Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Film Review: Star Trek

Abrams loves lens flare.

I wanted so much to hate this movie. Actually, that's not even close to being true. I rephrase: I was expecting to dislike this movie.

I was forced to see this movie by Count Vardulon, who didn't end up going in the end. And while I was standing in line with Becca, we chatted a bit with the woman behind us. She labeled herself a trekkie and told us this was her third time seeing this movie. Third. Becca was very excited. I was cautiously holding back any feelings, positive or negative.

I was Vulcan-like in my stoicism.

See what I mean? Hot spots all over the place!

So anyway, we finally sit down and the movie finally begins, and I soon found, to my surprise, that I was thoroughly enjoying what I was watching. Most of my skepticism was based on the fact that JJ Abrams has great ideas but can't always follow through (i.e. Alias and Lost). Additionally, there's the fact that all Star Trek movies are bad. Even the good ones. But he's now managed to somehow break the mold and make a watchable, likable, Trek movie for trekkies and Star Wars geeks alike.

Yes, that's right. I said Star Wars. I love Star Wars, which goes a long way in explaining my initial dislike for most anything Trek (admittedly I did watch TNG--but who didn't?). But parts of Abrams' Star Trek read kind of Star Wars. I'm talking about one particular shot near the end when a black-costumed Kirk meets his enemy, Nero (who sadly does not play the violin). The moment is so Return of the Jedi, I can't help but think that Abrams was homaging Return of the Jedi. Even some of the music is kind of John Williams-esque.

There's nothing funny about the future.

But I digress. The real issue is whether Star Trek is good watching for fans of Star Trek. One complaint is that the movie changes the timeline and rewrites the characters' origins. According the chatty woman in line, this isn't a problem at all. Rather, she loves the new twist. To Abrams' credit, he covers his ass by explaining the new timeline established in the new Star Trek represents and alternate reality; original Trek is still intact, and exists in a parallel dimension. I don't know how well this sits with all trekkies, and the person who first complained at me about the timeline has yet to actually see the movie, but I believe Star Trek represents the best attempt to reboot a franchise without alienating or pissing off it's original fanbase.

Bottom line: Star Trek is a good movie, regardless of it being Star Trek. The story holds together, it doesn't pander to the audience, and it doesn't sacrifice content for special effects. Take that, Lucas, you bastard.


No comments: