Monday evening was a big night in the geek community, as fans and media assembled at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, Texas, to watch the most acclaimed “Star Trek” movie of all time: 1982′s “The Wrath of Khan.” Attendees were told that they’d also be rewarded with 10 minutes of footage from the top-secret “Star Trek” relaunch (which opens May 8). Instead, they were the first audience ever to see the completed film.
“I can’t believe how great the new ‘Star Trek’ movie is,” marvels one audience-member review written by “GAH!” on Ain’t It Cool News. “With this movie, the Trekkies have won the argument. Right now, ‘Star Trek’ is the most exciting science fiction franchise. And I never thought I’d say that.”
As reviews of the film have flooded in, the acclaim has been shared by journalists and mere moviegoers alike. “[Director J.J.] Abrams and his crew pull it off,” writes Colin Kennedy at Empire, addressing early concerns that the newly envisioned young Enterprise crew would make the movie too trendy. “The film is sassy, young and hip in a way the franchise has not been since the ’60s. It’s neither ‘The Hills’ in space nor fan fiction with a $150 million budget. Kudos is due.”
Neil Miller at FilmSchoolRejects.com agrees, saying: “Let’s talk about some of the CGI. There are a few Trek fans who were worried that Abrams would turn this film into a big, glossy CGI spectacle that completely disregards the very intelligent roots of the series. … This movie has that same commitment, but it is muted by an intense sensory experience. This may be a small problem for some fans, but I can assure you that when you get that first gorgeous shot of the USS Enterprise, or you are thrust into the midst of a wild space battle, you won’t mind one bit.”
Some online reviewers, however, have been careful to not let the excitement of the evening (featuring surprise appearances by Leonard Nimoy and the new “Trek” crew) sweep them into hyperbole. “Anyone who says it’s better than ‘Wrath of Khan’ is talking out of their hyperbolic ass,” writes Greg Clark at C.H.U.D. “This one doesn’t nearly have as clear a thought-out script as that one, easily one of the tightestly plotted films in any genre, and suffers from the same problem as that other Orci and Kurtzman [writing] collaboration, ‘Transformers’: It wants to be all things for all people at all times.”
Film School Reject’s self-professed “Star Trek virgin” Cole Abaius feels differently, however. Reviewing the new movie from a rookie’s perspective, he praises the new series stars: “As far as performances go, Chris Pine is outstanding. … Zachary Quinto is brilliant — creating an emotionless man without being robotic. … Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana and Karl Urban are all explosive and command the screen when they’re on. … Simon Pegg as Scotty provides a very strong comic presence that goes beyond the easy jokes.”
In just over a month, “Trek” fans all over the world can finally see the new movie and form their own opinions. In the meantime, however, they can take solace in the glowing review of AICN head geek Harry Knowles: “God Bless JJ Abrams,” he writes. “This film is the first full-fledged A-level Star Trek movie since ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture,’ and the first truly successful one. The film works on emotional levels, time-travel logic levels, hard science levels, action levels and at tackling the very godd— tricky notion of recasting icons of a beloved series.”
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