This weeks Family Movie Night Pick of the Week is the 2009 film Star Trek.

Plugged-In Movie Review:

This film—despite the fact that it showcases the obliteration of two entire planets—embraces Star Trek's perennial sense of optimism and infuses it with something that, at times, has been somewhat lacking: fun. It has the feel of an old-fashioned serial, as if the story has been spiked with a dash of Star Wars and a dollop of Buck Rogers.

What philosophical musings do come through are from Spock—for while Kirk may claim the helm, it's Spock who undertakes a voyage of personal discovery. We see him struggle mightily with his two genetic impulses—the stoic Vulcan and the emotional human—and in the end, Spock tells himself, quite literally, that it's OK to feel a little human now and then.

"Put aside logic," the older Spock tells his younger self. "Do what feels right."

This troubles me a little. First, Spock is Spock because he's driven by logic. It's what has always made his character so (perhaps oxymoronically) charming. Second, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, feelings are often the most untrustworthy of guides.

I resonate more with Spock's father's advice—that he should control his feelings "so they do not completely control you." After all, we humans watching this movie don't have much trouble submitting to our emotions; what we need help with is grasping logic. That's a bit of a quibble, though, because we're all engaged in a Spock-like push-and-pull, and we can all empathize with his struggle to embrace life with love and passion while still taming it with prudence and reason.

Star Trek, then, is not the perfect summer movie. For obvious reasons, Kirk proves to be far less than a flawless role model for aspiring space captains in your family. McCoy seriously stretches the truth for no great reason. And Uhura strong-arms Spock into advancing her career. But, like the film itself, I'll end on an optimistic note: This Star Trek is, in a surprisingly old-fashioned way, a light, bright futuristic (or is it historical?) gallop through the galaxy.

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