One thing that I like to make prominently clear about myself is that I do not like science fiction or fantasy. And while I have never and will never see the Lord of the Rings, my disdain for the genres actually comes from experience. My mother is and always was a real sci-fi geek and for a very long time I engaged in watching those sorts of movies and reading those types of books. Then one day I realized I didn’t like them. I can’t remmeber exactly when, but it was at some point later in high school when I started writing for my own enjoyment and I realized the real rewards in storytelling lie in crafting an interesting and compelling story out of domestic, quotidian material.
Needless to say, I really had no desire to see the new Star Trek film, the reboot as they are calling it. No desire until I saw that Simon Pegg was in it. Simon Pegg! He’s a funny guy. So I decided to be nice for once and accompany my husband to the show. We went to see the film at the “IMAX” (ha!) in Southcenter. And though I didn’t really want to, I really enjoyed this film.
Now while there are many things I have not seen in the genre, I have seen my share of Star Trek. Mostly The Next Generation which was big when I was in high school. And I believe it was Deep Space Nine that made me realize just how much I hated the genre. But I don’t know much about the original series or storyline and that did not matter in the new film. I found it completely understandable with my rudimentary knowledge of Star Trek and the Trek aliens. And the thing I liked best about this film was the establishment of the characters. We saw what brought them to Star Fleet Academy, and how they became friends (or enemies) and they were all around real and likable characters. Characters, not caricatures, in a Star Trek film. Imagine that.
And one decision I really applaud is the one that kept Kirk in plain black clothes and out of the ridiculous Star Fleet uniform for most of the picture. It really helped establish his character and set him apart visually.
The downside is the character storytelling falls by the wayside about halfway through the film to advance the Trek plot involving aliens, time-travel and planetary explosions. But even that was well paced and not so mired down in lore to be unintelligible. In fact, I completely agree with Simon Pegg in his infamous line playing in a trailer near you…”I like this ship. It’s exciting!” Indeed it is, Mr. Pegg. (More of him, next time, please.) There is plenty more room for character development in subsequent films and should they keep telling that side of the story, I will continue to watch. Because these are people I want to know more about.
Oh yeah, one more thing… Nuclear Wessel!