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Throughout the decades Star Trek has always tried to reinvent itself and to keep up with the times. With the movie series it however often felt like the movies were two steps behind and the movies never came across as very innovative ones within its genre. I do believe that's why none of the Star Trek movies, made before the 2009 J.J. Abrams movie, ever really clicked with the big crowd and movie critics, who weren't that into Star Trek. It appears to me that the only way you can enjoy all of the movies is when you are a big Star Trek fan-boy or girl and know all about its universe and characters.

Having said that, this movie is what it is. And I do admit that it's better than its current reputation. It was obvious that for this movie they tried to put in more action, to please the modern young crowd and to keep up with other big science-fiction blockbusters. It's the reason why they brought in the action-expert Stuart Baird to direct this movie but this movie also clearly demonstrates that making an action movie is one thing but making a science-fiction action flick is a whole different ballgame.

And there really isn't much wrong with its action but the movie however impresses less with its science-fiction and storytelling elements. To be fair, the story itself isn't any worse than lets say an average " Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode or any more flawed or weaker than some of the other Star Trek movies, made prior to this one but it obviously also is being far from the most original, best, or most interesting of stories. It's somewhat disappointing to see how safe this movie is being with its story and how it refuses to do anything daring or surprising with it. It's mostly a movie by the numbers and it gets especially predictable to watch once you are a bit more familiar with the previous Star Trek movies and/or TV-series.

Can't say that the movie is boring as well, which probably is the foremost thing that saves this movie from being a bad one. Sure, it's a very typical science-fiction action adventure but as far as the genre goes, this hardly is the worst movie you could come across. It still manages to bring some entertainment and it does all what it does all well enough.

And while watching the movie it doesn't always comes across that way but Tom Hardy (yes, THE Tom Hardy) is a pretty good main villain for this movie. He has some depth to him, which gives his character some more dimensions and makes him more than just an average villain who wants to control the universe or destroy the Earth, or even worse, the Enterprise. It was actually one of the very first movie roles for the also very young looking Hardy and he did a pretty good job with it, all things considering.

It's far from the best Star Trek movie but also really far from the worst one as well. Still it's a shame this movie had to be the final one for the second generation Star Trek crew. It's not exactly the worthy final wave off they deserved, which perhaps is also one of the reasons why this movie is mostly hated by Star Trek fans. But then again, I don't think they ever intended for this movie to be the final Star Trek movie featuring Jean-Luc Picard and crew in it, so it's not really something you should hold against this movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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