Apparently I love J.J. Abrams. I've watched LOST and Fringe regularly since they began and I was really excited about Cloverfield, but watching Star Trek last Thursday finally solidified it for me. I can't even think of anyone to compare him to in the industry, past or present. He's quickly building his very own Sci Fi (or is it SyFy now?) empire where monsters are real, life is mysterious, heroes are human and fallible, and the past/present/future is never completely set in stone.
I won't spoil any of the movie for you, so no worries if you're reading this. I will just say that J.J. took the Star Trek world that everyone knew and he turned it on its head. Not only is it fresh and exciting again, but it can go wherever it wants in the future due to a clever bit of writing. There were definitely references (shout-outs) to the TV series and films of the past, but they're not done in an overly cheesy manner that distracts from everything else going on (not going to lie, there were a few "wink wink" moments put in specifically for the die-hards). I think that given the inherent far-fetched nature of any Sci Fi story, this one was pulled off in the most plausible way possible. There are scenes (especially early on) that I feel were slightly unnecessary, but I suppose those are more about the character set-ups than anything else.
Speaking of characters, every single one of them is bad-ass. Kirk gets beaten up in every way possible by everyone possible. The action scenes are really well done and visually, it is absolutely stunning. The acting is pretty spot-on, only occasionally going over-the-top. In my opinion, this is a testament to the near-perfect casting of the film (Winona Ryder does NOT need to be in this, but...whatever). One of the most important things for any story to be successful is to make the audience care about the characters in one way or another. You don't have to love everyone, but you have to have some sort of emotional stake in the outcome, or you might as well just walk out of the theater. Whether it was the writing or the acting or a combination of the two, I did care.
Luckily, Star Trek never stumbles into the trap of becoming a caricature of itself or the genre, which, let's face it, it could have done very easily. One sure sign that you may like it: the guy in the theater dressed as Captain Kirk was apparently raving about it afterward...
It's not just for the Trekkies, though, kids! Jon, who has openly stated that he believes Star Trek is "the dorkiest thing ever," enjoyed it just as much as the hardcore fans. I'm somewhere in between fan and apathetic towards the Trek, but I would pay to see this again. This is a big deal coming from me, because I am usually staunchly against viewing films more than once (with notable exceptions like The Dark Knight, Trainspotting and a few others).
There you have it, folks. Well, there you have as much as I can say until you go see it and we can discuss further...so go do it because I'm dying to talk about this!!!