It's no surprise that I went to see the new star trek film. As much as I love Star Trek Generations and I respect the original series, I was ready for something new. When I think of the original series there's this sort of glimmery hazy filter of nostalgia that encompasses my memory, partially because it's been so long since I've seen any of the episodes.
Every time there's a film I really want to see I stop watching the trailers, I refuse to read the early reviews and I try not to think about it until I go see it. Why? Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Meanace, that's why. My hopes were so bloody high for that film that by the time I got a chance to see it there was no way it could have lived up to them, Jar Jar or no Jar Jar.
Back to JJ Abrams' Star Trek. I managed to keep my expectations low and I wasn't disappointed at all. You know that glimmering filter that I see the old series through when I think back to it? Like there was something magical and incredible that the original series had and my mental image of it sort of shines up those old sets and embellishes the performances? Well, it's like JJ opened my head, saw how my memories of the old Trek Original Series looked and said; "Aha! I think I know how I'll direct this film now!"
I shouldn't have been so afraid to get my hopes up, there's no Jar Jar Binx equivalent in this film. I like all the actors he chose and truly hope that they can do another four or five films or even better: make the transition to television. The action in this film (of which there is a great deal), helps tell a story and takes you on a wild ride with top notch directing and special effects. The story answered questions they honestly didn't have to, but the completeness of it connected the film to the rest of the franchise while surprising and entertaining.
JJ Abrams has grown as a director. This film is bold, he took massive risks with the visuals which couldn't be more amped up or exciting to watch. The pacing is fantastic and he managed to present Star Trek in a completely new way while keeping just enough of the old conventions to be unmistakably Trek.
There is a pretty big problem, however. JJ Abrams' direction style in this film is so unique and impressive that I shudder at the thought of another director trying to match or surpass it with a sequel. My hopes are that it's not all downhill from here, that Paramount doesn't hire a Michael Bay wannabe to do a sequel and another Brannon Braga to reboot Generations on television. I honestly think Paramount would be making a huge mistake in rushing to flood the market with Trek. If we can have one movie like this every year or two and a well thought out television series a whole new generation would be hooked and the current fans would have something to tune in to.
I'll take this opportunity to end on a rare positive note. The movie surpassed my expectations and was truly entertaining. I think Paramount may have learned from their past mistakes and in time we'll see a few quality films. Perhaps they'll manage to develop some decent science fiction television.