First Hit: Kept the thrill, charm, and excitement of the first prequel – I liked it.
What I really liked about the first 2009 “Star Trek” prequel was the embodiment of the original Star Trek television series characters as younger people.
For this film, the thing I was concerned about was if this film would be able to carry through the joy and feel of the characters. The answer is yes. Although there were things that needed some work and scene trimming, the feel of the film worked and it was fun to watch.
I’m not sure what others think, but Chris Pine (playing Kirk) has a great feel of the original Captain Kirk. A brash intelligence mixed in with independence. He knows he doesn’t know everything but he cares about the crew more than himself.
The film begins with him losing the star ship Enterprise do to this brash behavior. Then he is pressed into being captain again because of an attack at Federation HQ by Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and he's the one who figures it out. The story hangs together really well and the main criticisms where that some scenes, like Spoke in a fist fight with Khan on the cargo containers, was overly long and served no real purpose.
The special effects were well done and did not take over the film but enhanced it.
Pine makes a great Kirk and there is room for him to grow the character in the next film. Zachary Quinto as Spock is very good. Zoe Saldana as Uhura is strong and brings an exotic presence to the bridge. Karl Urban as Bones is slightly overplayed but good enough. Simon Pegg is wonderful as Scotty. John Cho as Sulu holds his character with strength. Anton Yelchin does a wonderful job of embodying Chekov. Cumberbatch did a very good job of being the guy who was going to rule the universe. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman did a good job putting together a fun and interesting script while J.J. Abrams kept the Star Trek theme and feeling alive – kudos.
Overall: Very entertaining and a good effort for the second prequel.