Star Trek for the Next Generation (My Review, Minor Spoiler)

I really liked the new Star Trek movie. I had actually written the whole franchise off a few years ago, after Enterprise once again disappointed me with how unlike the original series it was, and even how dark and adolescent it was.

I had some trepidation about the new movie. First off, though I think JJ Abrams has got creative chops, his work hasn’t always clicked with me. I really love LOST, but technically he only created that, and then left it in the able hands of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I really enjoyed Alias when it was focused on the whole spy thing, but when they went off the fantasy deep end, looking for mysterious artifacts and blowing up the entire setup they had created in the first season, I got tired of it really quickly. Next, [minor spoiler] there’s time travel involved. I hate time travel stories. (Yes, I know I said I really like LOST. It didn’t start out as a time travel story, and they have balanced my general hatred of time travel stories by saying “You can’t change the past/future”. They tend to look at time travel from a fairly deep physics perspective, and also from a fairly deep thematic perspective. So, at least so far, they failed to disappoint me.)

Ultimately, I thought the cast was fantastic. (Karl Urban’s McCoy especially.) The story was good, although in the end the villain is kind of ultimately forgettable. The action was awesome, although occasionally it suffered a bit from the “Oh, look, someone is hanging over a very high drop…again. Remind me again why there are no railings on these spaceships? And why they don’t build floors instead of just tiny little walkways?” Oh wait, that’s right, JJ Abrams promised he would bring more Star Wars to Star Trek. So I guess that explains it.

The most pleasing thing to me about the movie is, there’s a return to the old values of Trek. With a diverse group of people working together to combat evil. There’s even kind of a thematic thing going on, where this new story kind of kills off the dark Trek that we had been living with for all those years. In the end, it’s a reboot and gives us the chance to enjoy the kind of Roddenberry-esque Trek I’d been missing. I’m really hopeful that the planned sequels (and possible TV rebirth) will be a return to the sort of positive stories that have been missing from entertainment lately.

One other minor note to the filmmakers. Those light on the bridge that sort of blind the camera at the beginning of every shot? Not cool. They suck. Stop it. I go to the movies to actually be able to see what’s going on, not for your kewl lighting effect.

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