I'm not a trekkie, and my first Star Trek film is the reboot STAR TREK (2009, 7/10), as a momentous pioneer to boost a whole new generation to embrace a revamped Sci-Fi franchise, it did a decent job thanks to J.J. Abrams' cachet in the category and the recurring hyped-up references from the soap sensation THE BIG BANG THEORY.
4 years later, the second installment finally arrives as a leviathan summer blockbuster as its predecessor, the Enterprise's new intergalactic adventure takes off with the entire crew members back under the J.J. Abrams' helm, this time holding the villain name tag is the red-hot Benedict Cumberbatch, sports a dashing windbreaker, frowns while practices his merciless slaughter, hardly a novel creation, but he does invigorate the tension by delivering his spiteful lines with Bardic cadence.
Once again, the same bad-guy-(willingly)-being-caught-in-the-middle-of-the-film trope bears the importance as a game-changing twist, then after a spate of nifty but anticipated internal hazards and warp chase, the final battle returns to earth for a bland point-blank hand-to-hand combat.
Most obtrusively, Kirk and Spock's bromance has been handily elevated into another Platonic level, the near-death confession scenes overtly suggests it will exist as an unerring theme in the whole running, it is embarrassing to see the almost zero chemistry between Spock and Uhura, even for a dispassionate Vulcan, the innuendo is quite palpable, only Kirk can melt Spock's cold-hearted veneer and illicit his human part of being dramatic, impulsive and vengeful. Sidekicks are the same old story, Simon Pegg is entrusted to assume as the saviors at least twice, apart from his usual levity to induce laughters. Newcomer Alice Eve offers a gratuitous bikini scene in the wink of an eye, which awkwardly belies the rashness to cater to the film's core ticket-or-DVD-buyers (geeky nerds mostly), which is a clumsy and paltry strategy.
The visual effect has its glorious achievement in some section, but there is a dearth of awe-inspiring imagination to outdo the ruck of Hollywood tentpoles. Much appreciation should be impute to the polished editing and narrative pace, the film seldom slackens to a dull moment for viewers to think twice about its logical practicality of the deeds involved. If it is not entirely appealing to audiences from all strata, at the minimum, trekkies will not cold-shoulder it and most likely, it is a qualified sequel to spur the vitality for another Star Trek binge in the near future. But an apprehensive concern is that since J.J. Abrams has embarked on to reinstate the more preeminent STAR WARS brand, I sincerely hope a new director will bring a paradigm shift for its third venture, it should not perpetually be overshadowed as a spin-off or a cheaper version of the former (at least the characters are more interesting and dynamic), what's more, it is anything but cheap gauging by its production budget, it has everything to challenge the elephant in the room now!