June 1, 2009

Boldly Going, or "Star Trek for the iPod Generation"

Despite what I have said in previous blog entries, I've always been a Star Trek fan - from stories about my father feeding me potato chips in my high chair while watching to childhoods spent Sunday mornings watching Trek at 10:00 am on Channel 9 (followed by the Lone Ranger, and O. Henry's western hero the Cisco Kid), I've always had a soft spot for Trek. Sure, I've been massively disappointed, and am probably one of the last holdouts to see the new movie.

It's almost appropriate that, on a Sunday morning, I drove out to a theater and gave in to seeing the Star Trek movie.

To say I was blown away would be a massive understatement. You hear that soft, wet, popping sound? That's the sound of many a hardcore Trek fanboy's head exploding.

First, the quibbles - didn't like all the lens flares, and didn't care for the new Enterprise redesign.

Other than that, this is definitely not your father's Star Trek. Or even my father...but he would have dug it.

One advantage is that the movie is 100% Shatner free, which will result in some fans possibly boycotting...but this isn't made for the fans. It's made for everyone else.

Gone is the self-important ponderousness....and the message of Trek is actually very subtle. Not just the series/movie nods and parallels, but the subtext is about what it means to be human, to step into a role one's uncomfortable with...and how differences can bring us together.

Plus, explosions. Lots of them.

Chris Pine pretty much owns the role of Kirk throughout the movie...but like many, I was simply astonished by Karl Urban's McCoy - I think that, if there is an afterlife, DeForrest Kelley is smiling. And Simon Pegg sparkles as Scotty.

The whole Nero subplot? Actually, I thought he was effective, especially since, like Kirk and Spock, he was a man who never dealt with his emotions, and simply just raged out. This movie is more than just a revisit to a television show - at its heart, it's about building relationships.

I feel regretful about my previous cynicism, but now, I'm happy, because Star Trek is no longer my own. It's everyone's Star Trek.

To think otherwise would be....illogical.

No comments: