I must confess, I’ve only ever been exposed to JJ Abrams’s version of Star Trek, so this review would be coming from a non trekkie. That said, disclaimer #2 would be that I’m a huge fan of JJ.
Following the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, JJ and gang maneuvered themselves into a situation whereby an alternate universe situation freed themselves from canon, and they were free to pursue new adventures, or in this case, repackage an old adversary. This time round, with all the introductions and backstory out of the way, they were free to jump straight into the action.
And the action starts on planet Nibiru, where Kirk immediately violates Prime Directive by exposing themselves to a primitive civilization in a bid to rescue Spock, who himself is knee deep in an active volcano trying to rescue the civilization. Meanwhile, back on Earth in London, a terrorist bombing by Starfleet commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) calls for a meeting in which all the starfleet commanders gather in a small room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows (Yeap, they didn’t really think this through).
John Harrison turns out to be a cover identity, whose real name is actually.. KHAN! A genetically engineered superhuman who has superior mental and physical strength over ordinary humans. He was woken from suspended animation by Admiral Marcus and had his 72 crew members held hostage, to develop advanced weaponry for him, so he could wage war against the Klingons.
Its up the motley crew of Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Bones and Chekov to stop him. Stop him they will, and have fun watching them you will too.
Oh, and the best part of this movie experience was watching it while on holiday in San Francisco in Imax 3D, and watching mayhem unfold IN San Francisco onscreen, as that’s where the Starfleet Academy is located. Beyond cool!
Aside from watching out for homages and references to the original Trek series, there’re also signature JJ trademarks such as lens flares, and the appearance of Slusho, the fictional slurpee type drink he’d created since Alias. Slusho has since found its way into Heroes, Fringe, Super8, Cloverfield, and of course, both Star Treks.
He’s also apparently placed R2D2 in all of his movies. Coincidentally, he’s been tapped to direct Star Wars 7, so hopefully R2 will have a bigger role than a flyby in that one?
It seems like right now, JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon can do no wrong.