star trek

I wouldn't classify myself as a hardcore trekkie, but I'm very familiar with the phenomenon. As a kid, I grew up as a Next Gen fan and ignored the aging movies featuring the geriatric original cast hobbling around in progressively tackier starfleet uniforms. Picard was always cooler than the goofy Kirk. But, I still held a healthy respect for the iconic 60's reruns - largely due to the technicolor 1960s stylings of the future. Hard to resist Uhura's fro, alien chicks in beehives and miniskirts, not to mention the campy gadgets and sound effects.

JJ Abrams jumpstarts the franchise with an entertaining (if not predictable...but we're talking about Star Trek, remember?) plotline pitting the newly minted Enterprise against evil time-traveling Romulans. I'm usually wary of rehashes or prequels, but this movie captures the essence of the original series and injects a refreshingly new perspective supported by beautifully entertaining visuals and excellent casting. You really feel the pull of warp speed, while the lighting and sound effects combine to create an atmospheric quality to the action sequences. This is light years ahead of action scenes in the old Star Trek movies and tv shows - where they'd just shake the set and have actors fall out of their chairs during battle.

Aside from a couple of Dr. McCoy's canned lines, the actors enhanced the familiarity of each character without resorting to impersonation. Thankfully, Pike focused on playing Kirk rather than playing Shatner. I really enjoyed the formative years of Kirk and Spock as they make their way through Starfleet academy and meet their future crew. Of course, part of what made the original 60's series enjoyable and groundbreaking at the time, was the multicultural cast. While Uhura was somewhat limited, Sulu gets to kick some ass with his fencing skills. Quinto's Spock was spot on and Nimoy's Old Spock held a considerable and ironically emotional role, which will likely appease the hardcore Trekkie. Interestingly, the old-heads outnumbered the kids in my theater - and the majority literally applauded the movie as the closing credits rolled in.

Overall, it was a great summer popcorn flick movie and I look forward to some original stories that can now evolve from the alternate universe created within this story.


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