Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 2013. Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Bad Robot. Screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, based on the television series Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry. Cinematography by Daniel Mindel. Produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci. Music by Michael Giacchino. Production Design by Scott Chambliss. Costume Design by Michael Kaplan. Film Editing by Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey. Academy Awards 2013. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2013.
The first adventure solidified the new generation of the U.S.S. Enterprise, preparing us for a fresh gang ready to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before; with all the establishing now out of the way, it’s time to get them into some serious trouble. This they do right from the outset of this rip-snorting adventure, with Kirk (Chris Pine) being demoted for breaking the rules when he turns a routine observation of a primitive culture on a distant planet into a rescue mission that violates the prime directive. Ready to take on the lesser job of First Officer on the Enterprise under his mentor (Bruce Greenwood), while estranged friend Spock (Zachary Quinto) has been reassigned to another vessel, they find all plans thrown into the grinder when a mysterious villain (Benedict Cumberbatch) shows up and murders a number of high-ranking Starfleet officers. Now our two heroes have the opportunity to repair the greatest bromance in science fiction history as they and old friends Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho) travel to the other side of the galaxy in an effort to catch the bad guy and figure out what his deal is. The rest of the fun is for you to enjoy in a film that gleams with perfection from beginning to end, rich in character detail, bubbling but never overwhelmed by plot twists, and dazzling to the senses with gorgeous cinematography and marvelous visual effects; so very amusing a film that its mundane narrative (basically Goldeneye combined with Star Trek II) is barely noticeable. Director J.J. Abrams manages to ride the line beautifully between the thrilling excitement that big screen spectacles demand while at the same time maintaining the original show’s personal, idealistic tone, without ever being condescending about either.