So I saw the new Star Trek movie...
...and its really great.
Even with all the ridiculous lens flare.
Now, as someone who grew up on Star Trek I'll be the first to admit that the movie is really really different than the series its based on. By that I mean that anyone, from people who have never seen any Star Trek in their lives to people who speak Klingon, can enjoy it.
Granted, the story is a little ridiculous, but thats par for the course. Previous to this, the two best Star Trek movies have involved a battle over a life creating missile and an alien probe destroying earth as revenge for the extinction of humpback whales. For me, the point of Star Trek was not the story, but the characters and the world they lived in. Watching while growing up, I cared less about the strange alien worlds and moral allegories, and more about Kirk, Spock, McCoy (and Picard, Riker, and Data), and their awesome spaceship. On this front, the film succeeds amazingly.
Unlike previous versions of Star Trek, the characters have district personalities and motivations. The romance in the film works shockingly well, and the added characterization adds some much needed gravitas to the whole endeavor. Furthermore, the updated Star Trek universe is really something. Gone are the plushy carpeted bridges and engineering bays. They've been replaced by something that looks futuristic and, more importantly, looks built. Seriously, this is like all the best parts of Star Trek filtered through the aesthetics of Battlestar Galactica.
Being the gigantic Star Trek nerd that I am, I'd have to say that Wrath of Kahn still edges this out as the best Star Trek movie. However, if I'm being honest, I'd probably have to say that this is a better overall movie. The changes to Star Trek cannon only serve to make the movie better and provide many intriguing directions for future movies. If this is the first in a new franchise of Star Trek films, count me in. Highly recommended.
As a last word on this, here is the most dramatic sequence from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Compared to the new film, this just looks silly.