The new Star Trek has been, like Casino Royale, described as a reboot. Both were long running series that had grounded; the makeover for Bond was based on ‘going gritty and serious’ to distinguish it from Brosnan’s parody (though Connery had parodied too). Star Trek, however, had always taken itself seriously so that option wasn’t open. Producer director JJ Abrams has found a brilliant solution for this prequel: keep it serious and offer plenty of laughs but not at its own expense.
It is a ‘family film’ as it offers pleasures for all generations; for the old gits (like me) there’s remembering the original 1960s series – of which this is a prequel – and for the generation even younger that the original ‘Next Generation’ sequel, there’s plenty of satisfying action and special effects. The only thing that jars is that the Enterprise is more modern looking than the one it became in the 1960s; but then the narrative is based on a time paradox.
The writers, and actors, have convincingly given us the younger versions of the ’60s characters; only Simon Pegg’s Scotty doesn’t fit. Zachary Quinto is uncannily like Spock and Karl Urban’s ‘Bones’ captures DeForrest Kelley’s intonation very well. The set design, of the comos, is terrific; check out the end credit images and, as a summer (‘what summer?’) rollercoaster ride this will be difficult to beat.