s “eye look” for example. Perfectly done.
July 12, 2010 at 1:40 am
This was my first time ever seeing star trek, and, as a movie it’s great. my parents, who are big trek fans, also enjoyed it. my dad was a little upset about them breaking the prime directive though.
July 12, 2010 at 9:34 am
I personally thought this one was great. Even though I also noticed a lot of the lacking points of the movie you brought up I was able to quickly over look them because of how much fun I was having with the rest of the movie.
July 15, 2010 at 3:57 am
James there are two different kind of people there are people who are more interested in the stuff they grew up with and people who are more interested in what is new that’s why some people would rather watch the new star trek and some who wanna stick to the old
July 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm
When I watched this movie I could not help but nitpick, therefore, using the same format as startrekdatabase, as someone who just wanted to go see a movie I give the new Star Trek a 6/10, as a Star Trek fan I give it a 2/10.
You (James Rolfe) said that you agree with Kirk being portrayed as an asshole, even though they went too far with it, but in episodes like Shore Leave we get an image of Kirk being a calm bookworm cadet. He was even bullied by another cadet (Finney).
I like what James Whitlock has to say. There were a lot of bad parts: the love affair between Uhura and Spock was terrible, the promotions were terrible (Pike makes Kirk, a cadet who hasn’t graduated from the Academy and has no experience in deep space First Officer of the Federation Flagship), Scotty was terrible (how would he know how to operate the Enterprise if he hadn’t been on a starship before?), Chekov was bad, the Romulans were terrible (the Federation hadn’t had contact with the Romulans since the war, no one knew what the they looked like nor anything about their culture and all of a sudden they encounter Romulans from 129 years into the future and its just like: “ok, so these are Romulans…” also, how would Uhura know how to speak three different dialects of Romulan language?), Sarek was bad, the Vulcan kids who bully Spock were bad, the Enterprise did not look like the original one, specially the Engineering decks. Why is Uhura in Iowa? Where is Kirk’s brother Sam? At the end of Star Trek: Nemesis the future looks peaceful for the Federation and the Romulans so why would you make the Romulans enemies again? Why does a Romulan mining ship from the future have missiles? Also, when do we ever hear of a starship having missiles in TOS? The whole phaser shoot-out in the Romulan vessel looks like a gun fight from a modern action movie, that is not what Star Trek is about. Spock having trouble controlling his emotions is good, but they overdid it, specially when he maroons Kirk. The Kobayashi Maru could have been better.
In conclusion I agree with what you (James Rolfe) said about this movie lacking the Star Trek spirit; it felt more like an action space movie rather than Star Trek.
“This is not your parent’s Star Trek,” that’s right, “our” parent’s Star Trek was meaningful and revolutionary, this is just another movie.
July 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm
BananaJello also makes a good point.
July 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm
Well, just to throw in a few remarks at random here.
I grew up watching the original Trek series, even though I was decades too late for it. But I absolutely loved it and I’ve since watched just about all the star treks up to Voyager. Now I don’t necessarily disagree with a lot of what is in this review as far as it deals with the movie. But I do take issue with one thing which isn’t dealt with too much in this review: the problem of continuity.
James mentions briefly that Uhuru and Spock have a romance here, and it isn’t clear how that relates to the tv series. In fact I’d say that’s the very least of this movie’s problems in that regard. In the tv series, McCoy was older than Kirk, and Spock was older too (although probably not more than 10-20 years or so). Definitely enough of a difference in age that they would NOT have been at the academy together. Come on, Spock was Pike’s exec years before Kirk even had command of the enterprise, back when phasers weren’t even standard issue (as seen in The Menagerie, which was basically a re-cut version of the original pilot episode with some new material shot to connect it to the ‘present’ in the series). I just don’t buy it that they were there together, even if we suppose Spock went to the Academy a little late. And in general it just seems like a big coincidence that this group would all be at the Academy and then go on to serve together. Again, I just don’t buy it (although if this were a pure reboot, I’d be willing to suspend disbelief about this. I am not sure I can suspend disbelief and say that the original series’ Kirk and Spock could have been at the Academy together. It would make more sense to have that guy who Kirk kills in the pilot episode after he turns into some sort of monster-god. That guy was supposed to be Kirk’s best friend).
It was established previously that although Vulcans need to develop emotional control, they do so by the time they are teenagers, if necessary through remedial education, so why does Spock still have a ‘problem’ with them?
In general it just seems like if they wanted to make a prequel, they should have tried to fit into continuity better. And if they wanted to reboot the series, then that should have been made clearer. I’m not sure Star Trek really should be rebooted, frankly; personally I’d rather see them actually come up with some new space series instead.
So I guess I don’t disagree with James’ opinion of the movie qua movie, but it leaves one wondering, ‘how is this _ever_ going to fit into the star trek canon?’ Which may be over-thinking it but the producers of star trek should understand that their fan base is filled with people to whom the canon of star trek really matters, and it probably is unwise to mess with the canon and alienate (haha) your fans. Better to just do a total reboot.
If we DO have a reboot I’d like to see them try to do a little more of a darker DS9 feel to the whole thing, but that’s another story.
August 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm
I’m not a Trek fan, but I know the story. I loved the alternate reality aspect of this film. Its an engaging story that puts a new spin and contradictions on the old one. It was very well done, and done with class. My only complaint is that green chick. Worst make up I have ever seen in a movie with such a huge budget. They just…painted her skin.
August 13, 2010 at 12:24 am
Well James, despite being a young obnoxious teenager i feel that your reveiw is very close to my own opinion, but id like to go further and say that most the characters lost the generally serious nature of the original crew, which is kind of where i differ i felt McCoy retained all the seriousness and dry humour of DeForest Kelly and kept it fresh with his own way of delivering, but personally I absolutely disliked Scotty because rather than the serious hardworking presbyterian dry humoured old goat which was the stereotype from the 60’s-80’s,hes the new modern scottish stereotype has shifted to the comedian which obviously i didnt find too appealing, Spock I totally agree, kirk again I totally agree, Chekov was the only ridiculous comedic releif i liked, but I felt that the movie had a distinct post 9/11 form to it (honestly you cant say 9/11 didnt inspire in some way the destruction of Vulcan), and the Uhura-Spock thing im assuming was to throw in a random romance which is basically a requirement of action movies these days, my favourite innovation is the proportion of Alien to humans among the crew, it kind of brings back the message of no racial boundry that the orginal series had, all in all it was ok but after the failures of the various TV shows and movies since the turn of the century it just felt good to have at least a semi-decent trek movie come out again
August 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm
I thought the portrayal of Spock was sub-par. Posting him with an obvious love interest makes for poor story. I don’t have to quote old episodes for every one to know he was stone cold to the woman that was to be his wife.
James T. Kirk should not be losing every damn fight he gets into. That’s not how he rolls. The fact that this one had his ass handed to him three ways through Tuesday in the various fights just goes to show the people don’t get the character.
All in all shitty remake. Just like the Transformers movie(s), and G.I. Joe.
September 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm
Y’know sorry to speak out again but after thinking about this movie further, i first have to ask, what difference would Kirks father dying do to change all of history, yes i am awar of chaos theories etc but i have a number of issues
a) how would spock know there are cultural similarities with the romulans yet? in the series ,which takes place a decade later, when the romulans faces were seen for the first time let alone if they used a dialect of Vulcan or whatever.
b) this one is a little more minor, but it was obvious in TNG that Cardassians werent discovered until fairly recently, so when Uhura gets a Cardassian something or other at the bar it makes little sense to me
and of course i could probably find many others but the point is made, and well, the only reason i can say that justifies this is that teh latest Star Trek tv series, enterprise, screwed these things up first so i guess the designers were like, “Hey, since the tv show screwed things up why not make a bunch more changes and if they complain blame it on alternate timelines”, cuz the human-vulcan relations and racism was not canonized until enterprize came which from that is where spock is bullied and then where his rage comes from, which i dont ever recall him doing in TOS. But again this is called nit-picking so i guess what im trying to say is that this movie is in fact very flawed but still enjoyable if your new to star trek in general
September 25, 2010 at 2:54 am
i loved the new star trek. hope they let j.j. abrams make more.
September 29, 2010 at 9:15 am
The moment I heard of this movie coming out was the last moment I gave it any consideration. In all honesty, could there ever be a chance of Hollywood doing justice to the source material, let alone care about maintaining continuity with the already-established facts. I, overall, hated the new Star Wars movies when they came out, and I expect this to be, basically, the equivalent; a big, loud, stupid film, aimed at the lowest common denominator. Maybe one day I’ll get around to seeing it just for kicks, but until I become that bored with myself, I’m staying far away.
