This is spoilery. So if you haven’t seen the movie don’t read this.
I really really loved this movie.
I’m not going to bother to go any further in terms of praising it from a movie or sci fi fan perspective. I wanted to see it twice before I wrote about it because I enjoyed it so much the first time I wanted to go one more time to nit pick it. It’s definitely not Citizen Kane in terms of its big ideas or narrative. But so much of what the film gets right about Trek is just absolutely dead on.
I dislike that to fully get Nero’s backstory you have to read a four issue comic series, Star Trek: Countdown, but that’s pretty much my sole complaint. Everything about the film hits the perfect notes:
Replicating an older film look by using camera/shooting flaws like lens flare or blinding bridge lights. Made it feel like it was rougher, more like the bad sets and cardboard bridge of the old show but without stooping to that level.
Sound cues. From the opening scanner ping noise from the old show, to the torpedo sounds, to the transporter. Everything was updated, but in a way that supported the alternate timeline idea. Comfortable, but new too.
Soundtrack: The film has an outstanding score. Go download it.
Original series nods: Kirk form Iowa, Spock saying fascinating, Pike in a wheelchair, Kirk eating an apple during the Kobayashi Maru test, McCoy’s “I’m a doctor not a …”, Kirk’s lady chasing, Vulcan neck pinch, “I have been, and always shall be your friend” and on and on and on.
Kicking original series canon to the curb: Holy FUCK they destroyed Vulcan and all the people on it. Spock/Uhura romance, Building ships on earth, making the ships far larger and more warlike due to the destruction of the Kelvin, Romulan first contact, and on and on.
I think it’s a wonderful and awesome a reboot as Battlestar Galactica was, without having to go through as many machinations as Galactica did. Everything that was great about original series Trek is here in the movie. While some bemoan the lack of some big social message, I preferred for a reboot the message that at some level these people were fated to be together, and fated to be on that ship.
I can’t wait to see what they do next, and again wish they had gone straight to a two season TV show to let the cast gel some more rather than make us all wait 2 years for another two hour movie.
But what I love most about this film, is watching people come out of it. From the kind of kids who used to beat the crap out of Trek nerds like me in High School, to small kids, to adults who never really got into it. I love hearing the buzz from them as I leave the theater. Trek’s cool again, and without really having to give anything up.