Before I begin, I must be frank. Star Trek was my first love. My mother was always a huge fan of the series. She is in fact so much a Trekker (Trekkie is a bad word in our house) that she once successfully identified an episode of the original series just by hearing the Enterprise’s phasers fire for a second, and she wasn’t even in the room with the TV. So, when I say I was raised on Star Trek, I mean I was raised on Star Trek. When the Next Generation came out I was only three, yet I still remember vividly sitting down as a family every single week to watch the new episode. I am a fan of many other series, not the least being Star Wars, (if you ask I couldn’t name all my teachers from last year, but I know who designed the B-Wing and what kind of engines the A-Wing has) but Star Trek was always the best. Admittedly the last years have been hard, Enterprise in particular damaging my faith in the direction the series was taking, (more so their horrid video games, Cryptic had dang well better get ST:Online right) leaving me unsure what to expect as I walked into the IMAX theater this evening. Both Roger Ebert and my local paper’s critic came down hard on Star Trek (by the way, avoid Ebert’s review online, he should slap the thing with a huge spoiler warning) but that only worried me slightly, as I’ve found Ebert especially to be increasingly out of step, at times seeming to bash a very popular, entertaining film just to make himself feel superior.
So what did I find in that theater? In a word: Awesomeness. I don’t mean the slang awesome, overused and meaningless. Honest to goodness awe inspiring wonder that at times actually had me to the point of tears, even before the title appeared onscreen. As a reboot of the series it was nearly flawless, bringing the juggernaut back to life looking better than ever. Was the movie perfect? Of course not, as with all films there are issues, minor cracks in the continuity and a couple minor details straining credulity. It doesn’t matter. Looking at the movie from a technical angle it is hard to fault them for anything. Casting for something like this, essentially recasting roles preformed (good and bad) memorably for over 40 years, is a daunting task, but one done here exceptionally well. Some of the actors seemed to channel the ghosts of actors past (Particularly Karl Urban and Anton Yelchin as Bones and Chekov) and others built their characters from the ground up, (Zoe Saldana as a very different but exceptional Uhura) but in all cases it feels right. Of course Zachary Quinto had the hardest task, not only playing one of the most beloved characters of the entire series, (minor spoiler) but doing it at times standing next to the man who made the ears famous. (minor spoiler) Visually the movie was a treat, modernizing the look of the ships and places and yet paying homage to the iconic images from the 60’s.
As for the story and plotting of the movie, I think I’m not going to say much. I’m generally of the mind that the fewer things you know going in to the movie the better. (Case in point, ruining the surprise of Marion’s return to Indy in the blasted trailers for Crystal Skull, even if the movie was mediocre at best) Did it strain credulity at times? Definitely. Was the villain somewhat flat and unimaginative? Indeed, though I actually thought that a good thing for the younger versions of Kirk and Spock, the point here is they’re starting out, not the big bad villain. Really my only complaint is that a lot of things seemed a bit convenient, a string of unlikely events happening just so to get everything right. It’s a minor complaint though, as while I watched it the energy and excitement of the film had me easily accepting things I otherwise would have questioned.
To put it simply, if you liked any of the series, any of the movies at all, go see Star Trek. If you like science fiction even remotely, even if you didn’t like Star Trek in the past, go see Star Trek. Those of you who consider yourselves Trekkers and are boycotting the film because it changes things, or feel you can bash it without seeing it. Go see it or stop calling yourselves Trekkers.
Lastly, if you have any specific questions about the movie or plot email me and I’ll answer. I will not however spoil the surprises for anyone else reading this. This film is too special for that.
[tags]Star Trek, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto[/tags]