They told me to not be “that guy”, but I’ve already decided to be “that guy.” The new J.J. Abrams Star Trek boldly goes where no (alright few) Star Treks have gone before. And it shall live long and prosper in theaters and at the box office. Why you ask? Simply because it gives the mainstream audience what it wants. Great sci-fi with a human (and at times Vulcan) side. It’s accessible. It doesn’t talk over the heads of it’s audience members. And here’s a little secret…it’s actually quite fun too.
My biggest fear was that Abrams, in an attempt to hit that youthful market Star Trek has lacked for so long, might have hired a cast of beautiful, but talentless people (minus Pegg, because he is far from beautiful and quite talented). My fears were assuaged and then some. I was impressed with most of the performances. Not only did they look the parts, but they each also brought a unique feel to their characters. No one tried to emulate their predecessor, with the exception of Urban as Dr. McCoy and even that felt more like an homage rather than a spoofing.
The story, despite the familiar time travel theme, was well crafted. At no point did I scratch my head and say, “Why did they do that”, which was a common response with many of the other Star Trek films. Again, the writers and director took the best science fiction aspects of Star Trek and incorporated them into a story that could have been transplanted into many other situations and settings. It is simple, but not so simple that it panders to the “Youtube”, two minute clip generation.
The one qualm I have with the film, is that I could have done with less footage of Spock and Kirk as children and with more of them at the Starfleet Academy. The one thing in the Star Trek films, or shows, that has never been fully explored is the rigors of going through the Starfleet Academy. I would have opted for less time watching pre-teen Spock and pre-teen Kirk raise hell and more time watching all of the mainstays develop at the academy. Especially since each character serves a specific function aboard the ship and previous installments have never done a good job of explaining those functions. Twenty minutes or so of the crew training in their fields would have gone a long way.
An overall delightful movie, with great potential for invigorating the franchise with, hopefully, many sequels to come. A must for Trekkers (or if you’re old school, Trekkies) and a gateway for people that have never been interested in the Trek. Beam on over to your theater now (yeah, I’m still “that guy”).
I give Star Trek 4 out of 5 Pitchforks.