Boom. Star Trek is back. It’s action-packed, exciting, and visually spectacular – who would have thought that the dying sci-fi series could be resurrected into something this fun?

Director J.J. Abrams and his team have beaten preconceptions with this streamlined space epic, which will please long-term fans while entertaining newcomers. The film deftly balances amazing big scale spectacle (a thrilling skydive onto a drilling platform is a highlight) with character-based moments, adding plenty of humour, tension and even a hint of romance into the mix.

The film takes a while to get going after a noisy intro but once the crew take the bridge of the Enterprise it moves at warp speed, racing towards its conclusion so fast that the final battle is almost over before you know it. Visually, the film is ‘1960s meets Apple Store’, captured with flare-heavy photography. Shame the budget doesn’t extend to the engine room scenes, which look like they were filmed overnight at a Fonterra factory.

The biggest surprise is NZ’s Karl Urban, who ditches his surly action-man routine to flex his humour and become a scene-stealer as Dr McCoy. Eric Bana’s Nero is a forgettable yet functional villain, a victim of a script burdened with too much set-up and not enough pay-off. But what a set-up! A Star Trek movie is now something worth looking forward to, and the sequel can’t come soon enough.