[I see Star Trek Sunday morning and will probably write up something about it then. -- Geoff]
Star Trek was everything that X-men Origins: Wolverine was not; more than that, it has everything that an ‘origin’ movie should have that XMO: Wolverine did not: fun, emotionally engaging, beautifully paced. The characters have depth and beloved icons are brought to life in a way that is both faithful to the original interpretations and entertaining for new viewers.
I’m not a huge Star Trek geek, but I’m just familiar enough with the mythology to get most of the references. That being said, you don’t HAVE to get the references to enjoy the movie; they are done in such a way that they are just seen as another part of the story. Case in point, the film depicts a famous instance from Star Trek mythos, Kirk beating the supposedly unbeatable Kobyashi Maru simulation at Starfleet Academy. Fans of the series will immediately recognize the scenario and will love getting to see it played out on the big screen but, for those who aren’t fans of the series, it is an entertaining scene that further establishes and develops the character of James T. Kirk (none of the ‘and that’s the origin of that’ feeling of Wolverine).
In another case of Wolverine versus Star Trek, let’s take a look at how the two movies brought a fan-favorite character, known for having a particular accent, to life. Wolverine has Gambit. The actor playing Gambit cannot do a Cajun accent but he still tries. Also, he can’t act and he’s just sort of there so you can go “Oh, look! Gambit!” Star Trek has Simon Pegg as Scotty… ‘nuff said. (The guy playing Dr. McCoy was also great for that matter).
Most importantly, the use of time travel in the film is not merely a device for Leonard Nimoy to make an appearance; it actually serves an important purpose, not just in terms of plot, but for reinvigorating the franchise as a whole. In addition to explaining any continuity gaffs for the hardcore Trek geeks, it also allows the franchise to be rebooted while still acknowledging the original all within the same film. A pretty daring feat if you ask me. Also, it allows us to have a ‘new’ James T. Kirk; one who is, essentially, the same character we know and love but, due to events depicted in the film, experiences a different formative history which allows him to be a little darker, a little edgier, a little more modern.
All this and Scotty even gets to have a cute little alien buddy!
You might have heard that it's 'this summers Iron Man'... it's not... it's better!