Reacting to Star Trek

I saw the new Star Trek film Saturday. I honestly don’t know why I went to see it. Maybe it was because the ticket was free, maybe it was because I really didn’t have anything better to do, maybe I just decided “what the hey?” and went for it.

I’m almost ashamed to say this, but I liked it. I mean I really, really liked it.

You have to understand, for me, this is big. I really, really, do not like Trek that much. Okay, parts of it, I flat-out despise. Said despised parts include most of the original series (which, honestly, would have been infinitely better without William Shatner), the early TNG episodes, DS9, and all but 2 of the movies. And don’t even get me started on Enterprise.

But for some reason, I liked this movie. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it didn’t have the campy, cheesy feel that the old TV shows and movies had. Maybe it was because that the characters actually seemed to know what they were doing. Maybe it’s because there was a real, menacing villain. Maybe a combination of all three. I don’t know. All I know is that I liked it.

I thought that all of the characters had been nailed down perfectly. As soon as you saw/heard a character for the first time, you knew that’s who it was. I especially liked Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy: he has the character down perfectly.

The story was also pretty good, although there is the requisite Trek “junk science” (Red Matter) that is never really explained, though it doesn’t really feel forced or unnatural. Likewise, the pre-requisite cliches and tribute lines (“Live long and prosper,” “Dammit, I’m a doctor, not a physicist!” “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!”, etc.), none of them feel forced or fake. In fact, the whole film feels quite natural, as it were. The one cliche they didn’t have (and I didn’t miss) was how ineffective the Enterprise’s phasers are: the ship kicked @$$ and took names in this film.

The way I see it, if you like Sci-Fi, and if you’re a caual Trek fan, then you should see this movie. If you’re a hardcore Trekkie, you might not like it. But see it anyway. ‘Cause like it or not, it’s a really good movie. And I still can’t believe I think that.


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