I will have a longer, spoilertastic essay up at some point this weekend, I think. I hope, at least. First, though, an entirely spoiler free summary of my viewing experience.
The important things you need to know:
- There is no post-credits stinger, so you can feel free to leave the movie when it ends.
- This isn’t the movie that makes anyone a believer in 3D, but it isn’t the hack job that a lot of conversions to 3D are. It’s used effectively and subtly, but not so subtly that you have to take your glasses off every now and then to make sure you didn’t wander into the wrong theater. And it’s a really, really bright movie, which counteracts the primary downside of 3D conversion, which is rendering movies too darkly. Having said that, so far as I’m aware, there is no 2D IMAX version. And this movie was shot in 65mm and it looks gorgeous on the big IMAX screens. So, if you’re on the fence on to 3D or not 3D, the benefits of IMAX are a big plus.
- If you didn’t like the 2009 movie, you’re probably not going to like this. It’s still a big tentpole movie, it still moves really fast, it isn’t idea-driven. But I think people overrate how idea-driven Star Trek was originally, there are certainly idea-driven episodes but the show was just as often about its characters and all of those characters are lovingly and faithfully preserved here. And if you see Captain Kirk getting into a fistfight and say, “That’s not my father’s Star Trek,” you really misunderstand your father’s Star Trek. The thing about this new series that’s the least faithful to the original Trek is that Chris Pine never takes his shirt off; Shatner went shirtless at some point in roughly a third of the episodes in the original series.
- If you liked the 2009 film, though, you’re in for a real treat. Just like that one, it plays with the original, throwing in a lot of little things you’re only going to catch if you’re steeped in the old CBS series and the movies, but it’s constructed organically in such a way that if you haven’t, you can still have a good time. (I thought much the same about Iron Man 3, in that it throws several bones to heavy Marvel fanboys without sacrificing the whole movie to them.)
In short: I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. But I can’t say much more without discussing specific plot points of the movie, so that’ll have to come in a separate post.