Star Trek (2009)
Plot Summary: An attack of a Romulan spaceship forces the USS Enterprise onto its maiden voyage, along with a bunch of rookie cadets on their first mission.
Reason for the Rating: For sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content
A black squid-like starship hangs in space, lying in wait for Spock’s ship and to destroy planet Vulcan. Instead, it catches a US Starfleet ship and kills James T. Kirk’s father, at the very moment the future Captain Kirk is born.
And so, in the very first scene, director J.J. Abrams begins unraveling and rewriting Star Trek history. Kirk grows up without a father and lawless until, after a bar brawl one night, a Starfleet captain spots him and convinces him that there could be more to his life. He enters the Academy, along with Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Trekkies are treated to the first meetings and beginnings of relationships between those who will become the first crew of the Enterprise. But when a Romulan ship is found in attack mode, the crew and ship are forced out early on their first mission.
Star Trek is a fast and full movie, but instead of those cheesy aliens fights you remember, it’s packed with excellent effects. But it’s not just an action movie, it also has its sprinkling of drama and comedy. The minor characters of Checkov (Anton Yelchin) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) add humor while nodding to old favorite lines. Chris Pine does a swaggering, posing, and convincing young Kirk. And Zachary Quinto looks the part of Spock while exploring how to make Spock a believable young man torn between logic and his more human side.
Some stalwart Trekkies (or Trekkers) might find exception with the liberties and revisionings Abrams takes with the history of the franchise. For example, a certain love entanglement of Spock’s, and the complete rewriting of Kirk’s early years. Rather than seeing the background and beginnings they may have been hoping for, they get an alternate reality. But the actors who have such big expectations to fill do a fine job of convincing you they are indeed an alternate Spock and Captain Kirk and McCoy, and making you want to believe in them. But even for the uninitiated movie-goer who has no expectations to fill, it’s just a great ride with a fast but cohesive plot, good characters, and plenty of drama and comic relief.
Whether or not you own Star Trek pajamas, this is a fun and engaging movie that any movie-goer can love.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Who do you relate to more—Spock, whose hero is logic, or Kirk, who follows his gut and passion?
• What do you think you would have done if you were put in Kirk’s father’s place in the beginning of the movie?
• What affect do you think losing his father had on Kirk and losing his mother will have on Spock?
Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios.