EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Smith’s ‘Star Trek’ Review, Calls Chris Pine’s Kirk ‘A Star-Making Performance’

Kevin Smith is just about the luckiest guy on the planet and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of it. His filmmaker buddies have always seemed more than willing to share their upcoming works well in advance of their release dates. He saw “MI:III” early as well as “The Dark Knight,” and here in mid-September of ’08 he’s already seen two must-sees for ’09! That would be “Watchmen” AND “Star Trek.”

When I met up with Kevin in Toronto this week to chat about “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” (a mature flick that’s actually most reminiscent of “Chasing Amy” despite what you may assume) I just had to pick his brain about “Star Trek” and he told me quite a bit.

“It’s really strong,” said Smith. “[J.J. Abrams] was rejiggering the opening few scenes. It’s one of those things where you first heard about it and were like no they’re not going to redo ’Star Trek’! And then you see the movie and you think, wow he did pull it off! He turned it into a viable renewed franchise.”

Who stood out among this new cast, I asked him. “Chris Pine is fantastic,” he gushed. “It is a star-making performance. From his first scene forward, this dude is not doing an impression of Shatner. He is doing young Kirk. He doesn’t have the slow delivery mannerisms of Shatner but it’s totally James T. Kirk, the bravado, the self-assuredness. It’s such a great performance. You can’t take your eyes off the guy. Anytime he’s not on the screen you’re waiting for him to get back. And the chick [Zoe Saldana] who plays Uhura is really great. They made Uhura really interesting.”

My interest in this flick couldn’t get any higher. Do you trust Kevin’s assessment? What do you think of his take on Chris Pine? Can he possibly live up to Shatner?