Monday, April 20, 2009

'STAR TREK' Takes Bold Leap Into New Film Frontier

We're just under two weeks from the start of the summer movie season, and I can already tell you one sure-fire blockbuster:

"Star Trek."

I saw the film Monday night along with a small group of journalists in Midtown Manhattan, and while I can't do a detailed review right now (because the suits at Paramount would have several farm animals if I did), I can say that J.J. Abrams has done masterful work reinvigorating Gene Roddenberry's iconic franchise.

The casting of the major characters, especially Chris Pine as young, hotheaded James T. Kirk, and Zach Quinto as Spock, is dead-on. The only one who I wasn't sure of was Karl Urban as Bones McCoy, and even he won me over by the end. And Simon Pegg as Mr. Scott...well, he enlivens the picture as only Pegg can.

Eric Bana is ferocious as Nero, the Romulan driven mad by revenge and looking to make the entire Federation pay.

No plot spoilers here, just know that certain staples of Abrams storytelling will seem familiar to "Alias" and "Lost" fans in due time.

More Along with writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the team behind "Transformers" and the upcoming sequel), Abrams has crafted a film that not only tips the hat many times to TOS fans (The Original Series) but also welcomes non-Trekkies with open arms into an action-packed, and often very funny thrill ride. It also sets the stage for a series of fresh adventures with the classic characters who first made Trek a worldwide legend.

It's not "Wrath of Khan" good -- after all, who could ever top two titans of scenery chewing like Shatner & Montalban? -- but "Star Trek" is exactly the kind of kick in the shorts sci-fi's warhorse property needed.

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