It’s official, JJ Abrams is the coolest franchise rebooter in Hollywood. First he takes the stale Mission Impossible films and revitalizes them with one of the greatest action films in recent memory (MI:III), and now, with Star Trek he has resuscitated a franchise that seemed light years from its original allure.
Outside of Abrams fresh perspective, Star Trek is made up of a talented cast of young, virtually unknown actors. Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk both capture the adventurous edge of the characters youthfulness. Following the characters as fresh graduates of Starfleet Academy, the film evolves into what at first instinct seemed a pretty ordinary, generic sci-fi plotline-Macabre space villain seeks revenge for his planets destruction. Soon however, the plot takes some pleasantly surprising, plausibly thought out turns that set it apart from the more recent Space Operas to have come out this past decade. Abrams even employs the founder, Leonard Nimoy to reprise his role as the much older Spock.
While I would have liked to have seen more (make that any) of the Starfleet Academy training, sadly it took a backseat to the complexities of the films core plotline. What really drives this film however is the complexities of its characters. The chemistry between the young crew is nothing short of honest and real. I found Simon Pegg as Scotty to be such a spot-on, entertaining portrayal that I would love to see a spin-off film based solely on the exploits of his character, and I‘m not really a fan of spin-offs. The special effects in the film are breathtaking, perhaps the best of all the Star Trek films, but Abrams take is nothing if not for the complexly human (and Vulcan) script by longtime Abrams collaborators (and Lost writers) Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. All in all, Abrams Star Trek is an enterprising rehashing that I hope produces one or two more films in the future, but only if the cast, crew and writers carry over with them.