J.J. Abrams' 2009 feature film was billed as "not your father's Star Trek
," but your father will probably love it anyway. And what's not to love? It has enough action, emotional impact, humor, and sheer fun for any moviegoer, and Trekkers will enjoy plenty of insider references and a cast that seems ideally suited to portray the characters we know they'll become later. Both a prequel and a reboot, Star Trek
introduces us to James T. Kirk (Chris Pine of The Princess Diaries 2
), a sharp but aimless young man who's prodded by a Starfleet captain, Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), to enlist and make a difference. At the Academy, Kirk runs afoul of a Vulcan commander named Spock (Zachary Quinto of Heroes
), but their conflict has to take a back seat when Starfleet, including its new ship, the Enterprise
, has to answer an emergency call from Vulcan. What follows is a stirring tale of genocide and revenge launched by a Romulan (Eric Bana) with a particular interest in Spock, and we get to see the familiar crew come together, including McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekhov (Anton Yelchin), and Scottie (Simon Pegg).
The action and visuals make for a spectacular Big-Screen Movie, though the plot by Abrams and his writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who worked together on Transformers and with Abrams on Alias and Mission Impossible III), and his producers (fellow Losties Damon Lindeloff and Bryan Burk) can be a bit of a mind-bender (no surprise there for Lost fans). Hardcore fans with a bone to pick may find faults, but resistance is futile when you can watch Kirk take on the Kobayashi Maru scenario or hear McCoy bark, "Damnit, man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!" An appearance by Leonard Nimoy and hearing the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry as the voice of the computer simply sweeten the pot. Now comes the hard part: waiting for some sequels to this terrific prequel. --David Horiuchi