If I had become a film buff in my youth instead of my adulthood and pursued an educational and career trajectory similar to that of my film-loving peers in this town, I might have learned to become more critical about the films I see and far more cynical about the industry than I actually am.
Long before I became a film buff, if I saw a movie with a friend and he criticized the plot, theme or dialogue of a flick I found entertaining, I’d say something like, “It’s just a movie. It was entertaining; that’s what matters.” I reserved my critical judgment for literature. So, now, while my cinematic critical capacity has increased, I still retain another important capacity, to enjoy a well-made movie with a weak (or contrived) story, provided it keeps me entertained.
Of course, if I see such a movie a second time, particularly on a small screen, I may start groaning as soon as the opening credits stop rolling. Such, I dare say, would I react to the Star Trek movie I just saw, particularly if I saw it again on the small screen.
A friend got me in to see a pre-release screening at Paramount. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie even if the story as as whole just plain didn’t make sense and some of it seemed to contradict what I knew about the original TV series, of which I have seen many an episode, know the names of the crew, but have little knowledge of the trivia and even less of the various characters’ backgrounds.
All that said, this is a big screen movie. And see it on the biggest screen possible. It’s a perfect potato chip movie, as LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan might put it. It’s tasty when it goes down, but lacks nutritional value. It’s what I might call a “movie movie,” pure entertainment. It’s a lot of fun.
As my friend put it when we left, there “wasn’t a boring moment” in the entire flick. It had near perfect pacing. So, head on down to your local multiplex, buy a bucket of popcorn, suspend disbelief and enjoy.
And if you’re a Star Trek fan, e-mail me after you’ve seen it and let me know if it was true to the various characters’ background as portrayed in the TV series. And let me know if you agree with my assessment of the casting of Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk. He seems to have acting skills similar to those of William Shatner, the man who pioneered the role.