As the film opens Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) are on the run from an indigenous tribe on a Class M Planet. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is entering into a volcano in hopes of preventing it from eruption and the Starship Enterprise is under the ocean.
In London Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) awakens from sleep with his wife Rima (Nazneen Contractor) and their dog. They later visit their dying daughter in the Royal Children’s Hospital when suddenly from behind Thomas a voice is heard saying “I can save her”. Of course not without a cost, this mystery man will give up his blood which can save his daughter in exchange for a terrorist act at his place of employment. What would you do? Kill hundreds for the life of your child!
Thereafter in San Francisco at the Starfleet Headquarters, Kirk is taking blame for disobeying policies once again while on his last mission. He loses his position as Captain on the Enterprise and is told he will need to report back to the academy. Pike (Bruce Greenwood) will once again take over as Captain of the Enterprise but eventually convinces the head officer Marcus (Peter Weller) to allow Kirk to stay on as first officer while Spock is transferred to another ship. All this changes when one man wages war against the Starfleet leaving Kirk to once again take the Captain’s chair on the Enterprise.
Vengeful John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) well known to the fleet has now become a fugitive leaving Kirk no choice but to become a military operation rather than an explorer. They travel to Kronos in enemy territory in search of Harrison who is hiding out on the dead planet. Nothing seems to go right though when the Enterprise gets a flat tire, so to speak. Leaving Sulu (John Cho) in control of the Enterprise as Kirk, Spock, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and two crew members venture to the planet in search of Harrison they embark on more than they expected. After a confrontation on Kronos Harrison gives Kirk seventy two reasons why he will surrender but little does Kirk know that those reasons involve hidden agendas and conspiracies within his own organization, ones that will truly lead to an all out war. With the ship out of power, Chekov (Anton Yelchin) in control of engineering and not sure what to do since Scotty (Simon Pegg) had quit and a mystery woman, Carol (Alice Eve) on board not being exactly who she said she was all options are limited for the survival of the Enterprise and its crew. Just when you think things are over don’t blink an eye since once again friendships are tested, family is cherished and love is expressed in a bitter battle to the end leaving mankind to boldly go where no man has gone before.
The direction is brilliant yet very cliché to J.J. Abrams techniques in photography and use of camera angles and lighting effects. I most enjoyed the writing which bordered on intense with a superb mixture of levity making the characters seem relatable and human both strong yet flawed. There are many cliché moments with some very familiar dialogue and one liners but overall the story stands alone with a fresh yet current storyline. The special effects are phenomenal along with a nice accompanying score which really helps to bring out the intensity of the moments all done in spectacular 3D.
Pine is amazing and in a very scary way sounds very similar to Shatner which of course is the man he is portraying which helps to make the role even more real to the die-hard Trekkies. Although I did think he had a bit of a hard time standing up against Cumberbatch who is absolutely brilliant. Pine at some moments seemed almost too boyish to Cumberbatch’s character which controlled every scene he appeared in. Quinto is spot on and once again does not fail to impress both with his straight lace demeanor or his several fist to fist fight scenes. Saldana, Pegg, Urban are all utilized quite a bit in the film and all bring great supporting moments to this storyline. I thought some characters were less utilized like Cho, Yelchin, Eve, Weller and Greenwood but they are all intricate characters to the many twists and turns that run throughout this plot of terrorism in space. In the end, once again a must see film that is sure to dethrone Iron Man at the box office this weekend, keeping The Great Gatsby from reaching the number one spot. Written and boldly enjoyed with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.