Saturday, May 23, 2009
THIS IS HOW TO REBOOT A SERIES
I've been a fan of J.J. Abrams since I got sucked into watching LOST a few years ago, even with his weird penchants for time travel and alternate universes. I think the thing I like about his style is that he tells the stories in pieces without feeling the need to explain everything at once. He jumps in mid-stream and then by the end, things begin to come together more beautifully than you could have predicted.
With that in mind, and with a strong dose of Star Trek growing up, I went to go see the new STAR TREK flick by Abrams. One of my earliest memories is being checked out of school by Dad to go see Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in the theatre, and even as a child, I remember liking the special effects and the mammoth story arcs that were less about special effects than friendship and mythic exposition.
All that being said, I flat out loved this movie. It gave the appropriate number of head-nods to the original cast and storylines, without being a total geek-fest. My novice fiancee and her equally novice roommate liked without having any knowledge of the original stuff, while I was able to giddily reminisce about little elements of foreshadowing. The storyline was good; Eric Bana was a great villan; the casting of the young Enterprise crew was spot-on. Simon Pegg as a young Scotty was great, no matter what EW says.
What makes a reboot great is how it's able to deal with its own mythology, I think. As excited as I am to watch the new G.I. Joe movie this summer, I'm not sure based on the previews that it gets that mythology is what makes for a great prequel: the ability of a tired series to dig deep into its own soil and excavate the earthy matter that gives rise to storylines. In the case of Star Trek, Abrams digs deep into the ethereal soil and comes up with chunks of exploration, self-disclosure, destiny, and coming of age.
Five green-skinned alien chicks out of five.