Movie Trailer Review: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek SpockIf you went ye old theatre house this weekend to see Quantum of Solace (looking at a $75 million weekend… what did I say, box office experts???), then you’ve probably seen the exciting new movie trailer for the upcoming J.J. Abrams sci-fi film Star Trek. Supposedly, the trailer is based some little known TV and movie series that started a few decade ago. I don’t know what much about it, but the movie looks pretty damn good.

It starts off a tad weak, looking like a new trailer for Fast and Furious as someone races across the desert – toward a massive cliff – in an apparent chase. At the last second, the car swerves and the driver is thrown from it; as the car plummets over the side, the driver – a boy – manages to scramble to safety, his legs dangling over the precipice. His pursuer asks his name, and the boy stands up defiantly and blurts out, a little too loudly, “James Tiberius Kirk.” Oh shit, it’s the Star Trek trailer!

These kind of intro scenes, featuring a boy version of a known character, can be at times jarring. Especially spliced and diced for the trailer, hence taken out of context, the scene comes in as a little underwhelming, mainly due to the forced announcement of the character’s name. Minor details, though.

We are immediately thrust into a series of montages – in other words, the trailer is more an extended teaser than anything else – of Kirk and Spock pre-Enterprise days, and at the building of the Enterprise. Then comes the action, and there’s lots of it: creepy looking villains, space battles, giant monsters and more. This is clearly going to be a darker Star Trek, and J.J. Abrams has taken it a little closer to the Star Wars world in terms of action, which is good as that, in my opinion, has always been an argument against the Trek franchise (you look at Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Wars, which essentially came out around the same time, and you tell me that one doesn’t have action sequences that are 20 years beyond the other). There’s also a little more emphasis on sex and sexuality in the trailer, which adds a bit of spice to it all.

At the same time, there are plenty of items to ensure Trekkies that the world isn’t completely being f**ked up; the sounds, the spacecraft and, hell, even Zachary Quinto as Spock look like they were pulled from the old series, only improved. The big question mark will be how the rather odd cast – namely Chris Pine – holds up to the rabid comparisons that are sure to follow. That may be make or break for the Trekkies.

This trailer, which really is just a long teaser, does a good job of setting the stage, giving us a bit of footage and a feel for the action, and making Star Trek, perhaps for the first time in several decades, appeal to broader audiences. It isn’t perfect, and I don’t think it has that “blow ’em away” feel that I was hoping for, but it’s a great first step.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movie Trailers
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