I'm getting a bit old to be watching Star Trek films for reasons other than nostalgia. But this exists now, and there are always Sunday afternoons when you've not got anything better to do, aren't there? Anyway, my enthusiasm for the current movie brand is more on the side of forgetting it exists until they bring a new one out than seething about its canonical atrocities, so these are always worth a look. It couldn't be any worse than Into Darkness, surely?
If that was the only praise I had for the film, it would be a low bar indeed. But it might even be better than the first one too, making it positively just about alright. After the last film, there seemed to be two inevitable things that would happen in the new Star Trek 3, but they only ended up doing one of them. Maybe we'll get the reimagined Kruge/Chang/generic Klingon adversary next time?
What was never in doubt was that they'd shoehorn in a mad baddie with a superweapon for the umpteenth time, but that was even a cliche back in the days of the TNG movies, and this is better than the worst of those. Again, not the highest compliment in the universe.
It's nice to see the secondary characters getting some enforced screen time by splitting everyone up for a while. The peril feels more tangible than usual, for a pretty obvious reason, and it was nice to see some restraint in the referencing after last time. The nods this time around are more subtle, touching and satisfying, especially with the surprising emphasis on the Enterprise era which I tend to forget happened almost as much as these films.
But for all that, it's still largely a big, dumb action movie, and the big, dumb action sequences all felt unnecessarily confusing. But as I've established, I am an old man now.
"There is strength in unity" - Nyota Uhura