I am a lifelong fan of Star Trek. I love the television shows, I love the films, and I love the books. Of all the various versions of the show, my favorite is the original series from the late 1960s. I was born in 1971, so I was first exposed to Kirk, Spock and McCoy many years after they first appeared; however, it meant that I did not have to suffer the awful wilderness years that came before the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I thought Kirk was cool. I thought Spock was... well... logical. And the USS Enterprise was the most beautiful spaceship in all of science fiction. It was, therefore, with no small amount of trepidation that I took my wife (also a fan) to see the new Star Trek film from J. J. Abrams.
I was not to be disappointed. In my personal opinion, this is the best Trek movie since 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The director and cast completely captured the essence of what Trek is all about, with spectacular action and special effects not detracting at all from deep character development and thoughtful storytelling. More crucially, however, is the fact that J. J. Abrams has crafted an origin story that fits in with Trek of old, yet provides a fresh and exciting platform on which to rebuild the great franchise.
With a new, yet instantly-identifiable USS Enterprise and a solid cast that refreshes, yet remains respectful to the original characters, Star Trek seems poised to warp into a successful future. Box office receipts, while disappointing outside the US market, have been satisfying and comparable with other “rebooted” franchises.
I was particularly impressed with the performances of Chris Pine (as Kirk) and Karl Urban (as McCoy), but all the main cast were truly superb in their roles and Zoe Saldaña expanded the role of Uhura in an interesting new direction. The few niggling criticisms I have of the film, mostly concerning holes in the plot, are really of no consequence and can be largely passed off as artistic choices. This must have been an extremely difficult movie to make, particularly with such a large, canon-obsessed fan base; however, it ticked all the boxes of this Trek fan and I cannot wait for the next one.