Juliette and I finally got a chance to go see a movie this weekend for the first time in almost five months. As you might imagine, since we hadn't been to one in a while and probably won't get to go to another for a while, we wanted to make sure that we saw the one that was really pulling at us. Actually, it turned out that Juliette didn't have any that she was dying to see, which meant that I got to satisfy my inner geek and go see Star Trek. As it happened, not only was it a successful outing for me, but Juliette also really enjoyed it.
Now, the fact that I'm a big Star Trek geek might make you think I'm biased, but the truth is that sci-fi fans--especially Trek fans--are notoriously difficult to please. A movie like this has to walk a fine line between innovation and nostalgia. Too far in one direction and the fans will be outraged at having their cherished memories violated. Too far in the other and the film will be nothing more than a stale rehash of stuff we've already seen. I think that director J. J. Abrams managed to pull it off. There were enough references to satisfy a veteran fan like me but it also stood on its own legs enough that someone like Juliette--who I'm not sure has ever actually seen an episode of any of the shows--had no trouble following along. The characters were all familiar and recognizable, but the film's premise required them to also be a little different from the ones I knew, and the contrast was fun to see. The cast was, overall, pretty good. I particularly liked Karl Urban, whose Dr. McCoy was just spot-on. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine as Spock and Kirk were also good, and Simon Pegg's take on Scotty was fun.
That's not to say that the movie was perfect. There were some pretty big plot holes, and some of the action scenes got a little repetitive. And some long-time fans may be disappointed at the fact that it's a pretty straight-ahead adventure story with little in the way of unexpected twists and turns. For me, though, that's not really a problem--as far as I'm concerned, Trek has always been about adventure, especially the original series. Certainly some of the later shows added some depth of concept or character development that's beyond what you'll find here, but I think that Abram's Star Trek captures the spirit of Roddenberry's original show quite well.
I'm definitely planning to buy this one when it comes out on DVD. Probably the highest praise, though, comes from Juliette: watching this movie made her want to try out the show.
Viewed: 5/30/2009 | Released: 5/8/2009 | Score: A-