Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek is a 2009 continuity reboot of the Star Trek franchise. It is the eleventh Star Trek film overall, and the first of three reboot films.
In the year 2233, a huge Romulan starship called the Narada emerges from a time warp and destroys the USS Kelvin, with the first officer of the Kelvin, George Kirk sacrificing his life in order to allow his wife and newborn son, James, to escape with their lives. Two decades later, James Kirk is persuaded to join Starfleet by Captain Christopher Pike, and Kirk's cheating on the supposedly unbeatable Kobayashi Maru simulation brings him into conflict with the simulation's designer, Lt. Spock. Before Kirk can be punished, the Narada suddenly attacks Spock's homeworld of Vulcan, with the ship's commander, Nero intending to wipe out the entire Federation in revenge for allowing the Romulan Empire to be destroyed 130 years in the future. Kirk and his academy class are therefore pressed into action aboard the newly-launched USS Enterprise in order to stop Nero.
Why It Rocks
- Possibly the first film reboot not to try to overwrite the previous entries in the series, with a line of dialogue establishing that this movie takes place in a parallel universe to all the previous Star Trek films and shows.
- Leonard Nimoy's returning as Spock not only ties this to the original series and films, but is a way more effective "passing the torch" moment than Kirk's appearance in Star Trek: Generations.
- Cuts down on the moralizing and sci-fi cliches that the TNG movies and late 90s/early 00s Star Trek shows tended to suffer from, instead focusing on action and character development.
- All of the main cast members are very well-suited to their roles, especially Zachary Quinto as Spock.
- Brings back Christopher Pike, who had last been seen in the TOS two-parter "The Menagerie", giving him a pretty significant role and paving the way for Pike's return as a regular character in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery.
- Lots of great bits of humor, particularly involving McCoy and Scotty.
- The special effects are much better than in any previous Star Trek film, due to the higher budget and advances in technology.
- "I like this ship, It's exciting!"
- Great make-up effects on the aliens, which won the franchise's first Oscar.
- Sulu's getting to use a sword during one action sequence is not only a neat call-back to the TOS episode "The Naked Time", but actually allows him to really kick some butt instead of just drunkenly waving a sword around.
- Shocking and tragic twist when the Enterprise crew completely fail to stop Nero's attack on Vulcan, resulting in him imploding the planet into a black hole, wiping out almost the entire Vulcan race, and killing Spock's mother.
- Great action sequences, especially Kirk and Sulu's fight with Romulan crewmembers aboard the Narada drill platform, and then Kirk and Spock boarding the ship itself to rescue Captain Pike and destroy the black hole device.
- Satisfying end for Nero, who tries to goad Kirk into destroying the crippled Narada, only for Kirk to take him up on the offer and blast the ship to pieces.
- Without this film, Star Trek would've been a dead franchise.
- Nero is a pretty generic villain, due to most of his backstory being relegated to the tie-in comic Star Trek: Countdown.
- Kirk spends most of the film acting like a complete douchebag. While this is mainly intended to show how much Nero has screwed up history by killing his father, it can make Kirk seem really insufferable at times, especially during the Starfleet Academy sequences.
- Some unlikeable characters like the Vulcan bullies of Spock, who are just poor representations of what Vulcans act and only harrassed Spock for having his traitorous Vulcan father marry her human mother who is a whore.
- The story tends to rely on massive coincidences in order to work. Kirk gets dumped on a frozen planet by this timeline's version of Spock, and lands within walking distance of a cave where the original timeline's Spock is hiding out. What's more, this cave is itself within walking distance of a base where this timeline's Scotty is working.
- Yet again, Uhura doesn't get much to do, which is really glaring considering that Zoe Saldana has third-billing.
- The ending is kinda silly, with Kirk being promoted all the way from cadet to captain of the Enterprise.
- As with many early J.J. Abrams works, there is excessive lens flare all over the place. Which can be very annoying.
- The plot feels too similar to A New Hope. But did it very differently.
Star Trek was acclaimed by film critics, audiences and fans alike. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it received 94% approval with an average rating of 8.1/10 (the highest scored Star Trek film), based on 343 reviews, with the consensus: "Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.". Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, gave the film an 82 out of 100 based on 46 reviews from critics.