I loved it.
I went into this movie expecting another fun adventure with characters I like. What I got was a deeply touching homage to the spirit of the old school Star Trek with the pizzazz and sensibilities of modern summer film releases.
Yes, there was the action and the flashiness.
But there was also great heart, and a sense of optimism; two of the things that the old Star Trek series had in abundance.
There were small moments that made me tear up, I thought they were so lovely. Bear in mind that I was also feeling a little frail because... well... sick.
Anyway. The first time I saw Anton Yelchin on screen, I almost cried. There's a tragic story of a life ended too soon. From all accounts, he was a beautiful person inside and out, and it struck me oddly hard to see him on screen knowing he passed. There's no real reason for me to have felt so sad about his death and seeing him on screen. I didn't know him personally or professionally. I have not been following his career even a little. He was on my radar only when a new Star Trek film was released. And still, there he was, out of focus in a shot centred on Sulu, working the controls, and my heart cracked a little bit.
The second moment was the brief flash of an Asian man and a Caucasian woman making eyes at each other, and then moments later seriously smashing lips. It seems weird that I found that touching to you? Good. We can be friends. But Asian men have for a long time been considered unfit leading men, generally "unbelievable" as a love interest, or as the assertive action man type. For a long, long time, Asian men have been painted as geeky, submissive, unattractive and unmanly. It's a problem. And it's untrue. But ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a non-Asian production which painted an Asian man as a strong, assertive male that turns women's heads? They are few and far in between, and it must suck for Asian men who have to deal with this untrue image of themselves all over the media.
I appreciated seeing it.
The third moment I appreciated so very much was the brief flash of Sulu's family; his daughter and his loving husband.
I've heard people criticise this, claiming that Star Trek's "political correctness" has ruined the character of Sulu. To this, I say a hearty "Piss off." First of all, Star Trek has always been about inclusiveness, about acceptance of others, about the humanity of humanity. The first ever onscreen interracial kiss happened in the old Star Trek. That was a big fucking deal in the day.
And this brief flash into Sulu's private life was not rubbed in the audience's face at all. It was simply a brief reference to an aspect of Sulu previously unexplored. They did it so well, and so tastefully. They managed to make Sulu's sexual orientation an aspect of his character, not the defining characteristic (which seems to be difficult for other story-tellers for some reason). Sulu is a badass space pilot, loving husband and devoted father. That he happens to be gay is, frankly irrelevant, if a fact of the character.
I loved it so much. I appreciated it so, so, so much.
And I'm not even gay.
Still, it made my heart sing to see a family like Sulu's represented on screen, and feeling normal and uncomplicated. Gods it made me so happy.
I actually did cry a little watching it.
There was, of course, plenty of action and humour in this new Star Trek film. Chris Pine is great at playing humour, and he really makes Kirk a likeable guy. I loved that in this movie he's more mature. The angry almost-rebel character of the previous two movies has been shed (good, because it was getting old) and replaced by a more mature, thoughtful, and still daring Captain James T. Kirk of the Enterprise. It was great to see.
All the nods to Leonard Nimoy in this film made me tear up a little bit. It was so sweet and heartfelt and really a wonderful acknowledgement of the legend he was.
And the story was great! I really enjoyed this new story, instead of the rehashing of old stories. It was refreshing.
I really do recommend you see this movie. It was fun and funny and full of awesome action and great little moments.
Have you seen the film? What did you think?