WARNING: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
I was terribly nervous as I sat down to watch this film. J.J. Abrams really had to fulfill a myriad of MY expectations along with everyone else’s. As, I am a devoted fan of the original series-- mainly because of DeForest Kelley as Bones-- I wondered what was the point of coming out with a new film besides making Paramount a boatload of money. I figured that nobody could fill any of the original actor's shoes. I wasn't expecting much.I was pleasantly surprised. I was astounded actually.
Yes. Yes. There have been a multitude of spoilers online and in the printed press complaining about this plot detail or that, but I really urge you to take no notice of those complaints and just enjoy this film on it‘s own merits. In fact don't even read this review till you've seen it and and decide whether or not you agree with me. BTW: to the newspapers (especially the Los Angeles Times): thanks for NOT warning people about your spoilers. Not everyone has seen the film at this point, many reviews are excitedly blabbing all and ruining it for people. I went into the film absolutely blind to all the details and it was all the better that way.
Watching this film made me feel as if I was watching a TV episode, I mean that in a good way. I really do. It took me all of 5 minutes to get used to the new kids playing the parts. The outstanding kids of the bunch are:
John Cho as Mr. Sulu. Mr. Sulu really gets some nice fight moves and has a lot to do in this. I was glad to see him really shine.
Karl Urban as Bones McCoy is probably the most eerie of the bunch. Not only does he resemble the original Bones, but he SOUNDS almost exactly like DeForest Kelley. He's got the bitterness of a newly divorced young man with the fear of technology that we know and love, the caring of the physician we're used to, plus an affinity for the booze. (according to J.J. Abrams, Bones has a drinking problem). Dr. McCoy, as is required by law (somewhere it's written) of course, gets the funniest lines in the thing. And yes, what would a ST movie be without all the Dr. McCoy catch phrases?
Zachary Quinto is a also good immature Mr. Spock--Slightly haughty and very inexperienced. While Quinto needs some time to settle into the role as Spock, in this first film I was happy to see him injecting his own into this part. Spock has some funny lines in this, interacts well or rather clashes with Kirk and also has a funny scene with Dr. McCoy.
Of course the best performance of the film comes from Leonard Nimoy. He is back in all his glory as the older Spock and seeing him on the screen made me...shall I say, emotional. He's got that Spock twinkle in his eyes. Mr. Nimoy's performance is simply magical. And he looks absolutely adorable, too.
The Wrath of Kahn is referenced quite a lot in this film in various places and we get to witness something Kirk was infamous for.
Nero the villain is probably the best of the Star Trek heavies in the franchise save for Khan in Star Trek II. Eric Bana brings some new things to the art of villainy and I really enjoyed it.
Although I rave about the film, it did bother me in some areas. Firstly the relationship between Uhura and Spock irritated me. Also, two characters kissing in the transporter room. Come on. Officers, even young officers, on a starship would simply not do that.
Some canon details were simply ignored. As this film is considered an AU it is a convenient excuse to explain all that away. I did NOT like the bridge set. it seems a little too 'white' to me, like it was designed by Apple. In fact in an early scene, young Kirk uses something that seems basically a glorified Iphone.
Scotty is enjoyable although there are some attempted comedic moments involved in his scenes that were cringeworthy. Too Star-Warsy for my liking, but what do you expect from Abrams the StarWars nerd.
I also am in a disagreement with alot of people as I wasn't that enamored with Chris Pine's performance as Kirk. He simply does not have the magnetism as William Shatner did. I feel that any young actor could have portrayed this and done just as adequate as a job as Pine. But he is passable.
And…where the hell was Nurse Chapel??? Or Yeoman Rand? Have we forgotten about them already?
I think my favorite part of the film was the ending. It was done very well. There is a terribly tragedy that occurs in this film and I was overjoyed to see that not everything was all tidily wrapped up. In a way this also references STII:TWOK.
Plus our favorite TV theme song is featured. Of course the door was left open for the sequel, and of course I am looking forward to the next one.