Directed by JJ Abrams, now a nerd god as Lucas was in the 70s and 80s, the second of the rebooted Star Trek franchise is an elaborate mystery box that slowly reveals itself over its just over 2 hour span. Having claimed the Enterprise as his own, James T Kirk (Chris Pine) and his number 2, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the crew are under a rouge threat (Benedict Cumberbatch). Kirk struggles with the balance of his natural instincts that repeatedly puts his crew in danger and the logical problem solving that toes the line of the Federation. That’s about all the exposition the marketing gives, so that’ll suffice.
Every actor is on point; they all know who their characters are and there is nothing that they could have done more to portray their grounded personalities. It’s a perfect ensemble which isn’t easily achievable. But there are two definite stand-0uts. Chris Pine as Kirk has a few moments where the real emotion of his attempt to do the best for his crew members are done so subtly but so effectively. His resolve but vulnerability is exact. The other is Benedict Cumberbatch. Every line he delivers is enthralling of emotion and confidence. Just like Heath Ledger’s Joker, you want to see more of him and he keeps you guessing about what his next move will be. He’s excellent.
There are clear call backs for Trekkies; fan service if you will. I appreciated this because even though this is an alternate timeline, they’re still the same characters so their actions would align with their other selves. If that makes sense. The action is clean, well coordinated and readable. The plot keeps raising the stakes putting the characters into situations that test them personally and intellectually. If this is an indication of how the next phase of the Star Wars franchise will turn out so smart with Abrams at the helm, I think all nerds will be pleased.
Clearly a step up from the first and possibly my favorite film of the year so far. With every scene and sequence, I couldn’t help but tell myself repeatedly, “This is sooo goood!” I honestly can’t find any critical faults with any of the essentials that make a great picture. It kept me guessing, kept me engaged, it was funny in the perfect places and serious where it needed to be. Straight up popcorn munching gold!
What did you think? Am I praising it too much? What