Quick Review: Star Trek
I enjoyed it. First, it was substantially better than the last two Trek films, which shouldn’t have been hard to do, but then one should never underestimate the power of Hollywood to mess up a sure thing. But they did their reboot well enough; it was big and pretty and noisy and didn’t look like a TV episode blown up to movie size, which was what sunk the series in the first place. No one wants to pay movie ticket prices for TV.
Second, it did the job of bringing in new folks to the party, box office-wise, so all the Treksters who were wondering if their beloved federation universe would keep on keeping on can breathe a sigh of relief; no doubt Star Trek II 2: The Proto-Wrath of Khan is already being typed up. Third, I like the new cast, who get the characters without trying to do 1:1 imitations of the previous cast. Fourth, the way Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci sidestepped the question of fiddling with the Star Trek canon was nicely done and frankly necessary if they plan to make more movies with this cast. I know it annoys some old school fans, but given this film is likely to be the most successful film of the series in at least two decades, even adjusting for inflation, they’re just going to have to suck it up.
What I didn’t like: Good lord, was the science in this one bad. Dear Kurtzman and Orci: The next time you play with black holes, won’t you please talk to an actual scientist? Also: “Red Matter”? Seriously? Mind you, I don’t expect much out of Star Trek, science-wise, because, well. Let’s just say the track record’s just not there. Even so, at a certain point the science in one’s science fiction should at least wave in the general direction of plausibility. It’s not too much to ask for.
That said, at the end of the day it was more important for the filmmakers to make Trek fun again, and they did that. Let’s hope they keep doing it.
[Update: as a warning, the comment thread contains some spoilers, so if you’ve not seen the film and want to be surprised, beware.]