Who would have thought my most anticipated Star Trek film would be one directed by someone who professes themselves to be not much of a Trek fan? Not me. But guess what? It happened. This new take on on Trek-lore hit me like a ton of bricks. The people behind this movie got it. In near perfect fashion this is an exciting film that holds together and does so many things right.
No sooner did the film begin than I found myself emotionally invested in it and with a big grin plastered across my face. This is a movie that I fell in love with during my first viewing — whether or not that holds up upon multiple viewings has yet to be seen, but there is nothing that would indicate that I'll be disappointed.
When it was first announced that a new Trek film was in production and that it would feature recasting of the original series crew, I must admit to being both excited and skeptical. Would it be possible to recast the likes of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelly? They left such a long-lasting mark on those characters that any attempt to recreate them could be a disaster. Still, I was anxious to see what a new take could be like. JJ Abrams proved to be the right man for the task.
This Star Trek film comes on the heels of other franchise-reinventing films as Batman Begins and Casino Royale. In my eyes, it is just as successful as those two films, delivering an easy entry point for the franchise that still remembers the past just as it looks to the future. No, it is not necessarily a game-changing film in the cinematic landscape of cinema but that fact does not make it any less entertaining.
Now, I am sure that this film can be nitpicked to death by those willing to put in the time. Fortunately, I am not one of those people. Quite frankly, the movie just entertained me way too much to want to go through and pick apart its continuity or issues when compared to what has long been considered canon for the franchise. This film is something of an alternate reality that is, believe it or not, connected to the canon-verse in a fashion that makes sense, at least to me. Any differences and changes between what we knew prior to this film as opposed to what we know afterward is revealed very early on and are easily accepted.
The story begins with a fierce battle sequence that introduces us to Kirk's parents as well as our newest diabolical villain, the rogue Romulan Captain Nero (Eric Bana). As the story moves forward we learn that Nero is looking for Spock and will stop at nothing to get him, including causing a good deal of destruction along the way.
When we aren't faced with Nero and his advanced technologies, we are meeting Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the old Enterprise regulars. We catch up with them at much younger ages and learn how they all come to be on the Enterprise in this reality. By the end, we have met everyone and it is like slipping into something familiar and I cannot wait to see their first adventure as an actual crew.
Star Trek is an action-filled romp that is filled with comedy and adventure, not to mention all manner of nods to the original series (including prior Star Trek films). There is a little something for everybody. JJ Abrams has made a film that is not necessarily for the Trekkie, but at the same time it does not alienate them. This is the Trek film for everybody. For years Trek has had something of a niche audience. This film brings Trek back, welcoming everyone into the newly developing side universe that could encourage those to investigate the other series and films.
Technically, the movie is a marvel. It is filled with great effects and a visual style that evokes memories of the original television series while looking to the future. The cinematography takes dynamic form, the camera is always moving, swooping, and shaking, much to the dislike of some. I enjoyed the look, it was dynamic, visual, and completely opposite what we usually see in a Trek film.
Bottom line. What it comes down to is that I loved his film. I hesitate to call it perfect, but it got as close to the term as any Trek film can. It is a satisfying adventure that comes out firing on all cylinders and is a creative triumph.