- Released Internationally on 09/05/13
- Released in Malta by KRS on 15/05/13
Preview (as published 01/05/13 in VIDA Magazine)
J.J. Abrams received mountains of praise for his courageous rebooting of the Star Trek franchise a few years ago, and that was probably one of the main reasons why he has been handed an even bigger task - Star Wars Episode VII. Before that announcement was made, however, he had completed his Star Trek sequel, which hopes to build on the success and hype of its predecessor. The one element of the reboot that was slightly lacklustre was Eric Bana as the nemesis, so to raise this outing to the next level they enlisted one of the hottest actors of the moment to portray the foe - Benedict Cumberbatch. The star of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, as famous for his voice as for his acting (he will be voicing Smaug the dragon in the remaining Hobbit films, and he stole the show in the famous ‘Tom’ Google+ advert) has dominated all the trailers and posters so far, so it remains to be seen how the young crew of the Enterprise will get the better of him.
3-word review: For the fans.
J.J. Abrams has made a point of telling the press, at every possible opportunity, how he wanted to make a film that would appeal to all moviegoers, and not just Star Trek fans. Well, I’m no trekkie, and I felt neglected whilst watching this film. I’ve seen a few of the films, I’ve seen a small portion of the countless TV episodes, and I’ve read enough to know the basics. But in this film, although I got to enjoy it as an action and effects film, I felt like an outsider. Without spoiling anything, I can say that a huge character ‘reveal’ makes a very obvious reference to past Trek movies, and the way someone’s name is announced you’d expect the cinema audience to gasp out loud and burst into slow applause. The explanations that follow are sparse, and the ending of the films features other apparent symmetries with earlier films, which of course flew right over my head and I only learnt about later.
I guess it’s also for Cumberbatch fans. The rocketing star is wonderful as the main nemesis here, with his steely presence, impressive physicality and of course his famous voice, all combining to make a villain that you sincerely believe could take on every else in the film. The problem is, he’s hardly given a good ending, and I felt let down by the end of it. The other main new face is the gorgeous new female addition to the crew (Alice Eve), although it does seem like she is there merely to add a feminine touch and to walk around looking stunning, with or without her uniform.
It’s not all bad of course, and as expected in a J.J. Abrams film there’s stellar effects, a few action set pieces that take your breath away, and enough character development to make everyone interesting. The main cast continue their great work from the previous film, with excellent chemistry and a good mix of drama and humour, the latter mostly thanks to Simon Pegg. The musical and visual aura of the Enterprise is also continued in grand style, as is the simmering bromance between Kirk and Spock. It’s exciting and entertaining from start to finish, but I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who never had an Enterprise or Cumberbatch poster on their wall.