Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Bold New Vision (or "Take that, nerd!")

Warning: The following contains spoilers of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek film. You have been warned.

I'll admit it, I was worried going in, or at least until all the reviews started coming in. The previews looked exciting and flashy, but I was truly concerned that this was going to be all flash and no substance. I was less worried about the supposed changes being made to Star Trek canon, but nonetheless expected such changes to be incredibly broad. And now, after having seen JJ Abrams reimagining of perhaps the biggest name in science fiction, I have to say, I'm impressed. Yes, there was all the JJ Abrams flash and the JJ Abrams monsters. There were also some intense special fx sequences and some small tweaks to make the characters and the setting feel a bit more modern and recognizable to a non-Trek audience. But even though this was an action/adventure film, there was a taut plot, some great character moments and character introductions, and a hell of a lot of fun.

And the fun was probably the most important part, which JJ Abrams captures with abandon. The new Kirk is like the old Kirk, only more so. He's a drinking, womanizing bad-ass with a disdain for authority and a knack for doing what's right. The rest of the cast is great, but really it's all about Kirk. If Chris Pine hadn't done such a wonderful job of reinventing the sci fi superhero, we wouldn't be talking about the rest of the film. And for any of the "must be true to canon" trekkies out there, the film's plot has a built in explanation for any discrepancies: time travel. This film takes place in an alternate reality where Kirk's life is drastically changed as a result of a time traveling Romulan.

Ultimately though, it's a wonderful new Star Trek, easily accessible to non-fans. For the fans, other than the sort of background changes needed to tell the story, the only big change we see is Spock's romance with a young Uhura. But perhaps most importantly of all, the ship is still recognizable as the Enterprise and the bridge still feels like the bridge. It's a bit hard to describe, but despite all the flash, it still feels a lot like Star Trek.


Post a Comment

<< Home