Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto
Summary: When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Review by MovieBytes
Review by SkyWatcher
|Overall: 8/10 I must say that this movie is more than the sum of its parts. I will admit that there are flaws and incongruities within the movie that may be confusing to those of us who know the source material. But whether you watched a Star Trek marathon before seeing the new movie, or this is your first endeavor into the Star Trek universe, there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate in the latest installment of the Star Trek franchise.||Overall: 5/10 Special effects do not make up for poor writing and my main issues with this movie is the story itself.|
|Writing: 8/10 The plot of this movie mirrors the story told in Star Trek II Wrath of Khan, which is a good story, but I think that subtle changes were either too much, or not enough of a change to make the story stand out. I did enjoy seeing how the roles of certain characters had changed because of the alternate timeline created in the original movie, but I did see some flaws in the writing; namely, the ability of a starship to enter and leave a planet’s atmosphere, and the complete change in the character of Khan (more in Character Development). The dialogue was pretty good, and some lines were particularly well written.||Writing: 4/10 The writers went to great lengths to include many aspects of the original TV series including characters, costuming and general storyline. Yet despite these constant visual reminders they want us to forget what we know about the crew of the Enterprise, who Kahn is and how he came to cross paths with the James Kirk. I feel it would have benefited the film far more to make Benedict Cumberbatch a protégé of Kahn or an entirely new villain not connected to Kahn. I also have issues with certain elements of believability such as the Enterprise crashing to earth and not burning up in our atmosphere. I must admit that I am not a fan of the introduced alternate timeline from the 2009 film. If the writers want to make changes to the story, then make those changes. Don’t keep 90% of the film the same as the original TV series and introduce small changes and elaborate special effects to cover up for the lack of a good script.|
|Acting: 7/10 I enjoyed the performances of Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and especially Benedict Cumberpatch as Khan. Chris Pine showed off his acting chops by showing us some range of emotion in Kirk. We see him at highs of elation, lows of despair, and heated fits of rage. This was an improvement over the original. Zachary Quinto played Spock as he did in the original, which was an excellent performance. Benedict Cumberpatch played a villain named Khan, a new incarnation of the original character which was really cool, and acted very well. He gives a scintillating performance and I’m looking forward to seeing him play another villain in the near future.||Acting: 5/10 I enjoyed watching Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain, Kahn. He was strong and menacing in his role. Zachary Quinto once again embodied the logical, emotionless Spock. I’m probably the only person in the moving going public that does not think that Chris Pine is a good choice for James T. Kirk. The main flaw I have with his acting may have more to do with how his character is written. When I watch Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones or Simon Pegg as Scotty, I see the similarities with their TV predecessors but I see no resemblance between Chris Pine and William Shatner other than their uniform. In his role as James Kirk, Chris Pine comes across as a brash and insolent person who shows a complete lack of respect and almost no empathy toward the people he encounters. Taking a step back and looking only at his character in this movie and not comparing him to William Shatner, I cannot envision this person as having the temperament and prowess to earn the title of Captain of the SS Enterprise and therefore I find that he is not believable in this role. My rating for actors not including Chris Pine would have been 7/10. Including Chris Pine’s performance brought it down to a 5/10.|
|Character Development: 7/10 The characters in this movie were almost all moving forward with their development and did not stagnate. New aspects to character relationships were developed and we get to see some new sides to some characters that hadn’t been explored before. These were all very good additions to the series. The one problem I have is with the villain Khan. This Khan had a similar backstory to the character from the original series, however the rest of the character was completely changed. The alternate timeline shows that all the same characters have been subtly changed from the original series, but Khan is completely different, with no explanation as to why. I thought this was flawed.||Character Development: 5/10 Since the main characters have all been established from previous Star Trek endeavors they continued the characteristics from previous films. I’m not a fan of Uhura and Spock’s relationship evolving. I think this is totally unnecessary to the series and the story.|
The music was a continuation of the same themes from the original, with the same composer. The music served to compliment the situations and did well at making intense moments even more so.
|Music: 7/10 The music was appropriate to the film franchise. It did not stand out as spectacular but did not detract from the movie either.|
|Cinematography: 7/10 Cinematography was pretty good overall, but I only had one complaint; lens flare generators. It seems like there are lights shining into the eyes of the audience (or straight into the camera) almost all the time. It was a neat effect used in the first movie, but they went overboard in the sequel.||Cinematography: 6/10 I liked the effect of camera angles used in the film, but placing items in the foreground to give depth to the scene was overused a bit too much. Likewise, the use of lens flares was overused and became downright annoying at one point. Outside of these flaws, the cinematography was good.|
|Costuming/Makeup: 9/10 Costuming and Makeup was top notch, I would expect nothing less from a big budget blockbuster like this. Continuity was preserved with cuts and bruises throughout the movie, and all the aliens looked totally authentic. They chose to give the Klingons a new look, but I thought it was a wise choice. The Klingons most of us think of are the “Worf-like” Klingons with head ridges and bad teeth. But in the original series they looked just like humans. The obvious dilemma as to what to make them look like is solved by giving the Klingons another update for a new incarnation of Star Trek, keeping true to the franchise.||Costuming/Makeup: 6/10 Costuming and makeup were effective and believable for the film. The only glaringly unbelievable flaw was Kirk coming out of a two week coma cleanly shaven without a hair out of place. Apparently, the makeup department has never visited an ICU to see what people actually look like after two weeks in a coma.|
|Visual Effects: 10/10 The visual effects in this movie were perfect. I’m sure the budget for the effects in this movie was extremely high, but it paid off. The movie was filmed with IMAX cameras to give it a high quality resolution and sound, and it was converted to 3D in post-production, which was not needed, but still done well.||Visual Effects: 8/10 This whole movie is about special effects which were done well.|
|Set Design: 9/10 The sets continue to pay homage to the original Star Trek series, while retaining the new futuristic look that modern sets paired with CGI can provide. There was no doubt that we were looking at the Enterprise, Federation Headquarters, or new and strange planets.||Set Design: 4/10 I had issues with certain aspects of the set design beginning with the “out dated” alarm clock in the beginning of the movie, Kirk listening to LP records in his bedroom, a fireplace and heavy drapes in the hospital room and many other examples of a lack of timeframe continuity. I got the feeling that the movie wanted to portray a futuristic era where space travel and photon torpedoes are normal yet their hospitals haven’t kept pace with these improvements and people choose to listen to LP records instead of MP3 players, CDs or new devices that would have been invented in that era? The spacecraft scenes portrayed what one might expect to see on a spacecraft like the Enterprise and I wished that they applied these same futuristic touches to the Earth and Federation based scenes.|