Let me start by saying that I am not a huge Star Trek fan. I have watched several episodes of the original series and Next Generation. I have seen all of the films and enjoy 1,2,4 and 6 the most, but I would qualify that I am more of a Star Wars fan. Upon seeing the new and improved Star Trek, I am a fan reborn, much like the franchise itself.
This new film is the shot in the arm needed to make this franchise relevant again, and most of all fun. Star Trek reminds me of what summer blockbusters used to be. These social event films used to have everything for everyone, and most importantly they had substance. These films of days gone by were much more than the mindless, popcorn fare that we are accustomed to now.
First off the film looks beautiful! As my associate Dave Creek said, "All the money is on the screen," with which I agree. You tend to forget that this is all fake and allow yourself to become lost in the film. My wife and I saw it twice on opening weekend, with the second time being a huge screen with a digital print of the film, so what looked great on a standard screen became glorious!
There are so many more compliments I can bestow upon the film, but I would like to commend the cast and their acting ability. The only reservation I had with the chosen cast was Chris Pine playing Capt. Kirk, and that was only because I was unfamiliar with his previous work. Everyone else I was satisfied with, and I am pleased that my positive expectations worked out, including Pine's performance. The story itself is a little light, but what we lose in a complex plot we gain in something that is seldom seen in big action pictures -- character development. Everyone in this film is fleshed out, and some with new twists that make them more interesting. For instance, Uhura is far more aggressive and not merely window dressing. Spock is the same, but with a level of angst even longtime fans have never seen. What I also appreciated was that in learning the backgrounds of everyone, we get to see how truly talented and brilliant this crew is and how much one had to be to serve in any important station on any starship.
I loved the whole new feel to the film; everything feels fresh. The Enterprise itself is a shining beacon and the dynamics between each member of the crew feel the same way. Some aspects feel the same while many more are exciting because of their unpredicatbility. I don't want to discuss too much of what has changed, due to my anti-spoiler policy, but much has changed. If you are a longtime fan of the original, don't fear. Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman make many changes, but do not forget what has come before. Viewers should be on the lookout for many Easter eggs throughout the film that make references to the original series as well as the first six Star Trek films.
Star Trek is superior filmmaking in every respect, and I am so pleased that we have a director the caliber of J.J. Abrams behind the wheel of a dying franchise. Abrams knows what worked about this property and what failed to attract a wider audience and exploited this to a wonderful effect. As a matter of fact Paramount Studios has already ordered a script for the next film and that was before the first was released! The U.S.S. Enterprise will have many more adventures to come thanks to this success and I think we are better for it. I can do no more than give Star Trek my highest recommendation!