Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Better than Average
|Teens, Adults, Family
|Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Drama, Adaptation, Sequel
|2 hr. 6 min
|Year of Release:
May 8, 2009 (wide—3,500 theaters)
DVD: November 17, 2009
Anger in the Bible
REVENGE—Love replaces hatred—former israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace is possible-but only with Jesus
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
Chris Pine … Kirk
Zachary Quinto … Spock
Leonard Nimoy … Spock Prime
Eric Bana … Nero
Bruce Greenwood … Pike
Karl Urban … Bones
Zoë Saldana … Uhura
Simon Pegg … Scotty
John Cho … Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin … Chekov
Ben Cross … Sarek
Winona Ryder … Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth … George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison … Winona Kirk
Rachel Nichols … Gaila
See all »
|Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, David Witz
|Paramount Pictures Corporation, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS
I have a friend who is the ultimate Star Trek freak… a tried and true Trekker who dismisses this new movie as not in the true cannon and will never go see it. I say, his loss, for the second time around is sweeter, as Sinatra croons, like a friendly home the second time you call… through your communicator.
STAR TREK is delicious Trek ‘verse eye candy mixed with the thrills only current CGI technology can give us. Add to the mix, director J.J. Abrams who isn’t ‘lost’ on how to get the story we all know and love into the next couple centuries without harming the back story, and writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) who have spared no detail on each one of our beloved characters. Toss in a perfectly chosen cast (even though some people went “huh?” at some of the choices, at first) who have nailed the gestures and inflections of some of the most beloved and well studied characters of all time, with solid, believable performances. Put it all together and you’ll find STAR TREK XI adds up to a euphoric satisfaction not unlike a long cold bowl of bottomless rich chocolate ice cream.
From the dazzling opening battle that takes place in a cosmic lightning storm, the day James T. Kirk is born as his father George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) sacrifices his life and his ship, The USS Kelvin, to save not only infant James and his mother, but 800 lives, to the closing finale with The USS Enterprise and it’s new young crew blasting off into parts of space unknown, this movie is a thrill a second ride. Not a foot of film is wasted on monotony, although the script borrows well known ideas from the original stories, this Star Trek (say it with me, folks: “Space Opera”) picks them up, polishes them off and sets them out on a new silver platter for us to enjoy. From die hard fans to newbies entering the Star Trek universe for the first time, this eleventh installment has got something for all to experience and relish.
No Star Trek film would be complete without the introduction of a new and sinister villain, and the character of Nero (Eric Bana), a demented Romulan leader with a score to settle with The Federation, is a guy you wouldn’t want to come up against in the dark black holes of outer space. He is the epitome of vicious degraded revenge, with a ship sporting technology which carries the ability to destroy not just starships, but whole worlds and all life on them.
After showing his intent and prowess using Vulcan as his example, Nero proves he is not a force to ignore. His lust for revenge not only spans the universe, but is capable of reaching back across time 125 years, zeroing in on a young Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the green crew members of the newly commissioned Enterprise NCC 1701, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood).
The most reluctant recruit, is a very punk, very brash, very defiant James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), who, although shows great promise, has no use for the word authority and learns most of his life lessons the hard way. Pike sees in him the pluck, determination, and ability to think fast in the face of adversity, that he once saw in his heroic father. He calls Kirk out, informs him he’s meant to do something special and challenges him to do better than wasting his talents on bar fights and a dead end life.
Changing his life, and the universe forever, James Kirk takes Pike up on the challenge and graduates Starfleet, although on rocky grounds because of a little incident now known in Trek lore as the Kobayashi maneuver, setting the stage for his introduction to the friends he will have for the rest of his life.
On the parallel to James Kirk, Spock’s history is shown as organized, intelligent, and controlled, except for the little glitch about his Vulcan father, Serak (Ben Cross) who married, of all species in the universe, a human woman, Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder). Spock is shown as having to fight that stigma his entire life, emotionally as well as physically. Upon meeting up with Kirk, their pairing is nothing short of a nuclear war waiting to happen.
Rounding out James T. Kirk’s delightfully fated acquaintances, is the bright and beautiful Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) who has a perfect command over sub space communications and inter species languages. A blunt, corrosive, but loveable in an irritating sort of way Doctor by the name of Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban). No spoilers here, but we do find out how he got the nick name “bones.” One heck of a starship navigator, as well as a sword wielding marshal arts fighter, in Hikaru Sulu (John Cho).
