How do you reimagine a classic? If you’re the team behind the 2009 edition of Star Trek, you stick to tried-and-true formulas while adding some modern edge and grit into the mix. That’s not to say that you totally change the spirit of the original, but you don’t stick to it religiously if you follow J.J. Abrams’ playbook. In what could be offputting for some older fans, Star Trek (2009) reaches for new frontiers in terms of audience demographic and even narrative composition.
Undoubtedly a modern Star Trek, it is a kind of “ship of Theseus” where the question becomes how much can you change and still call it by its original name. Luckily for the Enterprise and its crew, everything remains comfortable enough, modern enough, to accomplish its ambitious goals without isolating any one segment too much.
How to Download Star Trek (2009)
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check also the next two films in the series – Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond.
The Movie Review
Before we delve into anything relating to the plot and how it all works within the larger canon, we need to get rid of the basics of what makes Star Trek so good in its original incarnation. Whereas many science fiction epics are considered from an action/adventure perspective, Star Trek has always been somewhat more contemplative, philosophical, and, above all, exploration and understanding of the universe. How do you translate this into a pseudo-action film released in 2009?
You keep all of those elements insofar as is possible and then you amp up the pace a bit. This is pretty clear from the get-go when we meet our cast including Captain Kirk and Spock who are markedly different from their mainline counterparts.
Herein is the magic of this version of Star Trek: All of this takes place within the same conceptual universe but on a different timeline. Welcome to the Star Trek Multiverse, where possibilities are endless. Nullifying older fan issues and introducing new ones all at the same time, this splitting of the timelines actually becomes a plot point in a later film in what is both a strange homage to the original series and its films as well as a kind of messy intertwining of a shared mythos.
We mention the other film here to say that it works and it does so across multiple films. Unlike the critics of 2009, we have the gift of hindsight and we can see why this rendition spawned a new line of films as well as resulted in a box office success for both Star Trek and J.J. Abrams.
Beyond a fun, engaging story, a breath of fresh air as far as setting is concerned, and a faithful if a different version of a universe we all know and love, J.J. Abrams and crew also put their own artistic touch on Star Trek’s world in terms of cinematographic presentation.
It’s jarring when compared with the older films but works within the context of this side of the multiverse if that makes sense. That’s also a way of saying that, if you don’t like J.J. Abrams, this movie’s style is unlikely to change that as it sticks closely to his (then) proven blockbuster formula.
- Interesting Take on Known Franchise
- Fun Plot
- Interesting Characters
- Well-Developed World and Lore
- Followup Sequels Continue the Central Premise
- Very Different from the Original Movies and Television Show
- Storytelling Surprisingly Strange at Times
- Frenzied Pace