How utterly appropriate that I follow the lame futuristic tripe of The Fifth Element with a genuinely exciting sci-fi confection like Star Trek. I've been following the Trek saga since I was in middle school, and have seen all of the movies in the series so far, enduring the lame ones and embracing the good ones. With the character of Captain Kirk having been killed off (and a couple of the original cast members perishing in real life), it was time for what they call a "reboot"—the kind we've seen with superhero series like Batman. The mastermind at the helm of this Star Trek prequel is J.J. Abrams (the creator of TV's Alias and Lost). Directing a mostly new cast that details how the original characters first came to work together, he has produced what is indisputably the most exciting of all the Trek films. (My sentimental favorite will always be Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.) It's your basic good vs. evil story, with a very evil villain and a couple of twists on the familiar dynamic—Kirk and Spock are rivals in their younger incarnations, and Uhura has a surprising love interest—but all of it works, despite a rather bombastic musical score that my constant movie companion, Joan, wished had been significantly less weighty on the ears. Despite a couple of niggling objections like that, Star Trek turns out to be a very welcome new starting point in the franchise. My tricorder readings suggest an exceptional sequel may be anticipated. Rating: 5/5.