A seventeen year old genius with the thickest Russian accent in Starfleet, Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin). And, found on a planet best never visited, Delta Vega, a diamond in the rough and a guy who can get any ship to purr under his hand, one Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg).
Not that there is nothing to consider for the Christian movie goer, as the PG-13 rating is appropriate. There is a scene where Kirk is shown in bed with a green skinned Orion girl, and in the same scene Uhura is shown in her underwear, although nothing blatantly sexual is shown, it will make the statement that Kirk is indulging in pre-marital sex, so Christian parents be prepared to answer some questions. There are several occurrences of foul language such as a**, bull-sh*t, G*dDa**, and a statement made in a bar referring to farm boys having sex with farm animals, which any Christian will find offensive.
Speaking of bars, people are shown drunk, drinking and as with any action movie, there is fighting, explosions, torture and blood in small to heavy doses.
Some action sequences are extremely realistic and could prove disturbing to very young viewers, so my advice is for parents to consider this, along with the information as to language and adult situations depicted in STAR TREK XI, before taking any child younger than the rating cautions.
There is much to be said of Gene Roddenberry’s original concept about our social and moral structures in the real world. These days, perhaps even more than in the turbulent 60’s when Star Trek was first a glimmer in Gene’s mind, we need a grounded source as an example for moral and character building representations from show business. So many young people, today, more than any other time in the past, because information and entertainment is so prevalent along with our dependence on technologies such as cell phones, blueberries, iPods and computers, use entertainment and those figures who entertain them, as role models. Keeping that view, STAR TREK XI is a glimmer of hope on the summer blockbuster scene. No other films out to date this summer convey the positive aspects of honor, sacrifice, love, integrity and the concept that revenge is a poison, that ultimate corruption corrupts ultimately, as straightforwardly as STAR TREK XI.
That one unchanged aspect of Star Trek has always been the beacon that keeps it alive in the hearts and minds of its followers. Hope. A hope that in the world of our future, even in the face of adversity, bigotry, and political injustice, there will be a final resting place for integrity, compassion, honesty and true justice. That hope will keep us alive and our universe, no matter how far it may extend, to thrive.
These beautiful concepts are only underscored by the Christian. Put into practice, Jesus’ commands to love thy neighbor, honor mother and father and those in authority, keep oneself pure until marriage, sacrifice for a friend, give to the poor and share with others no matter whom they may be, is the basic reason Christians are drawn to the Trek ‘verse. Although Trek, even as honorable as it’s motives have always been, is not perfect, it is a reassuring knowledge that Jesus was, and although his flesh and blood body is no longer with us, His spirit, The Spirit of God Himself, lives on in us. That He Lives.
As a Trekker myself and writer of science fiction which includes the Star Trek universe, I find this new STAR TREK and it’s concept a brilliant springboard for many new voyages (and good news, Trekkers, they are already working on the script for the sequel). Just the sight of the ship as the younger versions of my beloved TOS characters see her for the first time, brought a lump to my throat and a quickening to my heart. The breathtaking soundtrack will definitely be on my personal Mother’s-Day-present-to-get-list too.
“There are those who’d bet
Love comes but once—and yet
I’m oh so glad we met
The second time around…”
I could almost hear Frank Sinatra as I left the theater in a state of euphoria…
I can’t help but mention in closing a gem of a review I found in The Washington Post by Ann Homeday, titled “A Heavenly Enterprise.” Although I have no doubt she was joking about offering a prayer of thanks to God that Star Trek stayed with the original core concepts, her review posted as a prayer actually was thanking God for all the right reasons. Thanks Ann, you thought you were being clever, but you were actually doing STAR TREK a great service. Thanks also to J.J. Abrams for not caving into the dark, depressing, comic book hero movies, and giving us characters and a story built on what’s truly important, as well as an inspiration to every age. So…
Friends found, stage set, battle ensues and you are there! With Pike held hostage by Nero, Spock as acting Captain and Kirk banished from the ship, the story is full of action, tension and intrigue, while still getting us to believe in faith, sacrifice, honor and love. It takes two hours to tell this story, yet, even at that, when the ending credits flash across the screen you’ll find yourself wanting more!
Me too, so I’m off to the IMAX Experience tonight!
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.