To Boldly Go
What made this STAR TREK so appealing to me? I haven’t seen a STAR TREK film since 1984’s THE VOYAGE HOME. I didn’t watch any of the later TV incarnations and I certainly left my Trekkie days back in my teen years. So why this particular STAR TREK and why now?
Was it the Hollywood hype? To a certain extent, guilty. Was it the attractive young cast? A little eye candy never hurts. And certainly Michael Giacchino’s score helped get me in the mood. So what was the outcome?
Not very journalistic and certainly not grammatically correct. But accurate. I expected exciting, I did not expect moving.
Die-hard Trekkies should be pleased. There is no winking at the audience, no “Aren’t we clever?” The actors and the filmmakers commit themselves to these beloved characters and believably form the relationships that have survived since the original television series debuted over 40 years ago.
Top-notch production values, from the art direction, film editing, and sound design, to the jaw-dropping special effects showcase the film’s well-spent budget. Director J. J. Abrams not only films the action sequences with the proper amount of brio, but he allows the film its proper breathing space. And it’s the quiet moments that take this film a cut above your typical blockbuster.
And what about Giacchino’s score?
As to be expected, there is a lot more music than can be found on the Varese Sarabande soundtrack album, which is unfortunate. But leaving that quibble aside, the music accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. And in three specific moments, it reminded me why I love film music in the first place.
The love theme I mentioned in my earlier post, wasn’t quite what I expected at all. I detest spoilers, so let’s just say that “Labor of Love” is another one of Giacchino’s cleverly titled cues that exctly explains the situation. Bravo to Abrams for dialing out the sound effects and letting Giacchino’s lovely theme take center stage, providing an unexpected moment of real feeling early in the film.
The crescendo into the main theme that accompanies the film’s title card gave me a rush of musical adrenaline that I haven’t felt from film music in a long time. The applause for the words “STAR TREK” and the Starfleet emblem are only enhanced by Giacchino’s majestic theme.
That same music (part of the “Enterprising Young Men” cue on the soundtrack album) accompanies our first sight of the Enterprise. Much like Jerry Goldsmith’s parallel moment in STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE, Giacchino’s music suggests majesty, awe, and the appearance of an old friend (at least for the audience).
Giacchino’s brash score may not boldly go where no one has gone before, but it delivers us into the world of Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise with a sure musical hand. It’s no space opera, more like a space symphony, and a damn exciting one at that.
See the film in IMAX if posssible, immerse yourself, and revel in the unexpected moments of laughter, joy, and deja vu. This is a STAR TREK for a new generation and, as I said earlier, may it–and Michael Giacchino’s place within it–live long and prosper.