This past Saturday my wife and I finally saw Star Trek. Now, I've been a fan of every incarnation of Star Trek since about 1990. I've seen every single episode of the five different series with the exception of a few Voyager episodes (I was on a mission in Mexico at the time). I own the two-disc special editions of all the previously released movies, all four seasons of Enterprise, and the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately I'm not quite rich enough to own a whole lot more than those six seasons. I actively collect Star Trek novels. I own the official encyclopedia and the official chronology as well as the Original Series, Deeps Space Nine, and The Next Generation technical manuals. I have the Star Trek Star Charts. I even have the official blueprints of the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation. In other words, I think I'm fairly well qualified to judge J. J. Abrams' new Star Trek.
I thought it was the best Star Trek movie ever.
My wife, who didn't exactly grow up on Trek, was very impressed by it (and actually teared up during the first fifteen minutes).
The story was engaging, the characters were good (better than the originals, in fact), and the action was constant without ever dumbing down the movie. The cinematography was more dynamic than in any previous incarnation of Star Trek (this is particularly noticeable in a noteworthy scene in which the Enterprise swoops in with literally all phasers and torpedoes blazing). They even addressed the age-old complaint that all action in the Star Trek universe occurs in a single plane, with all the starships being presented as if they were sea vessels limited to the surface of the ocean rather than moving in the three dimensions of space. In one particular scene the Enterprise actually appears upside down with respect to the object on which the camera is focused. This may seem like a small detail, but it shows that the new caretakers of the franchise have been paying attention.
The film is also filled with minute details for the fans: various sound effects are cleverly modernized versions of their 1960s counterparts, quotes and paraphrases from the Original Series and its movie spinoffs can be found throughout, and there's even a reference to "Admiral Archer" and his beagle that viewers of Enterprise will find pretty funny. Since the movie was obviously designed to appeal to a larger audience than the typical Trek movie, I was pleasantly surprised to see how faithful they were to their source material.
In short, Star Trek was a great movie that seems to appeal both to Trek fans and non-fans alike, as indicated by its 95% on Rottentomatoes.com. This compares pretty favorably with The Dark Knight's 94% (let's just ignore that in my last post I said I don't usually agree with the critics). Once the closing credits appeared, my wife and I agreed that we couldn't wait for the sequels. I'd give the new Star Trek a 4.5 out of 5: