Last week, my friends and I had a chance to see the new Star Trek movie. Unless you’ve been living in a bubble for the last 6 months, you’re more than aware of the hype surrounding this film.
Director JJ Abrams and co. were handed a bold task: Breath new life into a stagnate pop-culture phenomenon with one of the most rabid, over-protective fanbases the world has ever known (I think they even beat out Star Wars fans who started a religion based on the movie).
I have a confession to make: I loved Star Trek growing up. Loved it(!) I used to watch the original series repeats on Sunday mornings on CBC in the 80’s. My mom and I would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation every week. It was fun. Then,there was Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Enterprise. And they were terrible. They were really, really bad. And considering that most of Star Trek wasn’t that great to begin with, you get the idea of just how awful those shows were. I lost my taste for the series altogether, but still remembered the shows I grew up with fondly.
Five years later, the trailers start appearing for the new movie. I’ve always been a bit gunshy of prequels, so I didn’t have high expectations. At least, not initially.
The trailers were really interesting. I know that you can make anything look good with a trailer (Wolverine and X-Men 3 come to mind), but still…
Jump ahead to last week. All the hype, the trailers, the “buzz” was everywhere. So off we went to the theatre. And my oh my, was I ever surprised.
JJ Abrams delivered not just a good Star Trek movie, but more importantly, a good movie. Accessible, funny, extremely action-heavy and excellent special effects. This was a movie made for people who wanted to be entertained for a couple hours, not to be buried under 43 years of fictional-history.
For many, that’s what they’re going to hate the most. This movie truly blows away everything that was (in one case, literally) and gives Star Trek a clean slate. The new cast members did a fantastic job of making the characters their own, particularly Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock.
And this might be too much for a lot of “hardcore” Trekkies to handle. This is not “their” Star Trek. There’s no long-winded monologues about how far humanity has come on their own merit. There’s no heavy-handed morality lesson. There’s very little technobabble. All the alters have been torn down.
It’s a movie made for “regular” people, and it’s a movie that “regular” people will really, really like. Oh man, the Trekkies are gonna be so mad…