I used to be an average fan of Star Trek TNG but never any of the movies of said franchise. They felt cheap and tacky with a bit too much cheese for my tastes, but along came JJ Abrams who dragged it, kicking and screaming into the 21st century, with massive amounts of style and all things shiny. I was stunned at the changes Mr. Abrams made but I also recognized that it was needed if Star Trek was ever going to be accepted by a new generation of fans, who wouldn’t be fooled by a simple “fake nose” or less than ‘state of the art’ special effects, not the way our generation were. This was addressed and a whole lot more, but as they say “you can’t make an omelet without…” and the wrath of the dreaded fanboy. In all honesty, JJ Abrams was the best thing that ever happened to the Trek universe because we need boundaries to be tested and rules to be broken and just sometimes, when it works, we get to enjoy the results, and enjoy them we have.

While much has changed in this reworking of the franchise, nothing is all that different, with the storylines and the dynamics of all the participants being the same as ever, Kirk and Spock like a newly married couple, Kirk and McCoy like an old married couple, and so on, and at it’s heart it’s still all Trek.

Chris Pine has the William Shatner Kirk head wiggle down solid. I hadn’t noticed if this is a new thing or if he’s been studying the old master in action, but right at the end of the movie he does it so clearly that I, along with a lot of the cinema goers, started to chuckle at this cheeky little nod to James Tiberius Kirk Mark I.

Karl Urban’s McCoy and Zachary Quinto’s Spock are just a sample of the casting decisions that have made this the best reworking of a movie I’ve ever witnessed. Practically every single cast member appears to have been signed on after huge amounts of consideration had been taken into account so making it an altogether enjoyable transition, and funny with Simon Pegg’s Scotty offering some of the more slapstick humor and throwing in the odd “ah, shit!” from time to time.

This outing cost the (not unreasonable) sum of $185 million and from almost the very start we see where all that money has gone, with the sheer scale of everything breathtaking. I caught it in 3D and have to say it was amazing and it’s nice when you can get to see a Sci-Fi blockbuster in this format, but it’s hardly essential for the story. Now that all the intros were taken care of in the previous film we could simply enjoy the view and enjoy it we did. From alien worlds to space stations and even back on Earth it was all about looks and size this time round and it was indeed jaw dropping. My one concern was the story, it was always busy with loads going on but for some reason it felt a bit flat. I have pondered this overnight and can’t put my finger on it but it lacked something.

Benedict Cumberbatch was an unusual choice for Khan but once again JJ Abrams got it right because he made an excellent foe for the Enterprise crew to hunt and then we had the introduction of the gorgeous Alice Eve for Kirk to drool over. Alice’s very first movie was actually with Benedict Cumberbatch in the biography ‘Hawking’ and she seems to be moving upwards with her biggest role to date.

You don’t need to be a Trekkie to enjoy this movie and judging by the complaining I’ve read it should be a prerequisite, but you do need to have Sci-Fi in your veins. It also helps that this franchise has always been accessible to the many because it has a very diverse and international cast, which has kept the Star Trek franchise alive, far longer than others but it’s all good. All good.

Live long … and prosper.

Grade: A

Nav Qateel.

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