So, I went to see the new Star Trek movie Friday. I'm a big fan of J. J. Abrams and Lost so I was interested in seeing what he would do with the Star Trek franchise. I don't consider myself a trekie, but I think the franchise is pretty good. This review will hopefully be spoiler free, but I will mention stuff that either was shown in the previews or should be obvious to anyone familiar with the Star Trek universe.
The first thing I notice is the movie's poster. It struck me as odd that it was a blurred picture of the enterprise, as if it was a secret that the USS Enterprise would be in the movie (spoiler alert, it is). When I saw the movie, the poster made complete sense. HOLY LENS FLARE BATMAN! There are literally scenes where 2 people are just talking and 90% of the screen is pure white from lens flare. What, did they get this guy to do the lighting?
I'm not really a fan of the teenagers save the world type movie (Harry Potter, X-Men, Transformers etc) so I almost walked out when a young Kirk cruises across the desert in a red convertible. Luckily, I like the Beastie Boys. I did leave the theater briefly to return a call when Chris Pine and co win quidditch and sneak aboard the enterprise, so I'm just going to assume that this part sucked.
The next 10 minutes showed the entire deck of the enterprise being replaced by the cadets trekies would know from the original series for pretty arbitrary reasons. I understand that the movie is already over 2 hours long, but they could have fleshed out how the crew went from recent grads to head of their fields. The most odd was probably Uhura who replaces a guy because she speaks Romulan. The problem is, this never even becomes useful since they can't use their communicator and the Romulans seem to speak English, even when talking privately.
The plot of the movie is pretty good, those familiar with lost should notice a few similarities with time travel and alternate realities. The space scenes and fights were also well done with black holes appearing black and no sound in space most of the time to appeal to the sci fi purists. My main complaint about the plot is that the big threat to the universe is a disgruntled Romulan in a mining vehicle. Like, WTF. Also, why does he kick so much ass when his ship isn't even primarially designed for combat. In a latter scene, the enterprise is able to shoot down 100% of the Romulan missiles with little trouble, why couldn't they just have done that before? Plus, even though he is crazy, he could just fly to Romulus and see that it is still there. If he tried to pull that shit on earth today, his incredibly weak drill would get shot down by F-16's. Though I guess that could be avoided by drilling in a less scenic location.
Simon Pegg is awesome as always and carries this movie through the second half. But he is given so many cheesy lines it is almost unbearable.
Overall, Star Trek was a decent movie and above average in its action film genre. I look forward to more movies by J. J. Abrams now that he seems to be moving from TV to theaters (I guess he did do Mission Impossible III which was also pretty good), I just hope he doesn't realize that he can re-release this same plot 2-3 more times with different franchises for mega $$$. I also fear the obvious "Star Trek: Academy" spin off TV series (Think Grey's Anatomy meets, well Star Trek). Overall, I give this movie a 7/10 and suggest that anyone who liked the X-Men or Transformers series as well as Star Trek fans should go see it. If you are a movie goer who likes lens flare I would definitely recomend you go see it, just bring a change of pants.