Okay, I’ve done as I was asked and kept my opinion of the new Star Trek movie to myself until it opened. I attended a Paramount preview screening of the film in New York City on April 23 and have been cogitating on the film ever since.
In a Hemingway sentence: I liked it.
That said, I feel the need to clarify my statement.
The good: It’s a really fun action thrill-ride. A terrific summer movie. It is the best-looking, best-sounding, most visually impressive Star Trek movie ever made. Its pacing is excellent, and it has moments of genuine emotional impact. Although the details of many characters’ lives and relationships have changed as a result of the alternate-timeline conceit of the story, they all remain recognizable as true to their classic personas.
I plan on seeing it more than once over the next month.
The bad: While the movie works as a sensory experience, it is less successful as pure storytelling. It has many narrative contrivances that are absolutely asinine. Its depiction of astronomical phenomena is completely wrong. The engine room of the Enterprise bears an uncanny resemblance to a brewery, and the bridge looks like an Apple Store with its lights turned up to “11.” And the film’s writers appear utterly ignorant of Star Trek technobabble, military protocols and culture, and basic logic.
The bottom line: Lots of fun and deserves to be considered as one of the top five Star Trek movies ever made — provided that you can turn off your brain and just enjoy the ride.