October 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm
I don’t think I’ve even seen an entire episode of Star Trek before, and from what I have seen I’m not really sure Star Trek in general is my cup of tea (though I proudly own almost all released Stargate DVDs, so maybe I just haven’t given it a fair chance yet). Though I loved this movie and thought it was very entertaining and clever, I think I’d class it at least my top 20 favourite films.
October 13, 2010 at 10:43 am
I was not a massive fan of this movie. I was really excited about it when I went to see it but I found it a big let down.
I think most real hardcore Trek fans will dislike it, most occasional fans will find it ok and people who are not generally a fan of Star Trek will like it.
It has a lot of impressive visuals but has so many issues to pick holes in, even if you consider the very easy and lazy concept that it’s an alternate universe there are still so many thinks that don’t make sense.
The whole concept that the destruction of a single starship can change the whole universe, the fact that a romulan mining ship from 100 years in the future can take on dozens of starships, I mean could a tanker launched in the past few years defeat a world war one era battleship?
I didn’t warm up to any of the characters, I thought that the McCoy immitation was the best of the lot though. I really didn’t like Kirk, he was a really annoying character.
I really hope they don’t make a sequel, I recently bought the Star Trek movies box set but ensured this was not part of it.
October 18, 2010 at 12:29 am
I’m not a hardcore Trekkie, however I do love the series. I have watched the series since I was very young, from TOS to TNG, (I never got into Voyager or DS9 though.), all the films, and even the animated series based on TOS. You know what? Star Trek deals with chaos theory and alternate time lines a lot in the various series, hell in one movie Time Travel was explored. So, why not a reboot of the universe?
Hell, you could even call it an alternate time line if you want. The point is, I found it pretty damned faithful to the original, even though Uhura and Spoc had a thing in the movie but not TOS. Vulcan being destroyed hurt to watch, but you know, it is a credit to the film makers that it pulled at my heart strings like that.
People are always afraid of something different. They always want the same old thing, no deviations. Well, as in life, if you fail to evolve, you stagnate and die. True, new is not always good, often times, it is bad. But I think the only reason people were pissed off at this movie is because changes were made, and they didn’t give any thought to the changes themselves, they just don’t want their precious TOS messed with.
Fair enough, i guess, but there are others out there who love the series who would like to see it grow and not stagnate and die. I think this movie breathed new life into the franchise personally. And with all the avenues of space and time at their disposal, I am sure they can find some way to bring Vulcan back.
November 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm
When I was younger, I was a big fan of TNG as well as all of the movies. While I still enjoy them, Star Trek always had a stigma attached to them and has a developed into a cult following. What they were trying to do with this alternate time line reboot was make it appeal to a mainstream audience. As opposed to techno-babble they just wanted to make it plain-old fun. This of course was epitomized by “Sabotage” and I think they hit their mark. So, I wouldn’t take the new flick too seriously, as it’s just meant to be entertaining, imo….and that it was.
November 18, 2010 at 3:40 am
Nice review, James! I thought this was a decent action flick, but too convoluted/rehashed a plot, gimmicky and slap-stick cartoony to be really enjoyable. The scene when Kirk makes himself sick to get on the Enterprise is cringe inducing among others.
Star Trek 2 and First Contact I think will always remain the best two Trek movies and most accessible to the non-hardcore Trek audiences, but of course that’s debatable and mostly subjective. IMO both movies have a distcint style and feature two of the best Trek villians ever. I always loved the Borg as they brought an unanticipated horror element to the otherwise prestine Next Generation atmosphere and the philosophical discussions between The Queen and Data are amazing, as is Picard’s haunting recollections of the Borg. Oh and the Moby Dick references between Picard and the 21st century chick are total sweetness.
November 18, 2010 at 3:47 am
Also, just to add one other thing…it seems as though the sole purpose of this movie was to create an excuse to make more Star Trek movies which just cheapened the whole expeirence. Why couldn’t they have just used these actors to replace the aging original actors? I don’t think that needed some grand alternate time-line explanation to justify the switch, especially since this movie takes place before even the original Star Trek series. At the end of the movie all I could think was, “Okay, now that they’re done explaining this shit can we finally start a real story?”
