I live with a dork who paid about $300 to frame two Star Trek posters that are now hanging in the living room, so it's only natural that the same man would insist we go see the new Star Trek movie, at midnight the day of release, in 3D. Thank god for alcohol, because this movie would have been far less fun if I were sober.
Let's get the obvious shit out of the way: the new Star Trek "theme" sucks. You know what I mean; the one that plays every ten minutes, or whenever someone does something moderately heroic or the Enterprise looks good from a certain angle. Then there's the lens flare. JJ Abrams loves lens flare more than a teenager who just discovered Photoshop CS2. The 3D makes this effect even more fucking obnoxious, because it's always in the foreground. Man, if lens flares give you boners, you'll be lucky to walk out of the theater still able to fit into your trousers.
Blah blah blah, you don't care about the production values. You want to know if the only man with Asberger's to make your vagina slick enough to become a sanctioned NHL rink is any good. Well, he is. Old Sherlock is the only actor to transcend the massively flimsy script to become almost otherworldly. He scowls, but he always scowls. He's kind of a dick, but he's always kind of a dick. But Eggs Benedict becomes something else partway through the film - he's not just driven for his cause, he is borderline feral, and he exudes a sense of menace that makes you wonder how anyone could think of this man as a hero.
Unfortunately, he's the best part of a movie where everyone else is game but criminally underused. John Cho has all of ONE scene you will remember that easily rivals his "fencing" scene from the first film, Chekov literally gets relegated to a red shirt position and runs around wearing goggles and doing a whole fuck load of nothing, and Uhura despite having a shining moment where she somehow manages to walk out of a shuttlecraft and face down a Klingon raiding party and walk away unscathed, is merely there as the reason that Spock still gets a fucking hard on when he wakes up in the morning. Scotty and his waffle-faced friend returns and despite the atrocious Scottish accent that he probably cribbed from too many episodes of the Krankies, Simon Pegg somehow manages to be the most memorable member of the crew not named Kirk or Spock and he isn't even on the fucking ship for three quarters of the film.
It's a massive shame, because the first half hour of the film is a real hoot. Everything is moving along at a great pace, Peter Weller is doing his best to manipulate his rigid face into an expression that evokes gravitas (I guess Red from That 70s Show fucked him up more than he bargained for) but if you've seen any of his work from the last few years, you know that Robocop is a distant memory - soon to be ruthlessly defiled and left behind a dumpster if the recent press is anything to go by - and Peter Weller has turned to the dark side, becoming an evil corporate hitman in 24 and an evil one handed sniper in Hawaii Five-O. If you haven't seen that, then oh well, sorry, spoilers. Whatever. He's evil. He clearly wasn't cast just to sound stern at the head of the fucking table before he gets blown away.
If you're even tangentially a fan of Star Trek you are going to watch this and you should. I didn't ruin the movie's BIGGEST "twist" which is, unfortunately, there for fan service and has no bearing on the film at large, but you'll walk away from all the lens flare and explosions and Robocop gloating about how evil he is thinking "but I expected more!" and you aren't wrong.
The first movie was a hoot despite relying on the somewhat tiresome time travel/parallel dimension trope, but this one bravely eschews the one fucking plot point Star Trek has hammered into the wall above all else* and somehow it ends up disjointed and lacking in any sense of climax. Spoiler: killing Kirk? Yeah, we know that ain't happening. Why even tease it as something that's plausible? Killing Spock? Even less so. Abram's had the balls to make Lizzy Caplan explode into shrapnel in Cloverfield and he had the balls to make Lost's climax being about Matthew Fox literally sticking a cork into an island to stop it exploding as if the world were a Tom and Jerry cartoon, but he doesn't have the moxie to kill Kirk or Spock. So why tease it?
This isn't quick, but I am drunk. I give this film a C+ for a great first act, showing us Klingons (they actually look kind of cool, even if the fearsome warrior race are all completely crushed by Cumberbatch wielding a minigun T2 style in less than a few minutes), and for Cumberbatch glowering menacingly. The rest of it...well. You're going to see it anyway, so why did you read the reviews of a rambling drunk idiot who should be in bed?
*As a fun exercise, compile all the episodes and movies of Star Trek that used time travel as their main point. You'll be appalled at how often this deus ex machina is wheeled out. I know I am.