02 June 2009

Star Trek

A couple of weeks ago, Victor and I went to see Star Trek with some trepidation. A couple of months back we caught a preview for it, which we found incomprehensible. And one of our favorite reviewers, Anthony Lane, panned it in the New Yorker. But, in the event, we were enthralled by the new movie.

Maybe it's best to always go to the movies with diminished expectations. For example, we had terrifically high expectations for Duplicity--a few months ago--and it let us down enormously. Who would guess that a movie directed and scripted by Tony Gilroy (who did the same for Michael Clayton, which we loved) could be predictable? Who would expect that a movie with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen could drag?

Anyhow, Star Trek does not drag. It utilizes an ingenious mechanism to relaunch an old franchise and its familiar characters with a new cast; due to this mechanism, complaints about departures from patterns set up in the original series seem like fussy quibbles--very large things have changed, it is established quite early; small changes are only to be expected, and savored.

As many reviews have pointed out, the movie is chock-full of action, but the creative reconception of the characters I grew up with is what I enjoyed most. We look forward to the inevitable sequels. The universe has changed, and a whole new set of adventures is possible.

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