The 2009 movie "Star Trek" was a great and successful one, that breathed new life into the franchise, by getting J.J. Abrams involved and make a fresh start with the series. Now that the 'freshness' of it is gone, does this movie still impress as a a science-fiction movie and sequel? Sure it does!

In my opinion, the Star Trek movies never really have been very spectacular ones to watch and they often picked a somewhat philosophical approach to things and rather than resolving things by action, they preferred talking and negotiating with their adversaries, who at times weren't even visible villains for the movie. Nothing wrong with that but in most cases it also resulted in some very dry and ultimately also lackluster, boring movies. That's all something you just can't say about the new generation of Star Trek movies. They are fast going ones, with plenty of action and even space battles, while at the same time still managing to give you an engaging story, with three dimensional characters and some real emotions to it.

Not that the story ever gets too complex though. As a matter of fact, this movie features a pretty straightforward story in it, without all that many side-plots or other distractions. It makes the movie perfectly understandable to follow for its mainstream audience, while giving the more hardened science-fiction lovers and Star Trek fans in particular still plenty to digest (especially when you are familiar with "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" of course) and feel impressed with, story-wise. There are still plenty of things going on beneath the surface of the movie but it never gets in the way of its main story, or causes the movie to slow down. It even has some unexpected twists and turns to it, without going overboard with it.

Thing that the story also does particularly well is to give the movie a sort of adventurous vibe to it. Afer all, space travels are one big adventure, in which people head into the unknown, facing difficulties and unexpected things they never imagined to come across. This movie perfectly captures that feeling and besides also does a great job building up toward some great moments. The action and tension makes you want to hold your breath at times, even though you of course also know that everything is eventually going to end up alright. After all, this is of course still a prequel to the very first Star Trek movie and TV-series, so you just know that nothing serious could ever happen to Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, or any of the other main Enterprise crew members. But the fact that the movie still manages to make you feel nervous and insecure about any of their faiths should tell you something about the effective way it's buildup and handles all of its action and drama.

Still the main thing that this movie has going for it is its action. It's literally action packed, with not just space battles or lasers but also explosions and some good old fashioned fistfights, that always has been a big part of the Star Trek franchise. It all makes this a perfectly entertaining science-fiction action adventure.

It's of course also a great movie to look at, with its wonderful special effects and just overall visual style. I love the new style and atmosphere of these new Star Trek movies. The sets, costumes, it all looks great and truly manages to create a world and universe of its own, that you believe in and want to be a part of.

I'm still also impressed with Chris Pine's performance of Captain Kirk. Not just necessarily because of his acting abilities but the way he perfectly, yet subtitle, mimics William Shatner's earlier performance of the same character. I also feel that all of the other Enterprise crew members finally get to do some more and show what they are capable of. This always has been a big complaint of mine about most of the Star Trek movies. I feel that this movie has some pretty evenly divided screen time and isn't just all about Kirk and/or Spock. Benedict Cumberbatch is also a great addition to the cast and a wonderful 'villain' for this movie!

it is what it is though; some specular and perfectly entertaining science-fiction, action and adventure. It does all the things that it needs to do and it does it well but that is no reason to overpraise this movie as well. It's one that is going to keep the series thankfully going and probably for a very long time as well but not one that is going to make any lists of best- or most innovative genre movies of all time.


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About Frank Veenstra

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