November 27, 2010 at 5:30 am
i am not a trekkie but i do enjoy every now and then watching a star trek movie. this one seemed really good i like the actors that played the young versions of the original crew. spock was kinda weird never really saw him as one who would have a love interest. my bigest problem out of the whole movie and to this day still baffles me. They said in the movie the spocks mom is dead/murdered now if memory serves me right she was in the movie the voyage home talking to spock about the choice him and his friends made. now did i miss something or isnt that kinda weird for a preque? any insight would be apperciated.
January 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm
I enjoyed this movie, but I do have a few complaints:
Why the hell does Spock have such strong emotions?
What does that green chick have to do with the story?
What’s red matter?
Why does Old spock mentor Kirk and not Spock?
January 3, 2011 at 12:56 am
This is all I have to say about this movie. Its a good action movie, a decent story, with some nice visuals. But is it star trek? Not in the slightest bit.
January 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm
Personally I found this movie to be very fresh and a great deal of fun. Yeah, Spock seemed a little emotional even for a younger version of himself, but I found this acceptable. Now I can’t say I followed the show all that reliably, I watched maybe the first twenty episodes of the show on Hulu and only saw parts of The Next Generation, and like two of the older movies. But come on and think for a sec:
The old show, especially the OLD show with Kirk instead of Picard, was 90% conversation, either in hallways, the elevator, or around the captain’s chair, watching the projector screen. the last 10% of the shows were action or some form of physical conflict, whether it be someone gets shot, or there’s a fist fight, etc. Now for it’s time, that’s okay. Cinema wasn’t as far as it is now, you couldn’t do a whole lot with the technology. Staging massive space battles was impossible. But if you tried to do something like that nowadays, you know what you’d get? A daytime soap for men. And it would be received with the same amount of enthusiasm that phrase instills. The thing about fans is they don’t look at material objectively. They’re always heavily influenced by nostalgia. As someone who could say they’re not a fan, but do appreciate the franchise, I found this movie to be a fresh move in the right direction for the series. It’s keeping the franchise current.
February 7, 2011 at 4:27 am
I’m not a trekkie fan and all and I’m not dissing any trekkie for that matter (especially mad2physicist) but..
Isn’t this movie supposed to be on a different timeline than that of the original series?? so the creators could have much flexibility in creating this and not be a slave of the original franchise?
So what are these people whining anyway? just curious
March 2, 2011 at 12:40 am
I agree with your view points James , for most of the movie. But I think there was more depth in this movie than there has been in a Trek movie for some time. I think Eric Bana was a pretty good villian (as Nero) and while Spock was pretty emotional and really didn’t garner much control over it , it was still nice to see him in a younger state still learning how to deal with his half human side.
I do think younge Kirk in the beginning driving a classic car off a cliff while listening to Rage was really pointless and didn’t serve to help develop his character at all.
The one thing this movie really has going for it is replay , I’ve watched this movie many times over and each time it holds my attention and feels like a worthy use of my time.
I think you summed it up well James but I think this cast (as they have contracted for 2 more movies) will end up being something worth while. Maybe the first movie was growing pains for them but it serves the prequel idea in the end that there would be moments of contention.
Loved the review though , looking forward to the next Star Trek review in 2012 🙂 (unless we all die because of the asshole Mayan’s).
March 12, 2011 at 12:17 am
I personaly thought this movie was OK, im not a big trek fan, i know some of the story tho. It was for me a generic SciFi Action movie, and at that it was pretty good, i get why old Treks fans would be pissed, but more on that later. The Speciel effects were cool, the story was very SciFish which i liked, i knew most of the Actors, the charcters were ok McCoy was the best by far. The Romance between Spock and Uhura for me was reasonable, i mean they are both smart people they have lots of things in common i dont get whats so wrong with it.
So the Reason why i think people didnt like it= it doesnt have much continuity, but i heard this is on an alterate timeline? for me that good enough. I enjoyed this movie but i enjoy alot of the reboots, i liked Idiana Jones 4 and some others, these movies r never as good as the old ones ( if its cuz i just have too much nostalgia for the old ones or if they are really better i cant tell) but it sometimes brings change and tries to inovate which is cool, and also for me i never thought i was going to whatch some of these movies since im still in my teen years.
