And that my friends, is exactly what JJ Abrams has done. He's taken a franchise that has a devout (dare I say, fanatic) following, re-worked it using his own artistic license without completely flipping the bird to those fans and directors that have gone before him. In my opinion, he has in fact, schooled some of those who have gone before him.
I would not be classed as a Trekkie and especially not a Trekker (I've actually only just learned that a Trekker classification of fan exists and from what I can glean, because it seems the word is too new for even Wiki to have a definition, they take devotion to a whole new level). I have only seen a handful of the original series, although I am very familiar with the main players. Really, you'd have to live under a rock not to be. In a cave. On an, as yet, undiscovered island. I am unfamiliar with anything in between Star Trek and The Next Generation. I may have seen a movie or two as a youngster, but I have forgotten them if I did. I tried very hard to watch as much of TNG as humanly possible, I dabbled in DS9, was not overly impressed, gave it up. I've seen Generations, First Contact, and Insurrection and enjoyed them all. I also watched a good deal of Voyager and was pleased for the most part. If I left anything out, it's because I don't know it exists or don't deem it important. Now that I have given you my Star Trek resume, you may decide whether or not you think me fit to have an opinion worth considering. If you've come to the conclusion that I am not nearly experienced enough to pass an opinion on the empire that is the Star Trek Franchise, fine, you are entitled, as am I. See you next time.
I was excited about this movie. Even though the rule of thumb would have me believe that reboots, remakes, prequels, sequels and whatever else you call 'em, usually suck hard. I wanted so much for this movie not to suck hard. I even avoided reading the review on my favourite site for such things (Pajiba!, only ever Pajiba!) for fear they would tell me it was a waste of time and money and an abomination to all things Star Trek. So I went into the theatre praying to whatever gods are responsible for good Star Trek movies and they answered my prayers!
The movie stays true enough to the original premise to do it justice but it doesn't pander to the purists. The main plot comes over slightly weak, but it is more than made up for. The action scenes are edge of your seat exciting. The camera work was a little shaky and at points left me a little motion sick, but I get sick on a swing set so I'm hardly credible. The character development was fantastic and the actors have paid homage to the icons that were while managing to set the stage for the icons that will be. And they will be icons. Chris Pine has played James T. Kirk to perfection (and I promise you, there is none of that infuriating stop start talking William Shatner coined). He's cocky, he's charming and he's cute. Kirk was the badass of the Federation, he played by a set of rules all his own. Chris Pine's Kirk insists you follow his badassery and rule breakin' and you do, without ever questioning him. Zachary Quinto nails Spock. The purists would argue he's too emotional. I disagree. As half human/half vulcan, Spock surely struggled with keeping his emotions in check. What you are getting here is not a mature, fully in control Spock, but one who is still trying to find that fine line between emotion and logic. Personally, it made me identify with him a little more. I will be happy to follow this Spock to the full fledged Spock to come. I should warn you, Zachary Quinto gives Spock something you are not expecting; all kinds of sex appeal. I was a little skeptical when I realized Eomer (Karl Urban) was playing the doctor. He seemed a little too, well, masculine. I don't know as much about Bones as I do some of the other characters, but he never struck me as overly manly and Karl Urban exudes testosterone. He reigns in the mans man enough to be Dr. McCoy, but lets just enough loose to make Dr. McCoy manly. Like I said, I don't know much about my Mom's Dr. McCoy, but this one I can get behind. Oh and Sean of the Dead! Mr. Simon Pegg plays Scotty. Do I really need to say anything else? His part wasn't as big as I would've liked, but he played it well. Rest assured Scotty can be counted on to get the ship moving and beam the crew in and out of her while keeping a smile on your face. And just to keep the corny fans out there happy (and I count myself amoung your numbers) every phrase the original coined is mentioned here in all of their cheesy glory! I giggled each time the respective actor uttered his required line.
JJ abrams Star Trek is one for this generation and with a bit of an open mind, one for William Shatner and Patrick Stewart's generation as well. A new love affair with a familiar lover, if you will. Will they be able to stay true to Gene Roddenberry's original vision with the new actors, story and audience? I can't say. I think that may be a tall glass to fill. Will they be able to honour the legacy that Star Trek has become? I, for one, cannot wait to see what is in store.