Director J.J. Abrams has captained the Star Trek franchise warp speed into the new millennium, taking movie audiences on a thrilling maiden voyage and leaving some Trekkies staring foolishly from the original series’ docking port.
“Star Trek” opened in theaters May 8 and took number one at the weekend box office, grossing close to $80 million its first weekend.
But some Trekkies are still criticizing the reboot. One was even noted as saying that there is nothing better than the original Star Trek with William Shatner as Capt. Kirk and therefore he wasn’t going to see the new movie.
Hardly the attitude you would expect from a Trekkie. Apparently, boldly going where no one has ever gone before doesn’t apply here. And that’s too bad because this Star Trek reboot proves to be another brilliant addition to the franchise.
The movie begins with the first glimpse of the expected use of CGI effects. But “Star Trek” manages to present the effects tastefully, without overpowering the scene or the movie itself, unlike the results of CGI effects in George Lucas’ latest Star Wars trilogy.
Within the first half hour of the film, audiences experience a space battle, an earth-bound car chase and a couple of bare-knuckle fights. In fact, the action moves so quickly from scene to scene that it makes one wonder if the absence of William Shatner is due to the inability to suffer impatiently through the Shatner-esque dramatic pauses.
Although it is considered science fiction, “Star Trek” does not limit itself to the genre, openly encompassing action, romance, suspense and comedy into its clever time-altering storyline. Not to mention a cast of the sexiest crewmembers ever to board the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The film has won the hearts of many non-Trekkies who found that the reboot brought a sympathetic understanding for the characters and a quick (almost Cliff Notes quality) history of the film’s canon.
Chris Pine’s skillful reincarnation of James Kirk does little in the way of impersonating and more to carry on what was important about Shatner’s portrayal; the bravado and charming sarcasm of a man arrogant to a fortunate fault. And true fans will enjoy Pine’s homage to some Shatner-esque mannerisms sprinkled throughout the movie.
The storyline took a clever detour from the Star Trek canon when Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci decided to play with the timeline by sending a menacing Romulan ship captained by Nero (Eric Bana) to the past, creating an alternate timeline separate from the original Star Trek history.
This apparently has many Trekkies confused. They argue that Spock’s mother did not die in his youth and in fact plays an important role in the future and that Kirk was not born in space. Even more so, they aren’t willing to accept a more emotionally affected Spock.
Trekkies are foolishly complaining about issues that are easily explained, even by non-science fiction aficionados.
It’s an alternate timeline, separate from the original timeline that still exists in the movie, as evidenced by the appearance of an older Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Nero’s travel back into the past creates changes in the original timeline, thus projecting a new line, giving Orci and Kurtzman the freedom to re-work the storyline for sequels.
And those who complain that Spock is too emotional must remember that he is half human, and much younger in this movie, and therefore is without the strict emotional control he eventually learns to develop in his later years.
The “Star Trek” reboot is a movie worthy of becoming this summer’s hit and a re-energizing addition to the franchise. Non-fans will be thinking twice about claiming loyalty to the other “Star” franchise once they get a glimpse of the new Enterprise and ride along on an action-filled maiden voyage. Trekkies unwilling to boldly go where the reboot has taken Star Trek will be missing out on an endearing homage to the franchise they love so much.