Went to see the latest Star Trek film the other day. Hugely enjoyable. As with most action movies these days it gets the obligatory terrorist attack set piece out of the way pretty early on. And while it touches on the issues of US involvement in other lands – whether to be an observational, peace-keeping presence or a regime-changing force – it moves along at such a rattling good pace you don’t get enough time to pontificate on whether America really should be wherever doing whatever. Captain James T is still that big lug with a head – and possibly brain – the size of a planet, an audacious but flawed line in leadership and a preference for one-night stands with a variety of species (hmm… maybe he is meant to be America but let’s not go there..)
Spock, of course, provides the (un)emotional counterpoint to Kirk. But shock, horror it looks like he’s well on the way to letting the human override the Vulcan with the climactic scene of the film…well it was on the cards with him hooking up with Uhura, wasn’t it? So, as Spock starts to exhibit his emotional intelligence it’s left to brand new superbaddy Benedict Cumberbatch to rock the ice-cool detachment.
What’s particularly good though is there are no out and out villains (well maybe the Klingons but they don’t have enough screen time to present a back-story). The crazed-genius-scientist is driven by a desire to play the long-game to achieve inter-planetary peace. And Khan has been shaped by colonisation (it’s a nice twist that he’s played by a Brit but the yanks don’t have to worry about opening old colonial wounds with GB, do they?) But as I’ve said there’s no need to worry about political symbolism – just sit back and enjoy the big inter-connected, inter-racial, inter-species, roller-coaster ride. Oh, and Simon Pegg is brilliant, by the way – although he is more Glaswegian than the original Aberdonian Scotty. A case of ‘Ye cannae change the laws of genetics’?