Being born in 1982 the hype about Star Trek somehow passed me by. The original series aired back in 1966 and since then the TV show/media franchise has given birth to 6 follow up series, 10 feature films and theme park ride in Las Vegas. Star Trek makes movie number 11 and is directed JJ Abrams, the man behind M:I:II, Lost and Cloverfield.
The film takes the story right back to the beginning and sees Spock, Kirk and friends about to embark on their first mission. After reluctantly signing up to the Starfleet Academy, the egotistical and arrogant James T Kirk (Pine) is keen to get onboard the maiden voyage of USS Enterprise. However his tutor Spock (Quinto), who is half Vulcan and half human, would prefer him to stay on the ground but not being used to letting things get in his way, he finds a route on board. Also on board the ship is the intelligent and beautiful Uhura (Saldana) who Kirk has had his eye on from the very beginning. Soon after the ship enters space they are attacked by Captain Nero who takes Captain Pike hostage in return for information to enable him to wipe put earth. Being left onboard without a leader Kirk must take the reins and work with the rest of the crew to save not only their captain, but everyone on earth.
The film was intended to be for new fans as well as die hard Trekkies and director JJ Abram has done a brilliant job at making this film accessible. While there are are a few jokes that only fans of the series will understand the overall story will appeal to anyone who likes a good action movie and the film is full of action-packed scenes which are further brought to life by the IMAX screen. My particular favourite is the opening sequence when Kirk’s father must sacrifice himself to save the lives of 800 of his crew.
The film is cast perfectly and Pine and Quinto (who had incredibly large shoes to fill after Williams Shatner and Leonard Nimoy made Spock and Kirk famous) do excellent jobs in the leads. Zoe Saldana also impresses as Uhura who character was the first African American female in a long running TV show back when the film was screened in 1966. But the star of the show has to be Anton Yelchin who is sheer utter brilliance as the Russian Officer Pavel Chekov. He provides much of the films comic relief and the talented young actor gets the Russian accent flawlessly.
Star Trek is one of the first to come in a long line of blockbusters set to hit cinemas this summer and the fantastic reboot to the well loved series sets things off nicely. With actions sequences that keep you fixed to the screen and a script that is both engaging and true to the original, this spot-on prequel will but a hit with both old fans while winning new ones.
The BFI IMAX is at South Bank, London SE1. Nearest tube is Waterloo. Tickets can be bought in advance from the ticket desk or by telephone on 0870 787 2525 or online from www.bfi.org.uk/imax.
Ticket prices: Adults £13.50, Concessions £9.75, Children (14 and under) £8.75.
Tickets are on sale now.
Star Trek: The IMAX Experience (12a)
Director: JJ Abrams
Release Date: 8th May 2009
Cast included: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin and Tyler Perry
Review by Karla Williams