Producer/director J.J. Abrams' "reboot" of the original Star Trek series, currently playing in movie theatres across the country, has, as of last weekend, made about $191 million at the box office, and with good reason. It's great!
The screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman doesn't have an intelligent brain in its body (more on that in a moment) and the staging of the action scenes by director Abrams is confusing and choppily edited (rather surprising, since the action scenes on Abrams' 2001-2006 Alias TV series were among the most tightly edited and choreographed ones ever shot on film). But the energenic performances by the cast (with Zachary Quinto's Spock a standout) and Abrams' similarly manic direction give Star Trek a frantic, hopped up pace that never lets up for a moment. Abrams and his crew also succeed in creating mysterious and unfamilar surroundings that successfully transport the audience into a completely alien environment. The look of the spacecraft helmed by Eric Bana's Nero, for example, is both offbeat and frightening, yet fascinating, in its own unusual way. And the Star Wars inspired climax is one of the most exciting I've seen in a long time!
But... The script has holes and illogical plot contrivances. (In the middle of a life-or-death mission, would you take the time to eject a crew member who gives you lip from your ship & exile them on a dangerous arctic planet? Sure, it allows said crew member to meet two characters important to the story's outcome, but still...) I wish the "classic" characters hadn't been introduced to each other and the audience so abruptly. (Couldn't we have met some of the supporting characters in the sequels?) And there's a time travel angle that allows this film to be both separate from, and part of, the previous TV and movie installments, that's kind of confusing (though it is nice to see Leonard Nimoy back). And the less said about "the red matter", the better.
Nit-picking aside, Star Trek is nevertheless an enjoyable science fiction action adventure film.
(And be sure and check out the graphic novel Star Trek: Countdown, a "prequel" to the events in the new film, that helps to clear up some confusing plot developments. Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman supplied the story for the novel's writers Mike Johnson and Tim Jones, and artist David Messina. You can reserve Countdown online from the library here.)