non-spoiler review by Wendy Gamble
My two teens next to me didn’t notice I left for five agonising minutes, my spouse thought I was back in two, things were moving so fast. There’s no doubt it was an action packed extravaganza of special effects and stunning imagery. The familiar yet freshly mysterious characters were given some room to grow, bringing touching and funny moments. However, the pacing was off, the plot not ideal, the characterisation good but incomplete.
The plot was sufficient, though not, I believe, what Gene Roddenberry had in mind for the franchise. There was intrigue and enough complexity to be interesting, but the basis was war and revenge instead of exploration interrupted by unexpected problems. The drive to seek scientific advances and further knowledge is (supposed to be) the core of Star Trek.
While the character moments we had were wonderful, they were too short and too few. If I hadn’t read the comics I would have been clueless as to Uhura’s emotional strife, and very little time was given to it, no reasons or proper resolution. The addition of Carol Markus was a good one, though we didn’t get to see a lot of her (except in one gratuitous scene). The conflict between Kirk and Scotty was good, but needed a wrap up via proper Kirk lecture on protocol. It wasn’t clear they had a proper understanding as a result of the actions and reactions. Kirk’s officers shouldn’t be yelling back at him while he’s talking! I don’t believe Kirk would tolerate that in this timeline any more than the original one. Perhaps we’ll see him learn to drum that out of them. The captain has many faults, but lack of discipline is not one of them.
I found the finale awkward. The segue into the five year mission monologue was totally inappropriate. That was my daughter’s first comment as well.
Despite its frustrating faults, a fabulously fun tale I’m willing to add to the universe of Trek canon. I only hope for something even better next time around.