Obligatory Review of the new Star Trek movie
Punchline: I had a grand time, as did my 12-year-old daughter (full disclosure: she's a fan of the original series). A hearty recommendation for fans, and a solid recommendation for newbies or folks who haven't liked any of the TV shows (particularly the latter shows).
Finally finally finally they have realized Star Trek is much better when it has a pair. A big pair. (I half expected the Enterprise to be sporting these, a tacky little trend that hopefully will be a short one.) And some hot green chicks, to boot.
The nicest surprise is that Sulu turns out to be a badass. Fans will recall that from the original show the episode where everyone gets wasted on an alien virus and Sulu ends up darting around the halls shirtless, challenging everyone to a fencing battle. Non-fans will enjoy things a bit more knowing that bit of history, and let's leave it at that.
My daughter's verdict, besides being the best movie she's seen this year (wow, huh?) was that they did a great job of casting. And they did.
Sulu is my favorite casting choice, as they used John Cho from the Harold & Kumar movies, and, as mentioned, he freakin' BRINGS IT. My next two faves are Karl Urban as Bones (he nails it while bringing the character freshness) and of course Simon Pegg as Scotty.
Kirk and Spock are cast wonderfully, too, though a few times you catch Zachary Quinto (Spock) being just a bit too doe-eyed for the Spock we know and love - but then it's actually a plot/character point, so even that works eventually.
J.J. Abrams was handed the keys to the kingdom, and admitted that he was not a trekkie, which was probably a saving grace. He clearly did his homework and was able to come to this without the nostalgic emotional haze original fans had, and so did not try to recreate that. His grokking of the series is so complete, I think he even included Galaxy Quest in his research, because there's a couple tips of the hat to that movie, too.
I can't say "my only quibble" because I don't really have one, if you follow Ebert's old rule of reviewing the movie you saw, not the one you wanted to see. If we step out of that restriction, my one wish is that Chris Pine (Kirk) had just once found a way to do Shatner's famous verbal tick when he was trying to remember a line where he would ... pause … before … rushing out the rest of the line. Maybe he's saving that for the next one.
And, oh yes, there will be a next one. They do manage to reboot the series in a way where they can do new adventures without having to betray anything that occurred in the original.