SPACE: the final frontier. This is the maiden voyage of a shiny, new Starship Enterprise under the captainship of director JJ Abrams.

Its mission: to revitalise a flagging yet beloved franchise, to breathe new life into iconic characters; to boldly go where so many have gone before.

Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who penned the recent reboot of Transformers, Star Trek is a big budget re-imagining of the series, exploring the formative years of Kirk, Spock and their interplanetary cohorts.

Ardent fans of the universe, created by Gene Roddenberry in the late 60s, will take issue with some of the changes here, including the introduction of a forbidden romance and a time-travelling narrative thread.

The new Star Trek also lacks an imposing villain and two hours simply isnt long enough to establish all of the crew in sufficient detail, but like the first X-Men, Abrams film is a solid building block for the future.

A cocksure and impetuous James T Kirk (Chris Pine) enrols at Starfleet Academy, making an instant friend in Dr Leonard McKoy (Karl Urban).

Some of the other recruits prove more difficult to win over, especially Spock (Zachary Quinto), until a Romulan attack on the Vulcan homeland unites the young men and women.

Star Trek is a boisterous adventure. Action sequences are orchestrated at breakneck speed, enlivened with slick digital effects.

A sequel is already pencilled in for stardate summer 2011.