I have grown accustomed to being let down by movies I anticipate for more than a month or two. For well over a year, I anticipated X-Men Origins: Wolverine only to be treated to over an hour and a half of Sabretooth and Wolverine scratching each other, the fights occasionally being interrupted by an underdeveloped string of mutants whom we’re given no reason to care about, despite their seeming importance to whatever plot is being advanced.
I have been anticipating Star Trek for quite a bit longer. If you don’t know me that well, you may not know I’m a Trekkie. I’m on an incessant mission to collect all of the television seasons — I’m up to fourteen. I also have all ten of the movies currently available.
So yes, I know a little bit about the Star Trek franchise; what I wasn’t sure about was what to expect going into the latest film. Never have I been too impressed with directory J.J. Abrams; sure, Cloverfield was a fun romp around the Big Apple, but Lost is what he’s known best for, and I honestly don’t see the appeal to that series.
And when the television ads declaring “Finally a Star Trek for everyone,” I started to get scared — over a year of waiting for a Star Trek film only to get a dumbed down everyman’s Trek? Red alert!
Tonight, the long wait was over. Some friends of mine and I went to the early showing of Star Trek.
From start to finish, Star Trek gripped my attention and refused to let up, vividly reminding me why Trek has always been superior to Wars.
I’ll just get this bit out of the way: The special effects were astounding — the irony that Industrial Lights and Magic consistently makes Trek films look more amazing than Wars films is not lost on me. Seeing the Enterprise on the big screen once again was a satisfying experience, especially due to its being done without the superfluous and tedious pomp of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The story itself takes us from James T. Kirk’s birth through to his being given official command of the Enterprise. I won’t spoil plot details for anyone, but suffice it to say I wish directors of comic book films would take a lesson from Abrams on the subject of character development.
And speaking of characters, if you’re a TOS purist, you’re not going to be disappointed by the new actors portraying the classic crew.
It is those character portrayals which made this movie what it was: not only a magnificent addition to the canon of Trek, but a beautiful homage to Shatner, Nimoy, and the others who have captured the imaginations of generations.
I went in to the theater braced for disappointment. I stood up from my seat with, as Scotty might say, a tear in me eye. Star Trek every bit of a 10 star rating, and that is what I give it.
Thank you, Mr. Abrams. The Great Bird of the Galaxy would be proud.
Here be spoilers. Seriously, don’t read on if you don’t want to have major plot elements spoiled. Just stop reading. You’ve been warned.
Don’t go see Star Trek expecting to be able to criticize it for inconsistencies with established canon; the story Abrams presents precludes that entirely.
Also, it seems as though this movie was a “This is how it’s done, boys” taunt to everyone involved in the franchise’s previous big screen outing, Star Trek: Nemesis. An outrageous Romulan vessel? Check. A slightly grittier, more realistic on-ship environment? Check. A bald antagonist? Check. A sex scene? Check. A weapon capable of destroying planets threatened to be used against Earth? Check. The captain boarding the Romulan vessel in an attempt to save the day? Check. The alien ship being struck by a collision-course tactic? Check.
In other words, not only did J.J. Abrams reboot the original Star Trek franchise, not only did he make one heckuva homage to one of — if not the — strongest sci-fi series ever, not only did he make a fantastic movie in its own right… He did it all in a way which one-upped Captain Picard’s last outing in nearly every way.
And Captain Kirk defeated the evil Romulans all without crippling his Enterprise or sacrificing major members of his crew.
I can’t wait to see this thing again.