You think you world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace. For I have returned to have my vengeance. So, shall we begin?
If you have dared read other reviews, you may have found that most critics of the film are using words like “disappointing”, “disposable”, and “mediocre”. Even longtime fans of Star Trek have either loved it, or hated it. I guess it all depends on how you look at the film, including comparing it to The Original Series and it’s subsequent films.
It’s hard to take a step back and realize that this is a complete different universe than the Star Trek that a lot of us have grown up with. J.J. Abrams has redesigned many things and that includes the entire backstory to our protagonists, Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock. Having said this, it’s better to go into the movie with this in mind–at least I did and I wasn’t a disappointed Trekkie.
From here on out, there are FULL SPOILERS. Proceed with caution.
The first few minutes are action packed; Spock is in an active volcano trying to stop it from erupting and wiping out an entire species and the Enterprise is, strangely, sitting at the bottom of a lake out of the view of the indigenous tribe that lives on the planet keeping out of sight as to not break the Prime Directive.
Of course, the crew of the Enterprise do manage to save the tribe but almost lose Spock in the process and they violate the Prime Directive. The vessel is subsequently taken from Kirk and given back to her previous captain, Christopher Pike, who makes Kirk his first officer and reassigns spock to another vessel.
It’s not long after that we are introduced the absolute carnage and chaos that is John Harrison, said to be a rogue Starfleet officer that causes a bombing of a Starfleet library. He then uses a Starfleet craft to open fire on a council meeting that Pike, Kirk and Spock are attending, striking Pike and leaving Kirk to take down the criminal on his own.
I really like Bruce Greenwood as an actor, so this part was tough for me. He’d been shot in the mayhem and has Spock by his side while he is dying–we see Spock do a mind meld with him, which he later explains he did because he wanted to know the emotions the man was going through in the grip of death; fear, pain and confusion.
As the story goes along, we watch the crew of the Enterprise chase the murderer Harrison into Klingon space and this is where it really gets interesting. Of course, diehard Trekkies know that Klingon’s cloak their Birds of Prey so the craft is undetectable by other ships. The inevitable happens and the away team comprised of Uhura, Kirk, Spock, and a fellow Lieutenant are chased down and end up in a subsequent battle with the Klingons, whose faces are never revealed, hidden under recognizable helmets. Just when we think all hope may be lost for the crew of the Enterprise, it is none other than John Harrison who rescues them from a sure fate in Klingon hands. Following the battle though, he does something strange—he surrenders.
While being held in the brig we learn precious more about Harrison, whose real name is–you may have guessed it–Khan.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays a perfect Khan in the film. Gaunt features and seemingly trustworthy eyes, it seems as though in this alternate world, Khan may actually be a good guy–until you find out his ulterior motives. I won’t go into any of that though–you’ll have to see the film for yourself if you really want to know what happens…
So Trekkies, have you seen it? What did you think? Sound off in the comments below!
+ Great acting
+ A worthy adversary
- Not what some Trekkies wanted
- Trying to fit too much into one film