Director/producer J.J. Abrams' new "Star Trek" feature film is entertaining, fast-paced and a sweet ride. From a general technical and creative standpoint, it is a solid piece of science-fiction entertainment.
As an ultimate "Star Trek" film, however, it falls short - mostly because "Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry isn't alive to have creative control.
Original "Trek" fans always wanted the original cast in their original roles back on television. The fans never asked for a "Motion Picture" in 1979 to ignite a feature film franchise. They never requested a "Next Generation" or a "Deep Space Nine" or a "Voyager" or an "Enterprise" on the small screen. All the "Trek" films and small-screen sequels remain fine additions to the "Star" universe.
But true "Trek" fans forever begged for William Shatner's "Captain Kirk" and Leonard Nimoy's "Mr. Spock" to spar once more with DeForest Kelly's "Dr. McCoy" back on TV (denoting and embracing the "Triad" relationship ("Kirk's" stoic balance betwixted "Spock's" logic and "McCoy's" emotion).But that never happened.
Instead, "Trekkers" received a whole TV generation ahead of "Kirk/Spock/McCoy" ("Next Generation"); a few generations before them ("Enterprise"); space-jumped around them a little bit (on "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager"); the original crew went to the movies (about which even "Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry wasn't that excited; for as he once complained, the movies became about the adventures of the characters, and not the adventures of the Enterprise; big difference.)
Certainly now, any chance of the original actors reprising their original characters in new small screen adventures will never transpire (as so many of the initial cast members have passed away, along, of course, with Roddenberry himself). (Original fans can only surmise the number of new-original episodes they could have been produced if filming had revamped of the original series - instead of "The Motion Picture" - in 1979 and continued until at least 1999 (when DeForest Kelly died)?!
That said, the new "Trek" cast, headed by Chris Pine as "Kirk" and Zachery Quinto as "Spock," are outstanding. Abrams' direction is as crisp and slick as can be, as are all the tech credits. For all intents and purposes, this new movie is a wonderful sci-fi film. If not a sincere "Trek sequel, it is without a doubt, a valiant, and very contemporary, hip attempt.Yet, it is the film's "war" slant that is disconcerting, as it is with many sci-fi films and TV shows, in general (case in point: the upcoming "Terminator: Salvation" movie).
Adventure is good for the soul; frequent war-movies, sci-fi or otherwise, are not.
There must be another way to display action sequences beyond the confines of a war-ridden script? (The original "Trek" series did it all the time.)
With any true, new "Trek," let's have an imaginative, wonderous, spectaclular feature film, TV series or webisode - all of them filled with some kind of discovery of an astounding new alien race. Let's see some beautiful visuals...with near-blinding light and color.For such is not the case in viewing the new "Trek."
Where is Roddenberry's original ethereal, vision, and well, heart, which explored strange new worlds...undiscovered countries, and exuded charm and exhilarated the audience, first and foremost with imaginative storytelling?Roddenberry's initial "Trek" employed spectacle, fancy, aptitude, humor and adventure, all wrapped within a neat package that soared with a display of a media mosaic of imaginative universe, filled and presented with fanciful disclosure.
Where is any of that in Abrams' "Trek"?
Indeed, it is wonderful to at least see a return to the costume colors from the original "Trek" uniforms. And yes, it is no easy task for any genius to recreate the wheel (and Abrams is a genius). But does it have to be such a dark, violent war-ridden wheel? Does it ALWAYS have to be such a dark, violent war-ridden wheel?
Bottom line: I want this film to make a billion dollars at the box office, for "Star Trek," for Paramount, for all the people working for Abrams, behind and in front of the camera, and in his office - and for the industry in general. Anything that will bring attention to the original "Star Trek" television series, of course, and "Star Trek," in general, is okay with me.
Next time, however, I just want it to be perfect.