Movie #234 Star Trek
(2009, US, d. J.J. Abrams)
Though I don’t think he’s the storytelling prophet some people claim him to be, J.J. Abrams is one heck of a storyteller. Today’s filmmaker has no grasp of story, simply cool visual tricks and perhaps an interesting premise. It’s sad that there aren’t more like him. A real storyteller can take a science-fiction film and make it interesting for the general audience. A real storyteller can surpass genre and amaze the audience, whatever their preference may be. That is what Abrams has accomplished with Star Trek. Though far from a perfect film, Star Trek is a film that not only revived a dying franchise, but rebooted it with full vitality. A great story at its core, Star Trek is filled with surprises, but unlike other filmmakers in his generation, these aren’t visual surprises. They are plot surprises. With a likeable lead in Chris Pine and stellar performances from Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban, it’s an action-packed film that uses its visual tricks not as a crutch but as an enhancement to its storytelling. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I suggest you do so. Don’t let the genre sway you. Pretty soon you won’t be able to wait for more time-travelling journeys, alien planets, and interstellar enterprises.