The truly important social activists and icons, never really try to do that job it comes out of there upbringing and things that happened to them. "To Be Takei" is the life story of one of the more iconic social activist of our times who reinvented his life after his iconic place in science fiction lore.
Over seven decades, George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. He's an activist, an actor, a husband and a pop culture icon. This film joins George and his husband Brad on what it truly means "To Be Takei".
It's hard to bring anything genuinely new to these types of documentaries, and while it hardly reinvents the wheel, "To Be Takei" is a nice little story and reminder to always try and be positive no matter what obstacles you may encounter in your life and that a charismatic subject can go one hell of a long way.
Director Jennifer M Kroot puts together a solid piece of cinema as we track his life, it jumps back and forth from his early years in an internment camp and discovering his own sexuality while we see his career highlights from Star Trek to his massive Facebook following. The movie is a bit too frenetic at times going back and forth and is a bit all over the map as we are seemingly getting information in bullet point form. For any other film this should be a problem and a bit of a disaster, but George Takei as a subject is just so damn likeable that any filmmaking problems just get over looked.
A pure crowd pleaser, "To Be Takei" only really wants to put a smile on your face and it does that in spades but George Takei's life story is actually a pretty interesting and even inspirational one which deserved to be told a bit more seriously and structured then it was here and some depth to the man's life and his experience could have added quite a bit to the film and given it more of an emotional impact.
3 out of 5 stars.
"To Be Takei" is now open at the TIFF Bell Lightbox here in downtown Toronto, please check with local listings for show times.