The summer movie season is in full swing I got to see a few of the hits.
The Onion said it best with the headline Trekkies bash new Star Trek film as "Fun, Watchable." This movie was good and I hope the nerds weren't mad because it wasn't technical enough about the Star Trek universe. J.J. Abrams created his own version of the show and characters, and got the screenwriters to pen a classic boy-in-footsteps-of-father theme. That's pretty much all it took to get a blockbuster hit.
On the social side, I wonder how the father-son theme plays with young males. I know a guy who I thought was a prime candidate for that movie when I saw the previews. He's searching for his father in everything he does. He's lost and I feel bad for him sometimes. I knew he'd be drawn to this movie. Just as I suspected, he thinks it's the best movie of the year. I don't think it was the special effects or the great scenery that got him.
I think he was thrilled to sit for an hour and a half and see a character conquer every young man's biggest fear; will he be able to stand in his Dad's shoes and succeed. Many young men are afraid that they won't be fully actualized into the great men that they think they can be, or that their fathers were.
We need stories like Star Trek to remind us to keep fighting and believe that we can be just as good as our Dads, or better. That theme will be used over and over. Hopefully, moviemakers will put it in their movies to help guys figure out their way. But I'm afraid that most movies will use it as a gimmick to lure unhealthy men into the theater. They know how broken guys out there are, and they can capitalize on it. That's the only thing I didn't like about Star Trek. It felt fake. The father-son theme was thrown in there because it hits so deep with young, scared men. They will flock to this movie and not know why they like it so much. It's not the effects, it's not the acting, it's the temporary freedom from fear.