Like the legions of nostalgic trekkies and new-millennium moviegoers looking for the latest cinematic thrill, today I boldly went to see Star Trek, J. J. Abrams’ latest endeavor based on the original 1960’s television series. Walking into the theater, my expectations were set higher than usual as most critical responses to the film have been exceptionally positive.
I’ve never been much a fan of the original Star Trek. Many times my father has tried to convert me, but it never really worked – I’ve always preferred Star Wars, to be honest. Abrams’ revisioning of the television classic was tailor made for people like me. Rather than doting on nostalgia and simply casting current actors as Kirk, Spock and other favorites, the film is a completely new interpretation of the series directed toward a new generation of potential fans.
I will admit that I do not know much about William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy as Kirk and Spock, respectively. I can say, however, with some measure of confidence, that the casting of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto was a pretty genius one. Neither was an outright imitation of those who made the roles famous, but they did manage to capture the essence of their respective characters and bring them to life in a refreshing and pleasantly relatable fashion.
The alternate-reality concept was very interesting and definitely what I think made J. J. Abrams’ interpretation really unique. There were numerous nods and references to the original TV show that helps the film remain faithful to the canon of the series. The part Leonard Nimoy plays, the size of which or the role itself I will not reveal, was pleasantly surprising for me and probably many other Star Trek newbies like myself. The audience gets an introduction to Spock and Kirk as youths, making it much easier to relate to them as people (Especially Spock, who we learn actually does have feelings). Uhura and Spock relationship develops quickly, but they make a nice couple and Zoë Saldana does a good job of bringing female sass to an otherwise entirely male film.
Long story short, I can basically sum up Star Trek by saying that it was a really cool movie. Fans of the 1960’s series and new fans looking to see what it’s all about will both find something to love. And while I doubt I’ll be watching any old episodes of the show, I definitely now have a newfound respect and admiration for this classic.