Top positive review
on 14 April 2014
There's no hanging around in this film - it's up and (literally) running from the opening scene as Kirk is pursued by a group of floury looking aliens, wonky enough to have graced the original TV series. Meanwhile, in London, Benedict Cumberbatch is up to no good while wearing another terrific coat. Following an attack on Star Fleet, Kirk and the Enterprise embark on a mission of revenge at the behest of repellent hawk, Admiral Marcus and the resulting battle of wits, phasers and conscience is great fun and hugely entertaining.
All the familiar Star Trek tropes are present - Kirk and Spock's bromance is developing nicely, Scotty is tetchy as ever, Checkov is earnest and eager. There's the moral tussle too - is lashing out in revenge really the right course of action? When you invent a weapon of mass destruction should you really be surprised to find it turned on you? Kirks's character & the leadership qualities he has in spades are shown as maturing nicely as he wrestles with all the issues dealing with John Harrison throw up.
Never having seen most of the original cast films Khan had no resonance for me but as he's portrayed here he made for a fascinating and complex villain. His cause wasn't completely unjust, his grievance against Star Fleet and Admiral Marcus genuine. Even when he's being helpful he's quietly menacing & obviously untrustworthy but never less than compelling.
I deducted one star because of really disappointing extras on the DVD. Two five minute features - one detailing how a set piece was designed and shot, the other concerning John Harrison. Not even a gag reel.
Great fun and lots of bang for your buck. Recommended.