Here I am, late as usual, writing about a movie all of you saw months ago in the theaters. But what the heck. That never shut me up before.
Like it was yesterday, I remember sitting down to watch the premiere of STAR TREK in 1967. (If it wasn’t 1967, don’t blame me. I don’t fact-check these things, you know.) I was a big science-fiction fan and was really looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint me. Sure, the original series looks a little cheesy now, but I never noticed that then. I loved the show, watched all the episodes as they aired, watched the reruns, watched the syndicated reruns, watched the cartoon show, and read all the books based on both. Gradually, though, the enthusiasm waned. When the movies started coming out, I watched them and liked them all right. I didn’t catch up on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION until after it had ended its run, but then I saw all the episodes in reruns and became a fan of that one, too. Then I watched all the other spin-off series (gave up on VOYAGER before it ended, though). Read some of the tie-in novels here and there along the way. So I consider myself a Star Trek fan, although not an obsessive one by any means.
Which brings us to the new STAR TREK movie.
Of course I had to watch it. Several years ago, before there was even any discussion about this one, I read a comment from someone, sorry I don’t remember who, that said, “You’ll know you’re really old when you see different actors playing Kirk and Spock in the movies.” So I guess I’m really old, which comes as no surprise. And as such, I was prepared to be cantankerous and find fault with the new movie. For about two-thirds of it, I still was. I kept thinking, “Yeah, the special effects are good, and the actors are okay, and the story’s pretty interesting, but . . . but . . . but this isn’t right! And that over there’s wrong! And that’s not the way it was!”
But then the movie springs its nice little plot twist that makes everything okay. I won’t go into the details of it, in consideration for the two or three of you who haven’t seen the film already, but it put a grin on my face, I can tell you that. And the overall effect is to make me say that I liked this movie quite a bit and will certainly watch any sequels they’d like to make. I don’t think the magic of the original is quite there, at least not for me, but the movie comes close to capturing it here and there.
It also makes me want to go and read some of the tie-in novels. There are plenty of them out there I’ve never read. Whether or not I’ll ever get around to it is another question. But I might.
UPDATE: The quote about different actors playing Kirk and Spock comes from my friend Don Herron.