Having never seen anything Star Trek related before, I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like this. However, when Dan (who very much wanted to see it) informed me that Benedict Cumberbatch, who Sherlock has prompted me to fall head over heels in love with was playing a bad guy -I was sold. It has been very much hyped on the internet and Star Trek episodes have been all over my Sky TV guide for a while now, so it did feel like a big cinematic event had arrived.
The film itself has a pretty easy-to-follow storyline and the characters of Spock and Kirk are played well by Pine and Quinto with both actors pulling off their roles’ quirks and courage. Having seen Quinto play evil Sylar in cult series Heroes, it was refreshing to see his perfect-for-sci-fi face put to a likeable character, who in fact breaks your heart towards the end. Heart-throb Pine is of course, made for the brave Commander role and although he is impulsive, he is smart and you do feel that things are safe in his hands.
I will admit that being such a huge Sherlock fan, it was difficult for me to get past the whole enigmatic detective persona with Cumberbatch. However, once the film really got going, which I felt was around the time Khan (disguised as John Harrison) blew up the Starship’s meeting room, killing Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Cumberbatch’s Sherlock had gone from my mind. Although Khan does indeed portray some very Sherlockian traits! He really captured the drive, motivation and sinister character that was needed, while still giving him a little bit of human emotion. I love villains who have a clearly shown, good side and Khan certainly has that.
The comedy is enhanced by Simon Pegg’s genius role as Scotty. The twitching and over-the-top Scottish accent cause him to become a bit of a caricature who never fails to make you smile. On the other hand, the women in the film didn’t really do it for me, which was a shame. Neither Alice Eve who played scientist Carol Marcus or Lieutenant Uhuru played by Zoe Saldana gave strong memorable performance (minus Uhuru’s courageous chat with the Klingons) and I feel that Star Trek really is lacking in some strong female characters, who don’t have to strip down to be noticed.
All in all, it is an engaging and thrilling watch with a lot going on. You don’t have to be a sci-fi expert to enjoy it but I have a feeling that there may have been a few things I missed due to my inexperience of the series. I would definitely recommend it to fellow Sherlock fans because Cumberbatch certainly doesn’t disappoint. Fans of Pegg and Frost will also enjoy Pegg’s portrayal of Scotty, as it is tinged with the same wit as their much-loved films. It is, on the whole, a family film that appeals to all Star Trek generations and is likely to be the sci-fi film of the year.