Star Trek (2009)

(In theaters, May 2009) I’m the worst type of Star Trek fan: A lapsed one. While Trek formed a good chunk of my formative Science Fiction viewing, the limitations of the series quickly led me to other things once I started reading more widely in the field. So it is that I had practically no baggage of expectations regarding this younger, hipper reboot of the original series to 2009 standards: They could have produced a musical comedy “with Kirk as an ocelot or something” and I still wouldn’t haven’t blinked. And yet this reboot seems exactly what the doctor ordered for a musty old franchise: Fresh, funny and captivating, the film roars past without too many lengths, yet stays true to a bunch of the original series’ strengths. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, mind you: The whole premise of reuniting all characters is a cheat from the get-go, and it begs for exactly the kind of coincidences, contrivances and clumsy plotting than we get throughout the entire film. The bad science is hideous, the misogyny is unacceptable (Uhura as a toy for the boys?) and the cheats required to bring all the characters together would be unforgivable if the rest of the film wasn’t so much compulsive fun. (Who would have believed a Star Trek film featuring the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”?) What’s more, this Star Trek made me realize two things: First, that I had forgotten how much fun Kirk, Spock and company could be. Second, that despite my protests, I still had enough of an inner Trekkie to be annoyed at some of the more outlandish deviations from the canon. Spaceships being built on the ground? Vulcan destroyed? Uhura/Spock? Meerp? At least we get the single best-looking Orion Girl in the entire Trek filmography so far. As for the rest, well, I’ve got enough issues with the film to fill a full-hour panel at a convention, and that says far too much about me than I care to reveal: I, apparently, am a lapsed fan no more.

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