There are some people in this world, who would refuse to watch To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) because it’s filmed in black and white. They might not see Sense and Sensibility (1995) because it’s a period movie, in the, gasp, Victorian period. And there are those who love the two previously mentioned movies, but would never, ever, ever, see Star Trek, because it’s a, well, it’s a Star Trek movie.
Let’s agree on this: Just because a movie is filmed in black and white, that does not make it great. Just because a movie is full of men wearing breeches, that does not make it pithy. And just because a movie is of the science fiction genre, that does not make it stupid.
Of course, you don’t have to agree. Just stand over there with all the other wrong people. It will make it easier when we pass out the identification tags.
If after watching the first ten and one half minutes of Star Trek, you aren’t compelled to continue watching, please put your index and forefingers on your carotid artery and feel for a pulse. Because the only possibility for not being moved by what you see is that you are no longer alive.
In the first ten minutes, it becomes clear this movie is way above average. The production values are off the charts, the script and acting are perfect, and the director (J. J. Abrams) puts us at seat’s edge in suspense, and puts our hands to our heart as it breaks. And remember, that’s all in the first ten minutes.
For those of us mature enough to remember the original Star Trek television series from 1966-1969, this movie pays homage to it as well as improves it. But for those who know nothing of Star Trek, it’s a rousing and touching new adventure.
The special effects here are part of the movie, not the reason for it. You walk out of this movie, not saying “Wow! What amazing special effects!” but rather, being more impressed by the script, characters, and storyline. As Shakespeare said, “the play’s the thing.” Here the play is full of themes of family loss, vengeance, redemption, friendship, loyalty, tragedy and triumph. Themes that Shakespeare himself tackled, in a much more prosaic style of course.
If it’ll make you feel better, think of it as Shakespeare in Space. Or, To Kill A Romulan. Or Spock and Sensibility. Remember, ‘a rose by any other name, would smell as sweet.’ Or as the website phrases.org.uk puts it, “What matters is what something is, not what it is called.” Call this movie by whatever you want, it is great.