This time around Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) is a rebellious womanizer haunted by his father's legacy as a starship captain who died saving his crew (and Jim and his mother) from a Romulan ship (that resembles the one from Star Trek: Nemesis). Spock (Zachary Quinto) is treated like an outcast from his fellow Vulcans for having a human mother. Through a series of plans and coincidences, Kirk and Spock wind up on the Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood). The other reintroduced characters are: Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban); Uhura (Zoe Saldana); Scotty (Simon Pegg); Sulu (John Cho); and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin).
The Romulan ship has returned, and it turns out that it's from the future, its commander Nero (Eric Bana) is out for vengeance, and he has a way of destroying planets. Someone else has come from the future: Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
This version of Star Trek is almost all action -- and that's not a great thing: There are numerous setups for space battles, land battles, and even a chase from CGI monsters. While the Federation has a structure and chain of command, here command of the vessel switches more times than the sub in Crimson Tide. (They also kept Kirk as the only person not wearing a Star Fleet uniform because he's, y'know, such a rebel.) While avoiding camp, there are plenty of verbal homages to the original series.
There are several good things about this Star Trek. Zachary Quinto is wonderful as Spock, letting his human side poke through while repressing his emotions; he also shares a great rivalry-respect with this Kirk. I also like that Uhura had a lot more to do this time than answer the 'com. Director J.J. Abrams manages a decent job juggling the large cast of characters, finding something for everyone to do.
Purists may not be thrilled with all the changes done to the Trek universe, but this Star Trek reboot is enjoyable on its own merits. If this is the start of a franchise, I hope they delve more into the ideas and ideals that made the original so enduring instead of just more space battles.
Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch