Boldly Going Where No Star Trek Film Has Gone Before
Having been a Star Trek fan for many years I was so happy when J.J. Abrams was able to come along, and bring some new life to the series with the amazing 2009 Star Trek film. Since then I have been highly anticipating a sequel, and was ecstatic when it was officially announced, and was obviously really looking forward to it finally being released, and although I wasn't able to see it on opening day as I try with most films, I am glad I finally have.
This was a phenomenal film, and made the previous film look average, and it was far from that. Now following a blockbuster film isn't easy, and most of the time sequels fail due to too much hype, or just not meeting the level of it's predecessor. This film however didn't do that, and was easily better than that film, and probably the best Star Trek film so far. J.J. Abrams, who produced some magic with the first film once again showed why Star Trek still has potential, and why it can still be to the level of quality the franchise deserves to be. I also feel that although I'll always hold the original series, and the Next Generation with fond memories, this does appear to be the best time in Star Trek's history, as it doesn't just give long time Trek fans the ability to re-live this amazing franchise, but it also gives people who are either new to the series, or have disliked it in the past cause to like it now, as it truly is wonderful. The way that this film was not just exciting, and dramatic, but also energetic, suspenseful and emotional was another thing that made it so brilliant, as the entire film, from script, to direction was outstanding, and truly amazing.
The main cast members from the previous film returned for this film, as they were all perfect in their respective roles. Once again Chris Pine amazed as the daredevil Captain of the USS Enterprise, James T. Kirk, and his acting was just as good as it was in the last film, if not better. His character was also much more developed, learning new things, and overall maturing a lot throughout this film, which was nice. The rest of the cast also did an excellent job, doing as good, if not better than they're last performance, with Zachary Quinto showing the emotional changes in Spock perfectly, as well as Karl Urban once again doing a fabulous job as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura, John Cho as Hikaru Sulu, and Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov, and Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, who was much funnier in this film than the last, and that's saying something. I also liked with Scotty how although at one point it looked like he'd be getting used less in this film than he was in last, that in fact it was the opposite, with him having a much more interesting, and important role. Besides these great cast members Leonard Nemoy briefly returned as the older Spock, and Bruce Greenwood returned as Rear Admiral Christopher Pike, both of which I was really happy about, as although they didn't play an overly big role in the last film, or this one, their appearances were still brilliant, and a nice addition.
Besides the returning cast members this film would also see the addition of some newer character's, with Alice Eve joining as Dr. Carol Marcus, as well as Peter Weller, as Starfleet Admiral Alexander Marcus, Carol's father. Now although the addition of Carol Marcus was a brilliant addition, especially with her dad also being in the film, it was however the addition of Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus that interested me the most. Although Weller hasn't done as many great films as you'd have hoped or expected, he was in one of my favourite sci-fi films, RoboCop as RoboCop himself, and this alone usually draws my interest to any of his appearances in films, especially films I'm already interested in like this. Weller didn't disappoint, as he played Marcus brilliantly, and I loved how he managed to play the cool, and calm leader, whilst also having his own secrets, which really made things interesting. Eve wasn't bad herself as Carol, and I really liked the fact that she was added to this film, especially considering the role her character would play in the original series, and I look forward to seeing her development in any future films.
Like with the previous Star Trek film, the CGI, and special effects were amazing, and really made the film even more phenomenal than it already was. Now the main thing that I love with anything to do with Star Trek is the USS Enterprise, as I've always loved the simplicity, yet beauty of it, and have also liked how it's never really changed over the years. In saying that, the USS Enterprise was overshadowed in this film by Admiral Alexander Marcus' ship, the USS Vengeance, which was simply a marvel to look at. Now to be fair there wasn't a huge lot of difference between the Enterprise, and the Vengeance, as they both have very similar designs, with the main difference being that the Vengeance is much bigger. I did however find it that much more sinister looking, and dark, which made it more awe-inspiring. At the same time this would also give more room for re-design, as it wouldn't be nice to Trek fans to mess about with the Enterprise, whereas this new ship is fair game. Besides the ships the rest of the effects were also outstanding, and I especially loved how they handled the alien races that were featured in this, as although a good majority of this will have been make-up, it was still amazing, as was the buildings, and in general everything.
The villain in this film was a human, and Starfleet Commander named John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Now I was expecting a lot from Cumberbatch, as he's simply amazing in the BBC TV series, Sherlock, and the way he performs in that shows that he has the skills to be the perfect villain, and he proved that in this film. This wasn't however the best part about the Harrison character, as although I won't spoil anything, there is a twist to the character, and unlike the Mandarin twist that happened in the recent Iron Man 3 film, I loved this twist. As I said I won't go into detail, but I will say that any big fans of Star Trek should love the twist. Besides all this Cumberbatch amazed, as his sinister, methodical tone was perfect for this sort of character, and he really showed the calculating, and emotionlessness of this character perfectly.
The previous film showed Kirk, and Spock at each others throats, being bitter rivals. This isn't the case in this film, and the two appear to be get along perfectly, and although their friendship is slightly tested, they are the best of buddies. Now one of the things I've enjoyed most throughout the original Star Trek series, as well as the films is the interaction between Kirk, and Spock, especially when they don't disagree. At the same time I was happy that the development of their friendship didn't take up as much time as in the last film, as it would make it a bit dull, and repetitive, but was still happy to see it continued to the extent it was.
This film would also see the addition of some Klingons as when Kirk, and the Enterprise go after Harrison they have to sneak onto Kronos, where Harrison is sheltering himself. Although Klingons have been over used at times in the past, they are probably the most well known alien race in Star Trek, so it was only a matter of time before they made an appearance in Abrams films, and I was glad it happened in this film, as it was a nice surprise. There was however a small part of me that felt that there appearance could have been a bit longer, but it was probably for the best, as due to Harrison being the main villain you don't really want to waste your best group as side enemies, and it'd be best to keep them for another film. At the same time it was right to introduce them, and it makes any future appearances, whether as the main threat or not that much easier to set-up.
The action in this film, like it was in the last film was also amazing, and was both exciting, and dynamic. Although the film left a lot of room for story development, it also had much more action than the previous film, with the action itself also being much more epic. Now there was plenty of fighting in this film, with both Kirk, and Spock fighting Harrison at one point, or another, Kirk, Spock, and Uhura fighting Klingons, as well as other fights. Now my personally favourite had to be the Spock/Harrison fight, as although Harrison's fight's with Kirk were amazing, the one against Spock was much more emotional. The fight against the Klingons was also epic, as was all the fighting, and although there are other fights that I'd love to speak my mind on, they'd give away spoilers.
If you thought the 2009 film was amazing, you haven't seen nothing yet. This is a truly phenomenal film, and one of the best I've seen this year, as well as being possibly the best Star Trek film of all time. The action, and emotion was balanced equally, and the overall plot was developed perfectly, creating a very dramatic, and suspenseful film, which after just seeing already has me looking forward to it's release on Blu-Ray. I'd highly recommend this film to anyone, whether you're a Star Trek fan or not, as it's a truly amazing film, and well worth the watch.