I feel like I don’t really need to “review” this movie, per se, in that if you liked the first one, you’re going to go see this one no matter what I say, and you’re probably going to have a grand old time. Personally, I loved it. I think I liked it better than the first one, in fact, possibly because the relationships between the characters really start to expand and deepen this time around. But even if I had negative things to say about ST:ID, I know they would in no way deter a Star Trek fan from going to see it. If Star Trek fans threw in the towel every time an installment sucked, the franchise never would’ve survived Deep Space Nine (at a minimum).
That said, I don’t, in fact, have anything (much) negative to say about it (it’s maybe a little overly self-referential), and before you naysayers say nay, let me just throw this out there because it’s the one I keep hearing the most: yes, it’s very predictable. NO DOY. It’s both a prequel and a remake, which, granted, is somewhat confusing, but either way, it’s not like you have to be worried one of the major characters isn’t going to make it home alive, dig? Nor is it supposed to be an exercise in perfection and/or thoughtful script-writing. It’s a Star Trek movie! By J. J. Abrams! Stop thinking so much!
(Though, okay, I will grant you this much: How is it that however-many-hundreds of years from now, we apparently have worse radar technology instead of better, and therefore don’t see a ship crashing on us from space until it’s literally crashing on us from space? I mean, we can see stuff before it falls on us NOW and we haven’t even left our own solar system. You’d think with a sky full of bad guys, Earth would be paying a little more attention to what was heading its way from above. Although, since a ship of humans invade Qo’noS in this movie (I looked up how to spell “Kronos” in Klingon for you guys) and all they encounter in response is a coupla Klingon squad cars, it seems as though pretty much nobody is on the ball in the future, which, whatever, guys. It’s not how I’d do it, but maybe it’s a job security thing?)
BUT ANYWAY! Instead of telling you all about the awesomeness of this awesome movie that was totally awesome, I wanted to tell you something more interesting (to me, anyway). After watching this installment, I went home from the theater and immediately loaded up the first few episodes of the original series. Have you watched any of those recently? I probably hadn’t since I was a kid, and I tell you what — after three episodes of season 1, I was already thinking to myself, man, Chris Pine is totally NAILING Captain Kirk. It was weird watching Shatner after seeing Pine, in fact, because it felt like Shatner was doing Pine (this is all coming out a lot dirtier than I intended, looking back, but you know what I mean).
Also, I always thought the Uhura/Spock romance was wholly invented for the new films, but no-ho-ho, my friends! Go watch the season one episode “Charlie X,” or, more specifically, this clip from it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B4lsvrzfZI. DUDES! She practically sits in his lap! How did I ever miss this? This made me so happy.
As for the other actors/characters, I adore Quinto’s Spock, who seems more complex to me than Nimoy’s version, possibly because of the extra Uhuransity; Simon Pegg is always a joy no matter what he does, but most especially here; Anton Yelchin is an adorable puppy; and John Cho is. . . er. . . kind of invisible, to be honest, but hey, maybe next time, John Cho.
Also, Sherlock/Smaug sure is turning into Mr. Ubiquitous these days, and thank god for it because it’s about dang time. (With a name like “Benedict Cumberbatch,” we knew he’d go far.)
Oh, hey, notice someone I’m missing? (No, not Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Pike — don’t even talk to me about that.) Karl Urban as Bones, perhaps? Yeah, that’s because I CANNOT STAND KARL URBAN AS BONES. While Chris Pine truly IS Captain Kirk, Karl Urban continues to merely PLAY Leonard McCoy, and he makes me cringe with about every other sentence of his super-awkward DeForest Kelley impersonation.
That said, I appear to be the only person on the planet who feels this way, so perhaps I should just shut up.
GO SEE THIS IN THEATERS, MY GOD!
[Update: avoid the comment section if you don’t want to see any spoilers!]
Genre: Sci-fi, Action
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood