This morning I took my son to see the Star Trek movie. He’s not much into science fiction and even less so for Star Trek. I was hoping that the movie would sway him. Alas, it failed to so. But, that is, however, not totally the films fault. He is only 11 and the direction, style and story were a bit too adult and, unfortunately, most of the film went over his head. I fell victim to the pre-release hype in that you did not need to be fan of the show or know little about it. I think that is a bit overstated, but most people should still enjoy the film but you might want to think twice about taking younger children, especially if they are like my son and don’t care much for the genre. Also, the film is rather loud and contains explosions and a phaser battle that got rather loud. It may startle younger children. There is also a scene where young Kirk is intimate with one of the green ladies featured in Enterprise and the original show.
Children aside, there is much to like about the film. The cast, for one, is spot on. Chris Pine, while lacking the Shatner approach to acting, is very believable as James Kirk. And Zachary Quinto is the perfect choice for Spock. Not only did he look like a young Nimoy, but he WAS Spock in just about every way. The conflicting Human and Vulcan emotions came through and interactions with the Human crew were nearly perfect. The actors portraying McCoy, Sulu and Uhura all did a fine job, but Simon Pegg stole every scene he was in. Pegg played a young Scotty. Pegg does not look James Doohan at all, but he did have the character perfected. He was funny and added some much need humor to the movie.
J.J. Abrams managed to not only capture the essence of the original show, but he also infused quite a few old Trekisms in to movie. And, for me, the movie very cleanly ‘fixes’ Star Trek Enterprise. Many of that shows critics bashed Enterprise for taking ‘liberties’ with the mythos. Well, this movie justifies quite a bit of that. The new ‘mythos’ takes place in an alternate future that fits what was written for Enterprise. There is even an acknowledgement of Captain Archer when Scotty, while explaining why he was where he was, says that Admiral Archer did not appreciate him using his Beagle to test a long range transporter. Yes, I know that Archer’s time was quite a few years before this movie would have taken place, but if McCoy could live to 130 as he did in Next Generation, why can’t Archer?
The film has created an entirely new universe with the potential to tell new stories or even retell some of the old stories but with a new twist. The movie is open ended and also leaves the possibility for Nimoy to participate. I won’t say anything more about the plot, but suffice it to say the story was not only well done, kept the cheese factor to a minimum and maintains just enough continuity so it satisfies old fans while not making it so cryptic that it would alienate those new to Star Trek. I think this film will generate quite a few fans, just as the Next Generation did twenty two years ago. And since this cast is pretty young, and assuming they all reprise their roles, I suspect Star Trek can remain fresh for many more years to come.
Regardless of you being a Trek fan or not, see this movie, it is well worth the price of admission.