I caught the midnight premiere of Star Trek with my dorm last night. It was one of the most thrilling cinematic experiences I have ever had. As a casual fan of the Star Trek TNG series, I never saw more than the first few episodes of the extremely cheesy and dated Star Trek Original series. But this latest film directed by JJ Abrams has somehow miraculously polished the entire Star Trek universe to a new ultra-cool sheen and has liberated Trekkie fans who no longer have to shamefully hide their adoration of the Trek universe.
As has been the trend for successful action movies in the last few summers, the new Star Trek movie is a reboot of the entire Star Trek series. Through the device of a slight alteration to the original Star Trek timeline, the film writers have brilliantly created an alternate parallel Star Trek universe that will allow the writers to selectively retain much of the original canon. There’s quite a lot packed into this movie. The main plot revolves around an angry Romulan seeking revenge for the accidental destruction of his entire planet and who has traveled back in time (this is what causes the time rift) in order to annihilate the home planets of the Vulcans and Humans.
To me the highlight of the movie was being introduced to the future crew of the USS Enterprise, most of whom are freshly graduated recruits from Starfleet Academy, as the plot unfolds. The scene in which the camera slowly pans over the newly commissioned USS Enterprise for the first time sent chills down my spine and was an awe inspiring moment for all Star Trek fans in the audience. The movie opens with baby Kirk’s birth and a few brief scenes from his and Spock’s childhood, followed by a few fast-paced scenes at the Starfleet Academy where the brash student Kirk infuriates teacher Spock by successfully defeating the Kobayashi Maru, a supposedly impossible computer simulation test. The movie then shifts to even higher-gear as all Starfleet cadets and officers are swept on an emergency mission to a distress call from the ally Vulcan home planet. So the adventure begins and we witness McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and Scotty assume their roles as the familiar crew of the Original series.
As far as the science of the movie goes, quite frankly, there really isn’t any. Perhaps it’s because I have just gone through the trauma of 3 Physics midterms in a week for Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetism and Classical Mechanics, but at least on first viewing, the impossible and other-worldly Physics didn’t diminish the viewing experience in any way. Star Trek does not have to abide by the rules of Physics as far as I am concerned. They are just two mutually exclusive activities that I happen to enjoy simultaneously, and I find the gripe that some movie critics have about the lack of realistic Physics in the movie completely ridiculous. Even Bad Astronomy’s review is quick to forgive the scientific fallacies made in the film!
All in all, Star Trek was a great way to start what promises to be an exciting summer movie season. But before I catch another summer blockbuster in the cinema, you can bet that I will be back in the theaters again to strap in for yet another warp drive to sheer cinematic goodness.
Rating In Summary: 8/10