Let's make a check list of all the things that sci-fi fans, and Trekkies in particular, will love about this movie, from most important to least:
- Things blowing up? Entire planets blow up. Check.
- Cool fight scenes? Sulu fighting with a sword on top of a machine floating high above the atmosphere. Check.
- Cool fight scenes with good memorable one-liners? Bad guy strangling Kirk has to let up on Kirk enough to make out what he's saying.. "I've got your gun". Check.
- Gorgeous babes? Ok, this isn't exactly my thing, but most sci-fi fans are guys. Uhura. (Good-looking guys for the girls thrown in, too. Kirk and Spock, both.) Check.
- Gorgeous babes wearing the minimum amount of clothing necessary? My mental attitude in that scene was a bit of a sigh and an eyeroll, but I'd have probably been shocked if there hadn't been a bit of that. Uhura and Green Girl in their quarters. Check.
- Aliens, cool visuals of space, and other weirdness that makes a movie "sci-fi"? Scotty's friend, the guy inbetween Kirk and Uhura in the bar, shots of planets imploding, time travel, alternate realities, tiny drops that look like blood that make entire planets cease to exist, cool glowy holes in the spacetime continuum, etc. Check.
- All the important original Star Trek characters as young versions of theirselves? Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Bones, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu... did I miss anyone? Check.
- The original ST characters with all their same quirks? Kirk chases the girls and acts before thinking; Spock acts like Spock; Does Uhura *have* any quirks in the original?; Bones fights with Spock and complains about everything while helping Kirk; Scotty saves the day with some technowizardry, Chekov's accent is so thick even the computer doesn't recognize it (an especially awesome moment in the movie); and did I mention Sulu fighting with a sword on a narrow platform high above the atmosphere? Heck, they even included the obligatory red-shirted guy who dies on the away mission. All the favorite quirks are present. For extra, extra bonus, they even brought in one of the original characters - Leonard Nimoy as Old Spock. Check and double check.
- A thoughtful philosophical point? (Notice how low this is on the list. Nevertheless, it's a favored aspect of sci-fi.) Emotions vs. Logic, one of the classic Star Trek philosophical issues. Check.
- Character development and plot? Kirk goes from genius-boy-gone-bad to hero under the influence of the Mentor Captain; Spock goes through even more character development, coming to better terms with his human side and the role in his life of logic vs emotion; both learn to appreciate each other, meanwhile they defeat the bad guy and save Earth. Check.
- Other humorous points? "I infer you have come with new insults today." Check.
- Romance? Probably mostly for the female fans, as the Uhura and Green Girl scene is mostly for the guys. But neither one is intrusive enough to ruin it for the other. Uhura and Spock. Check.
Uhura's character development. I don't remember there being a whole lot of development of her character in the original series (although I may have just not seen enough of it to notice). But I really liked her character in this movie, and the more I think about it, the more there is to like. The way she resisted Kirk's advances, without ever giving in, not even feeling compelled to tell him her first name, is a glowing example of what feminism is (or should be). She also stands her own in her relationship with Spock, not being afraid to go after the position that she worked hard to deserve. In the scene where she followed him into the elevator, I was dreading what I thought was coming: a scene in which she feels hurt and pushed away by Spock's emotionlessness. I was pleasantly surprised when instead she really seemed to *get* him and respect him, and didn't come across as annoyingly needy.
Sylar as Spock. [Sylar is his name in the series Heroes. I don't know that actor's real name.] Actually, all the acting was well done, I think. Scotty maybe could use just a tiny bit more flavor to him, but otherwise it was good. Sylar was already a cool character in Heroes (one of my favorite parts of the series was when he was going by Gabriel and was one of the good guys, more or less); having him play Spock, and play it well, was just perfect. Whoever that guy was that they picked to be Kirk also did a really good job.
I really, really liked the scene where the computer didn't recognize Chekov's voice. He's one of my favorite characters, mostly because of that accent. I also really liked the scene where Kirk offers compassion to the Bad Guy, and when Spock questions him, explains and says, "It's logic, Spock. I thought you'd like that." And Spock answers, "Not so much, right now." (And then the Bad Guy conveniently says he would prefer to die in agony than accept compassion from Kirk, and Kirk happily, perhaps a shade too happily for my tastes, grants him that death.) Oh yeah, and the opening bit totally had me wondering if I could hide my tears from the friend I went to see it with.