First reaction: Star Trek

We've seen four scenes. JJ's nailed it.

Total Film has just burst back into the office at Warp speed to bring you an exclusive first look at four scenes from the new Star Trek movie. Our verdict? JJ Abrams has nailed it.

First scene: Our introduction to James T Kirk; a swaggering braggard who's hitting on Uhura one moment and punching cadets in the gob another.

It's a scene that thumps from the screen from the opening shot - Uhura half walking / half dancing to bass-heavy dance music as she takes her place next to a glass-hugging alien (who looks like he's been barred from his local Cantina) who's all lips and scales and frowns.

Ordering from a weird menu covered in spinning 3D glowing options, Urhura is interrupted by our farm boy hero, full of confidence and twinkle-eyed charm.

Kirk bullies her into giving up her name by saying "If you don't tell me, I'll just make one up" when she replies, he responds "That's funny, that's the name I would have given you."

But Kirk's patter is quickly paused by a Starfleet cadet keen to defend Uhura's honour with threats and insults.

Kirk kicks off and takes on four cadets, taking three of them out with three punches, only to be pinned down by the biggest, and handed a bloody nose.

James T is rescued by Captain Christopher Pike who sits him down for a paternal chat. Pike challenges Kirk to join Starfleet before leaving him to his thoughts.

Cut to: The Star Wars shot - hopeful youth dwarved by his expansive lush surroundings - a speeder dot flying across a landscape he hopes to escape.

Cut to: The Star Trek shot; Kirk, sat on his speeder bike, gazing up at a half built Enterprise. Massive, majestic, goosebumps.

Second scene: Kirk's been banned from the Enterprise launch, but Bones has got him on through a loophole that lets medical officers bring a patient onboard - and has injected him with some weird serum to fake an illness.

Unfortunately, the serum causes Kirk's hands to swell up like something out of the Klumps and his tongue to to turn numb. Not the best circumstances to be in when you need to race to the deck of the Enterprise to warn the crew of a trap you've just overheard on the com system.

Fusing slapstick comedy with drama and gravitas, packed with nods and winks to the fans - this scene was our first real look at how JJ's going to pull this flick off.

It's packed with references - a "Damn it, Jim" here a Chekov lost in translation scene there - but they never exclude newbies.

You don't need to know Chekov swaps his Vs for his Ws to guffaw at the bit where he has to repeat his oral password, you don't need to have met Bones before to get his character; he's a fiery friend to Kirk from the first moment we see him.

Ending on the most exciting Warp we've seen (straight into the action); we're dealing with pure Trek here. And make no mistake - whoever the casting director is, invent a Best Casting Oscar and hand it to them.

Karl Urban is channelling DeForest Kelley, whilst Pine's charisma is present even when he's selling a scene in which he's got hands the size and shape of the Elephant man's face.

Third scene: Leonard Nimoy's Spock and Christopher Pine's Kirk, meeting Simon Pegg's Scotty for the first time.

This Scotty seems to have come from the barrowlands of Glasgow, not the Highlands of Scotland - at one point he tells his Jawa mate to "Get tee..." (fill in the blank youself, Scottish readers); surrounded by half finished space-ships and warp drives, buried in a forgotten workshop somewhere in Starfleet.

In the space of about five minutes, Spock tells him how to invent a transporter, so they can send Kirk back to the Enterprise. Despite the context of the scene, it's remarkably free from technobabble, and full of emotion.

We nearly welled up at the bit where Pine's Kirk says to Nimoy's Spock: "Travelling back in time, changing things, isn't that breaking the rules?" and Spock replies: "It's a lesson I learnt from an old friend." before bringing out a bit of the old "Live long and prosper." This is the Star Trek flick geeks have prayed for.

Fourth scene: The best of the bunch - a free-falling action scene mesmerising in its scope and scale - encompassing the coolest redshirt death scene we've ever laughed at, a Sulu sword fight, and the best use of the transporter device we’ve encountered. Fanboys will weep with joy.

Verdict: In his introduction to the footage JJ claimed that he didn't know there had been ten previous Trek flicks when he agreed to take the gig, and he's not sure if he would have signed on for Star Trek 11. We're having none of it - only a true Trekkie could handle the material as expertly as JJ has; what we saw felt like both a detailed love letter to long-term fans and a first date for newbies. Star Trek is back. It's for everyone. And it's glorious.


    • jopov

      May 11th 2009, 21:37

      Spot on review. Loved it all. Felt emotional when this movie ended. This is the movie I have waited for. Live long and prosper.

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