PS: The one thing i do have to nit pick is about Jame’s review tho =P, wwwwwhhhaaat Beastie Boys pop? they are hip-hop, rap, but not pop! pop would be if they had put Akon or Usher or BackstreetBoys in there, even if it was considered pop it was like 20 years ago! most people my age (16ish) dont even know who r the Beastie Boys, especially where i live (Brasil) its even worse i have the hardest time explaining thats yes, they are white, and yes they are rapping. Besides if u think about it in the future that song is like 200 years old, its probably very “traditional”, it must be like their classical music =P
March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm
i thought this movie was good..im not a fan of star trek but i have watched some parts of the old episodes and maybe a bit of a movie here and there but this is the only star trek movie ive actually finished watching beginning to end. i watched it in the theaters when it first came out. i loved the effects and i swear R2D2 was int he movie but i dunno.i also thought there was way too much grabbing in the movie. every fight i saw had grabbing. grab here grab there i hated it. w/e good movie.
April 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Like you said,it was okay. Just okay. no depth,very shallow and superficial. Surprised that there was no mention of how jaw droppingly embarrassing Simon Pegg’s Scotty (and ever changing attempt at a Scottish accent was)-really cringeworthy
April 10, 2011 at 12:28 am
well if you wanna know my opinion, i never gave 2 fucks about star trek until i saw this movie, i think it kicked some major ass
as far as action movies go i put it pretty high up on my list with movie like the dark night or terminator (none surpas terminator thought)
entertaining from start to finish (except the scene in the snow) check it out!
9 out of 10 to me
April 15, 2011 at 2:43 am
This review was good AVGN, I’ve become a review for my college newspaper and I’ve taken your techniques into consideration. Anyway this movie was good in the sense that most star trek new fans could get into. Its interesting from a financial and corporation sense that they would release a film like this, boy were they smart. Anyway, not being exactly a “trekkie” i enjoyed this movie more than the latest star wars episodes and gave star trek a chance of nostalgic value.
April 25, 2011 at 3:21 am
Not going to get too in depth here but just want to make a comment on one thing, I don’t watch much,i f any of the show so I may be dead wrong here but in the movie a reason for Spock’s emotional outbursts and the like could be that since he didn’t go through with the ceremony thing or whatever he didn’t become “pure vulcan” and that means he was still able to have emotions.
He just had his planet destroyed, so he had to deal with that on top of having to deal with everything else he had growing up, the teasing and feeling like he didn’t fit in, very human things to go through but since he’s human as well its understandable for him to feel like that.
August 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm
I pretty much agree entirely with your review. The thing that bothered me the most, is since they altered the timeline of the series just for the sake of this movie, they cast Leonard Nimoy in it just to reassure the audience that the new actors are legitimate. “You are James T. Kirk”. “You are Mr. Scott.”
That kind of plot development is cheesier than any original series episode.
Unfortunately this movie owes itself more to Star Wars than it does to Star Trek… which is an aspect of this production which I think has alienated a few hardcore fans.
But… whatever… it’s only a movie… and a pretty entertaining one at that. Most people will forget about it in a couple years anyway, but the Original Series will last for all time.
August 22, 2011 at 8:40 am
It’s my understanding that this Star Trek is supposed to be an alternate timeline.And moreover,I think somebody’s making a video game sequel.
September 11, 2011 at 4:41 am
You actually want to read my comment? Awesome well, i can explain it to you, this movie takes place actually takes place during several other star trek movies, but isn’t an actual prequel, its actually an alternate reality, where spock never died. It feels very “prequelly” but it does takes place in an alternate reality. When young spock meets old spock, young spock is actually transported to the reality where “the search for spock” is actually taking place.
I really did love this movie though, it brought me wonderful feelings of nostalgia and honestly, i was really into the story. So much for what i think.
September 11, 2011 at 4:42 am
wow …. i said actually way to much…
November 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Here’s my take on Kirk being an asshole. Since Kirk wasn’t raised by his father (he died before he was born) he wasn’t instilled with the same morals and values. Kirk’s rebelliousness wasn’t curtailed or rather tempered by his father’s shining example, and thus we get a brash and impulsive asshole Kirk. To me, it made perfect sense and actually worked fairly well.
The Spock/Uhura relationship thing, on the other hand, felt a little weird. Yeah, I get it that Spock is taking after his human side a little more than his vulcan side, but it still felt a little off.
Otherwise, this movie was everything I had hoped for in a remake/prequel. I loved the idea of a shifted timeline. You can view it as a cop out, but I think its very clever in that it avoids being a remake, and the film is able to embrace the new actors and their quirks due to the timeline being different.
Needless to say, I thought the film was great.
November 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm
For my generation, a generation that has only watched a handful of the original television series episodes, this film was a great introduction to the franchise. Personally, I loved this film. Like many others, I am heavily anticipating the sequel that this movie has spawned.
December 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm
I agree with James most of the time but i want to talk about my anger against this movie. The movie is entertaining but in my oppinion it has nothing to do with star trek anymore. I think, the actors were a good choice but their plot is so overdone! The main thing which makes me puke on this movie as a trekkie, is the modern “NEW STYLE” itself and how they brought it on the screen. The most insane and most argued Reason for all the damn new connection between the charakters : “The Timeline changes after timetraveling”. Has no one noticed, that the most reason for modern sequels are: THEY CHANGED THE TIMELINE of the better older series/movies. I mean: it’s the most uncreative idea i ever heared of. What can I do, if i want to create a good damn shitty “modern style movie” based on a real classic one that I want to keep in buisness??? Easy… I’m changing the timeline! The Result: A complete diffrent movie or series which has nothing to do with the original. Fuck on that! If you want to make a diffrent movie, than have balls to rename it and don’t tell us, that this shit has anything to do with our glorious star trek or anything else in the past! At the end it has nothing similar to star trek, so who cares if you call it: Fucking-Space-Suckers with pointy ears. So, shit on modern style! Today, special effects count but i am so bored to say : “UUUh. Look at these explosions! Look, how realistic they are!” Inside a good TNG-Episode, only the plot is important, not all the fucking special effects. That’s it, what star trek is all about! One good plot which makes you think about an ethical question or let you dream about a fantastic situation inside space, with problems between cultures that can be disolved and ofcourse one or two enemies against the good. Then, it is the platform, which couldn’t be better to reflect the problems of our real life and impress any sci-fi interested person. I know… it’s our fault. Nobody is interested in serious films with a touch of humor and fiction anymore. Good damn it! Only Guns and War counts… Then go away and take your bucks inside a movie, which can be called an action, horror or war-movie. Sci-Fi should be dreaming; Sci-Fi should be adventure, Sci-Fi should be a vision of a better world out there that is worth living for and should have many technical shit in it. There are already genres for people, which need chaos, explosions, weapons in diffrent kinds and so on. Gene Roddenberry would turn in his grave if he knew what these bums have done with his heritage. “The first Contact” is ok for its time, but after that it turned into a mess of problems that the star trek universe should have already disolved. Ok. I should make my own review, but no one cares. Good old days… i miss you!
January 17, 2012 at 8:15 am
I really didn’t like the new Star Trek.. It’s now just like the billion of other sci-fi Humanity vs. some alien hell-bent on destruction. boom! boom! pew! pew! flash! bang! – Yeah! We have a movie! I could just as well go and watch any other CGI heavy space flick.
Plus, wtf, product placement?! Oh, so, we didn’t move away from a free market economy? Yeah.. makes sense. Unlimited consumption and growth on a planet with limited resources, in a time when there wasn’t spaceships and replicators. Sure. And, most of all: I knew humanity was FUCKED when he ordered, of any beer available, a BUDWEISER.. at that point, I really wished humanity didn’t survive. For it’s own sake.. 😉
I’m pretty sure that Corvette scene was spawned by the desire to show just how bad-ass Kirk really is, and of course, they had to insert the Nokia ad somewhere…
It’s as if some proponent of capitalism bought it because he thought “I need to take this nazi-fascist socialst nightmare idea and turn it around to show how good capitalism is”. Or something along those lines. It somehow feels as if a women’s right activist goes and prostitutes herself so she could fight prostitution with the money.
Oh.. and the red matter. I was surprised not seeing a product placement for Kraft Ketchup. There were lots of crazy things in Star Trek, but it was somehow always physically viable. But, red matter? What’s that? Why is it red, and why the hell does it have such a density it can create black holes? And why doesn’t it create a black whole while in storage? Arrrrghh… I might go and watch the sequel, just to confirm that this whole franchise has been perverted into a standard exchangeable scifi-pew pew CGI wow!-flick. Surprised Megan “I’m so natural” Fox isn’t in it. If that’s how women aspire to be? Guess I have to go to some christian gay conversion center and ask them how one becomes gay… 😉
But, in reality, I can probably tell you why the movie is like it is:
Movie studies have an aversion for “experiments” and rather go with “proven” money-cow projects: Great CGI, a couple beautiful women, humanity/the whole universe under a threat by some alien(s).
