Director: J.J. Abrams Release Date: 08/05/09 Link: IMDB You might want to make sure you are sitting down because what I am about to tell you could come as a tremendous shock: I have never boldly gone where no man has gone before. Yes, I, the same guy who claims to be a huge science fiction buff, have failed to watch an entire episode of “Star Trek” or the 10 movies that spawned from Gene Roddenberry’s television series that made household names out of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. “Star Trek” is such a fixture of pop culture and has been parodied so many times that even people like myself and those living in caves know more than a thing or two about this phenomenon that has an allegiant cult following, but I readily acknowledge I would most likely get a grade of an F if I had to take a course on the history of the franchise. So basically, the point I’m trying to make is this review will not help any of you who are wondering how director J.J. Abrams’ (“Mission: Impossible III”) “Star Trek” reboot stacks up against the preceding shows and films. Sorry, but I have no idea if Trekkies will want to give Abrams and his longtime writing partners, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, Vulcan nerve pinches for screwing up their precious darling. On the other hand, what I can tell you is you don’t have to speak in Klingon or attend Trekker conventions to appreciate the absolute greatness of Abrams’ “Star Trek.” Looking at it independently with no influence from the previous installments, this “Star Trek” is a feast for the eyes that has an intelligent story, dazzling state-of-the-art special effects, impressive action sequences and a young, relatively unknown cast that is a force to be reckoned with. Trust me when I say “Star Trek” is easily one of the best science fiction films of this decade. And it’s not as though you have to be familiar with the material to have a better understanding of what you are watching because, after all, this is an origin story that focuses on the early careers of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine), the pointy-eared Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the USS Enterprise crew, including medical expert Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), communications officer Uhura (Zoe Saldana), engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg), helmsman Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) and navigator Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Much like Abrams’ brilliant television series “Lost,” “Star Trek” contains an element of time travel, only the movie doesn’t follow the show’s mantra of whatever happened, happened. Instead, the “Star Trek” universe is changed forever when a bunch of Romulans in a spiky ship that looks like a massive version of the cosmic key in the 1987 He-Man film “Masters of the Universe” are thrown back in time through a black hole. Led by the evil Nero (an almost unrecognizable Eric Bana), the Romulans seek revenge for something I won’t reveal here, and it’s up to the wet-behind-the-ears Starfleet Academy cadets to spoil their plans before they use destructive red matter to annihilate all of the planets in the United Federation. Abrams does an exceptional job of introducing us to all the major players who take the maiden voyage on the Enterprise — especially Kirk and Spock — but the film knows exactly when to amp up the action and the story never gets weighted down with too much character development. Even if a movie has an intriguing script and great direction and cinematography, the actors still need to pull their weight to make the complete project a memorable success, and that’s exactly what happens here. I could write numerous paragraphs describing how outstanding the entire cast is, but I only have so much room to write so I’ll only discuss Pine’s performance, which left me in complete awe. Apparently Pine has made appearances in “The Princess Diaries 2,” “Just My Luck” and “Smokin’ Aces,” but “Star Trek” marks the first time I have seen any of his work, and all I needed was that first impression to know this guy has all the makings of a superstar. I just don’t see how you can take on one of the most iconic characters of the 20th century while displaying so much confidence and charisma and not have acting in your blood. However, the one thing in the film that is kind of disappointing is the lack of a villain that keeps your attention and is truly menacing. You can’t put all the blame on Bana, though, because there is not a whole lot of time spent on his character and it just feels like his story was a bit rushed. But I at least give credit to Abrams for bringing back one of the actors from the original series and actually making his beloved character integral to the plot. This addition could have turned out to be just a gratuitous cameo to make fans happy, but with the time travel storyline everything seemed to fit perfectly. Looking back on it now, maybe I did inadvertently stretch the truth a little bit when I said I had no idea how loyal Trekkies would react to the movie. I know this example doesn’t speak for all “Star Trek” fans, but at the screening I attended the audience (some were wearing Spock ears and Starfleet apparel) erupted with applause when the aforementioned actor first showed his face and also when the closing credits splashed on the screen. If you’re asking me, Abrams’ film should have enough to satisfy the people who grew up loving “Star Trek” and create an all new fan base that will be looking to live long and prosper. Better yet, Entertainment Weekly is reporting the entire cast has been signed on to do two sequels. And when those two opening days come, you can bet I’ll be heading to the theater at warp speed. Rating: 9/10