Monday, May 11, 2009

Live long and prosper

My advice: go see Star Trek immediately! It embodies everything you want to see in a film – action, romance and suspense. The TV show Star Trek was before my time, so I went into the film completely oblivious, but I left the theater feeling like a Trekkie. Director J.J. Abrams did a phenomenal job of taking us back to the beginning days of the Federation and USS Enterprise.

The film begins with the Federation starship USS Kelvin investigating a “lightning storm” in space that turns out to be a black hole. From the hole emerges the Romulan’s scary ship with Captain Nero on board (a particularly evil-looking Eric Bana). When the Kelvin’s captain goes aboard the Romulan ship, First Officer George Kirk becomes captain. He ends up evacuating the ship, including his pregnant wife, but unfortunately sacrifices himself to save the others. His son James T. Kirk is born on their way back to Earth.

Twenty-two years later in Iowa, Kirk has grown up (the adorable Chris Pine) to be somewhat of a troublemaker with no clear direction to his life. He meets Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) at a bar where he convinces him to enlist in Starfleet Academy. Kirk is suspended after cheating on a test designed by Spock (Zachary Quinto). When a signal emitted from Vulcan arises, Kirk is sneaked onto the USS Enterprise by his doctor friend Bones (Karl Urban).

Kirk gets word that they’re investigating a lightning storm – like his father encountered – and he realizes that it’s a trap. After Captain Pike goes aboard the Romulan ship, Spock is made captain. The Romulans drilled a hole to the core of Vulcan to destroy the planet. Six billion Vulcans die including Spock’s mother (Winona Ryder). After the loss of Spock’s mother and planet, he’s emotionally compromised and must relinquish his title to his first officer Kirk. Now the Romulans are planning to destroy Earth, and the Enterprise must save it.

I was crushing on Spock. Since he’s half-human, half-Vulcan, he’s always struggled with his identity so you sympathize with him. Vulcans prefer logic over emotions, but he’s in love with one of his students, Uhura, a human like his mother.

All of the other beloved characters appear in the film including Scotty (played by the hilarious Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho) and Checkov (Anton Yelchin). The original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, makes a cameo that drew cheers from the audience as Spock from the future.

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