Though it has been a stable of our culture for forty years Star Trek has always polarized audiences. Some feel the series is slow and meandering. Some people feel that Star Trek is actually very smart and intelligent, to the point where they claim that people who don't get it simply don't think enough. Both sides have a point. The series has always been both things, yet neither of those things at the same time. It's such a unique creation that it's up to interpretation. Do some bloggers take it too seriously? Maybe. But then, reading a twelve page discussion topic on one episode could reveal some hidden social commentaries on society that are still relevant to this day. Impressive for a cheesy 60's show that didn't even last four seasons. Now we have the 11th feature film simply entitled "Star Trek."
It's been advertised as a new Star Trek, one that today's CGI-loving kids can enjoy. This has lead some people to believe this is a reboot rather then a sequel. Well, actually, it's a reboot, sequel, AND prequel! The movie takes place in the past where Kirk will go on to become one of the greatest space captains of all time. His road will be altered significantly though because a time-traveling Romulan named Captain Nero has come to the past from the future and killed Kirk's father. This means that Kirk now grows up to be a rebel without a cause, getting into bar fights and sleeping with as many alien women as he can. The other main protagonist is Spock, who is having difficulties coming to terms with his mixed breed. Half Vulcan and half human, Spock has the ability to feel emotions. Emotions, it seems, he can't control and doesn't fully understand at times.
These two men are known for their legendary friendship, but in this film they are ready to kill each other every chance they get. Kirk is the man of action. Spock is the man of logic. Bones comes in every now and then to provide the middle ground for the two men at times. Though advertised as an action movie this is a thinking man's movie through and through. The movie spends a great deal of time on these characters emotions rather then special effects. Although special effects are present and look spectacular, they compliment the story rather then overtake it. This makes director J.J. Abrams one of the most clever directors out there, as he's managed to keep the spirit of Star Trek intact while addressing some of the problems many of today's audiences have with the franchise.
Is it a perfect film? No. It's still a prequel film to some extent, so there isn't a lot of surprises to be found in the story. Plus a romance between Spock and sexy conrad Uhura feels forced and out of place. Still, this is a very solid film. It's both exciting and thought provoking at the same time, which isn't something "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" could lay a claim on. The director has promised that this is the first step of recreating the franchise, and that future installments will be even deeper then this one. If him and his new cast can follow up on that promise, then I expect Star Trek to be around for a long, long time.
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