About 20 years ago, the ship on which the father of James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) served, was attacked by some unknown but powerful Romulan mining ship from the future on a mission of revenge for their destroyed homeworld. Sacrificing his life, he led the ship into the battle and helped his fellow crew members escape, including his pregnant wife, who delivered their son a few moments before the father died. Now Kirk is a young man looking for trouble. His latest brawl with some Starfleet cadets draws the attention of Captain Pike onto him. He persuades Kirk to join Starfleet. In his third year at the academy, shortly after cheating in the Kobayashi Maru test, planet Vulcan is under attack. And since all of the fleet is far away, the cadets are sent out with new ships to help out. Being delayed on the way, the Enterprise with Kirk (and about all known TOS characters) on board arrives late at Vulcan, only to find all other ships destroyed by the same Romulan mining ship, that destroyed the ship of Kirk’s father. And not only that. Using a huge energy drill and red matter, and despite all efforts of the Enterprise, they manage to destroy Vulcan. Meanwhile, Half-Vulcan Half-Human Spock (Zachary Quinto / Leonard Nimoy) has to find his path between Starfleet, heritage, emotions and his lover Uhura. Now the Romulans are setting course for earth.
If this sound’s a bit strange to you, that’s okay. You’re in good company. “A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.” So they say. In fact, with this movie they throw over several facts that already exist due other movies and the series. Sometimes it makes you wonder if J.J. Abrams was just fast-forwarding through some Star Trek DVDs, picking up a few ideas, but since he didn’t understand them, turned them into something different. (And I’m not talking about the fact that new shows of the elder stuff look more enhanced. That’s strange, but okay, since today’s stuff looks even better than in TOS.) Of course, some things can be explained by the time travel stuff, but some other stuff just makes you think “someone” pulled the ideas out of a monkey’s rectum. Overall they try to explain that all this fits well into the established timeline, but let’s just stick to “no”. And with a chronicle of the early days of some characters, you would expect some character development. But actually they just throw the bunch together, give them one or two signature lines and that’s it. Quite shallow. Even Kirk is far from having an interesting development. The acting itself could be generally better. Another thing are the settings. While the bridge, the transporter room and the hallways are well made, most of the lower decks, where the infrastructure like the engine room resides, are just shots made in huge factories and storages. I.e. they all look like a big waste of space and far from being a realistic starship interior, especially in the clean Star Trek universe. This makes the settings inconsistent and unrealistic. The special effects are good, as expected, and the space combats look more interesting and dynamic than most others of the Star Trek franchise. There are some fun scenes as well, so overall I did somewhat enjoy the flick. I don’t mind changes to a certain degree, change is good and telling the same story again and again doesn’t make it better. But with this movie they try to tell a new story and fit it into an old story, which leads to some big logic bugs. So, from a semi-neutral point of view, the movie kinda sucks, even if you think of it as a reboot, like some people call it. J.J. Abrams is know for being mysterious about his projects, hyping them and f*cking them up in the end. For me, he’s just proceeding as usual.