My first film review is a film that proved to be quite divisive within the Trekkie fan base. Star Trek was the film that ‘rebooted’ the franchise, several years after Enterprise went off the air.
The film takes the franchise back to its roots. The original characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and co were recast and we got to see them meet each other and come together to form the crew of the Enterprise for the first time. Along the way, we get time-travelling Romulans, planetary destruction, and a fandom that couldn’t decide if the film was exactly what Star Trek needed, or the final nail in the coffin.
Financially, Star Trek was a success. It faired quite well at the box office, and I dare say critically it was a success too. Most critics enjoyed the high-tempo and fast pace of the film, which served up plenty of action and had a lot of fun in the process.
The first 10 minutes or so are amongst the best material Star Trek has ever produced as a franchise, actually moving me to tears with a gut-wrenching opening. It is also filled with little nods to the original show, and whilst the story is not perfect, it’s good enough and close enough to the spirit of the original series.
Star Trek draws criticism from fans who disagree with the lighthearted nature of the film, a lack of exploration, and the destruction of a key world. Star Trek does upset the established timeline with certain events, which led to some fans crying that their TNG and DS9 boxsets would suddenly be meaningless (I hope I don’t have to explain to anyone why this is not the case), but in being bold, I feel the film was braver than a lot of the samey material that preceded it.
As far as exploration vs action is concerned, it is worth noting that the more successful Star Trek films have favoured action over anything else. Also, it is necessary for Star Trek to evolve or fail – it died off because fans were clearly tired of the same old stuff every week (just look at how quickly viewing figures for Enterprise plummeted). Star Trek’s mandate was to reignite interest in the Star Trek franchise – and it did exactly that.