And a Star Trek movie with a Star Trek worthy story? Not a guaranteed money cow, risky, not good chances getting investors on board.
Just take Blair Witch Project as an example. It used the amateur videocamera look that wasn’t really used before. It went on to become a huge success. Now, you’re hardpressed to find any mainstream horror movie that isn’t exploiting the amateur videocamer angle partly, or for the whole movie.
Ah well, anyways, rant over.
January 17, 2012 at 8:36 am
Oh yes, and just to prove my point:
District 9 would have been a better Star Trek movie than Star Trek. Because it takes on a question about ethics and morality. There’s nothing of that in the new Star Trek.
But District 9 was a South African indy-like movie production, and not main stream Hollywood “let’s play it safe”.
And about “But they put it into another timeline”. Yes, they did. It’s the cheapest possible way out to get a blanco-check for doing “everything you fucking like to do”. Take the old proven characters and their bantering everybody knows, put them into a cgi action firework everybody knows is going to work. It’s almost as bad as “Jumper”, where you get the idea some writer bust into the movie studio boss’ bureau with a handkerchief with some scribbling on it: “Boss! Yesterday while getting wasted I had a brilliant idea for a movie! Some guy has the ability to shift anywhere he wants, and he gets hunted by some other guys who are hell bent on destroying him. We can have huge fights with great special effects. And we can even put in a love story with a hot girl. We do have to develop the story though and write some..” -“No, that’s brilliant! Let’s go straight to shooting it!”
February 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm
the whole kirk as a kid scene i think the only purpose of it is cuz spock had a scene as a kid…just to balance it out
March 25, 2012 at 11:59 am
I enjoyed the movie a lot
July 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Bland at the start, good action sequences, okay space battles, but the story itself is lost in translation, especially for the die hard trekky fans who like the techno babble.
November 13, 2012 at 8:01 am
I watched this one when it first came out and I didn’t really remember what it was about until I saw you review it. Even when some clips from the movie started playing I didn’t really recognize them at all, or connect them to any particular scene. All that stuck with me was Kirk having sex with some green woman who later dies, the rest just didn’t make an impression on me.
They should make a Star Trek reboot movie which is just about Elim Garak going around different planets seducing men and women, fucking them in the ass and getting caught up in intrigue.
March 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm
Maybe it’s me, but I thought the newer Star Trek was… flat out bad. The flaws were to glaring to ignore, pointless and baffling scenes, and a complete 180 to my favorite Si-Fi series ever … 4.5/10 But I’ll give it props for doing some things right.
August 13, 2013 at 11:55 am
As an also casual fan of Star Trek I generally enjoyed the film, it’s definitely entertaining. My only issue with it is, as pointed out, the scenes that aren’t really necessary or don’t quite go anywhere, such as the car-chase.
My main gripe was that I really hated the new engine room; everywhere else on the ship is shiny and high-tech, but the engine room is just any power-plant, chemical works or similar building you could visit today. I could understand wanting to make things appear a bit more practical, but they could have done that by borrowing a bit more from the later series that show off maintenance tubes etc. in more detail. The scene where Scotty arrives in the cooling pipes doesn’t really serve any purpose. Likewise the romance with Uhura is only confusing and doesn’t add anything.
The other issue is that the film is TOO cheesy; there are tons of cringe-worthy one-liners and quips that don’t serve any purpose. I don’t mind a character making light of a situation, but when the stakes are high they really need to take things more seriously at SOME point. Things like Kirk’s swelling hands and other slap-stick moments just don’t really do anything for the plot, so on the whole it ends up feeling very unfocused. I mean, in the original films Kirk is very cavalier, but he isn’t exactly cracking wise all the time, in Star Trek 11 it gets a bit grating, especially if you watch the film again.
It is overall a great addition to the series though, with excellent special effects. Into Darkness meanwhile is a huge mess that plays out like a spoof from start to finish. Still entertaining but a film shouldn’t be making you think “Really?” and “Why?” the entire time.
September 22, 2014 at 11:37 am
for me it was awesome
February 28, 2015 at 4:21 am
i’m not a star trek fan either as i watched the series and wrath,but the movie got me pumped and quinto kicked ass playing spock.
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