“Star Trek”

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content.

 

Star Trek is supposed to be a prequel; a how-it-all-began story for a franchise that started as one humble little TV series that eventually turned into 10 films (if I counted correctly) and several television series. But with all that as a cinematic canon, the film producers, writers and director could go crazy. I mean, there are like a zillion fans out there that will be just itching to jump on the makers at any error, any misstep — based on those

details that had gone before.

Ah, but then, there is the miracle of time travel, time anomalies, and black holes, worm holes and stuff like that. And so, when writers can tap into alternative universes, the plot possibilities become as infinite as the universe.

That J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Alias, etc.) is a genius. And in his hands, “Star Trek” does not disappoint. Not one tiny atom of it.

Abrams, that clever and creative scamp, is able to take this SF classic and, with a wry wink and a sparkling, teasing, and mischievous — but nevertheless respectful — sense of humor, brings us a story that entertains, amazes and delights.

The special effects turn both seniors and youngsters alike into, well, children. There are oohs and ahhs aplenty, but Star Trek does not just depend upon fireworks for pleasure-giving. There are fisticuffs that hearken back to the original series that was, after all, a western in outer space, while the “Star Wars” franchise was more like myth and fable with knights and jousts.

Also, the casting director deserves special accolades because what helps make this movie work is the exceptionally talented cast. The young versions of Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin)

deliver 100 percent, especially Karl Urban who is able to get that McCoy snarl just right.

The original  characters are indelible. Actors bringing them back to life could be charged with sacrilege, but none are guilty. They are flawless.

And bringing the flesh and blood Leonard Nimoy back to play a Yoda-like Spock had to have been a risky play, but I think it came off well. After all, not taking a bow to the genuine article might have been an act of disrespect.

I loved this movie. I was 13 again.

I also thought of an old friend, who has since passed away.

He would often tell me we owed a debt of gratitude to Lucille Ball and Desilu Productions for producing the original series back in 1966. I am sorry he is not here to see this movie. I will miss talking with him about it. I think he would have loved it. I also imagine Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry would have been proud, too. He would have good reason to be pleased.

At the end of this Star Trek, there is this campy scene. I won’t spoil it by describing it, but honestly, I got nostalgic. It was sentimental but by no means morose. I darn near got misty-eyed.

Mr. Abrams: you gave me a lot of fun with your “Star Trek.” It won’t win anything at Cannes and it does not break new ground in film making. It just entertains. And that, after all, is what brings most of us to the movies. Thank you very much,

indeed.

“Star Trek” gets four and a half bow ties out of five.

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