Star Trek - Movie Review
Star Trek ****-
It seems the popular thing to do these days is to take every movie sequel, compare it to the Dark Knight, and then assess it in terms of how successfully it "reboots" the series. Strangely enough, it turns out that all the old films we used to like were actually complete crap and now we have to re-make them to justify our interest. So now we have Star Trek, not to be confused with Star Trek or any other film in the Star Trek series.
Luckily for us, Star Trek has been around so long that most people (including myself) don't even know what happened in the original film from 1966. That plot had something to do with the Voyager 6 being picked up by an alien mechanical race and being sent back to earth in a cloud of energy that destroys everything in it's path. Interestingly, director J.J. Abrams scraps all this and works from scratch by means of a time paradox which functions as a narrative worm-hole. Theoretically this means that all 10 films (including the 1966 original) will occur to the same crew all over again.
What's different? The crew is younger, somehow shinier, space looks prettier, and the camera is a little more shakier. The necessity of those ingredients is debatable, however the new Star Trek succeeds due to its sense of character. Just about every occupant of the Starship Enterprise is likable, even the dark green monsters who have their phazers set to kill. The dialogue ranges from snappy to maybe-too-snappy. And of course the science behind it all really makes no sense.
The logic is primarily passed off to us by means of the character Spock who assures us that it's all legit. "But wait," you might say, "doesn't the meeting between two identical individuals from different time periods open up all sorts of paradoxes? Will all of the future actions by the men and women of the starship enterprise have to be repeated again? Do all black-holes do this sort of thing in the Star Trek universe? Why did they insist on parachuting onto that giant drilling spaceship when they could have easily been teleported there? How do they know when to stop while traveling at the speed of light? Is it entirely socially acceptable for Kirk to be making out with that green alien chick? Where can I see more of that green alien chick? And, is it so wrong that I imagine my girlfriend as a green alien now?" I don't know. I'm not a doctor. But rest easy knowing that if it didn't make complete sense Spock, or the most excellent Leonard Nimoy, would have said something by this point.
This is more fiction than science-fiction, and it's more action than it is drama. It's a movie that spends more time cleaning up after its predecessors than actually developing a world of its own, but the world already in place is rather pretty. Not to mention, Captain Kirk actually doesn't "do" anything in this film except organize a surprise party for a group of very angry and confused aliens. With that said, lots of things happen around him that are very entertaining, and often involve massive spaceships and explosions. This is a summer film. It's very enjoyable, very cool looking, and entirely charming. If I were twelve it'd be 10 times as awesome. Then again, everything would. So I recommend it.