At 95% Fresh, this will be one of the most critically-acclaimed Hollywood films of the year. The critics are surely ranking it on a sliding scale:
- reboots tend to be disasters, this isn’t; and,
- as a crowd-pleasing summer blockbuster, it’s above average
It does not have the soul of Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s Trek is about thinly-veiled metaphors for philosophical and moral dilemmas combined with gee-whiz space opera. The camp naturally occurs: mid-century technology speculation and scifi ideas can’t be taken seriously, and it’s a ludicrous setting for exploring deep issues.
To be fair, modern audiences probably couldn’t handle true camp like that. So Abrams had a choice: either a bubble-gum action movie or a serious reimagining like Battlestar Galactica (Batman Begins is a half-hearted attempt at this). He chose the former; I am underwhelmed.
While I was watching, I couldn’t help but thinking that I’d rather be watching the BSG version:
Kirk’s father sacrifices the lives of hundreds of Starfleet seamen to save his newborn son. 20 years later, James joins Starfleet, the strong arm of the Federation’s colonialization program, to escape a shotgun wedding on Earth. Spock, child of a dying culture, joins to prove his superiority to the humans he paradoxically despises. Bones is right about the danger of transporters: they operate just within Starfleet’s acceptable loss rate. Sulu is in the closet since the Federation has officially genetically-engineered away the “gay defect”. Uhura openly has a relationship with one of her senior officers while enduring constant sexual harassment from another. etc…