In a way the other two Reboot films haven’t been.
I think it’s because the creatives this time got that Star Trek’s job is to be the positive sci-fi franchise, the hopeful one, the one where people do make mistakes but learn from them. It’s job is not to be grimdark (DS9 never was, no matter what people tell you) or to get lost in continuity loops to amuse the fanboys (Enterprise, here’s looking at you). I liked the film’s message and its positivity.
I also approve of the fact the story was original. It wasn’t based on a previous story, instead it was based on the experiences of these characters, not the experiences of their TOS versions.
Justin Lin should be allowed to direct anything he wants. The thing I liked most about his directing style is how well he (and the SFX crew) conveyed the three-dimensional nature of space. The establishing shots of the Yorktown were incredible. I do wish he’d use fewer cuts in the hand-to-hand fight scenes.
I know at least one person is going to complain that my main objection to JJ Abrams is his flashy style so how can I love Justin Lin’s directing so much? It’s because the flash in Lin’s style helps the story while Abrams’s is just there to look cool. Lin used flashy tricks to show, not tell, the size of space, its three-dimensionality and the Escher-esque qualities something like the Yorktown [or a zero-G battle] is going to have.
Chris Pine’s Kirk was much less punchable in this one, which helped matters enormously.
I am utterly in love with Jaylah, but I think everyone is.
SPOILERS BEYOND HERE
It wasn’t perfect. I thought that Spock was too emotional and the twist was predictable. The minute you heard Edison’s name you could guess that nothing good had happened, but that’s a Star Trek tradition too. Seriously, Star Trek pulled “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” way before Batman ever did.
It’s clear that someone in the writing staff liked Enterprise, and treated it with more respect than its own finale did.
I liked the way the film gave you enough detail to get what was going on but allowed you to fill in the blanks yourself. I am intrigued by the alien tech. I wonder if Krall’s appearance was down to how the machine worked. Maybe it transfers more than life energy but also some part of the victim’s DNA. I’d also love to know how the swarm actually worked.
That’s how you use “modern” music in your sci-fi film! It turns what was a pretty cringey moment in the first Reboot film into a moment of awesome. “I like the beats and the shouting,” indeed.
I do worry that I am turning in to Urban-Bones though 😉