Following the perfunctory Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Paramount has handed over the beloved sci-fi franchise to a fresh team of producers (among them J.J. Abrams, creator of the TV series Lost) and a cast of young actors playing the original crew of the Enterprise. The new players give the movie a welcome jolt, and the screenwriters have taken advantage of the rebooted narrative to amp up the young lust, as Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) vie for the attentions of the smoking-hot Uhura (Zoe Saldana). The familiar character comedy survives intact, and an interstellar conflict between the Federation and those old blowhards the Romulans makes for an enjoyably mindless thrill ride. What's missing here—and from most of the movies—is the thought-provoking, concept-driven sci-fi that made the original series so engaging. Abrams directed; with Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Sulu, and Leonard Nimoy as a wizened old Spock from the future. PG-13, 126 min.
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