This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Peter Labuza’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
Welcome to The Bore on Terror.
Star rating here is probably unfair, but takes all the good will Abrams created in the first film and squanders it wholly away.* Replaces the fun and campy energy of the 2009 reboot with the War on Terror, now used for overly moralizing and ethics dialogues with a ton of words without saying anything at all (for an Armondism, The Bourne Legacy handled this so much better). Everything is this movie is too fucking much. Negative space of frames are overly busy without creating an atmosphere, and the visuals feel particularly blank to me (MORE CHROME!), even when the camera is swirling around characters. Don't see the competence of the action sequences really—the fight on Cronos was especially illegible.**
But what really drove me up the walls is how much this movie is about people telling us things. Kahn's motivations and back story are all especially arbitrary to me because the explanations are talked instead of visualized or made into action (he's from the past but he's also super human and also wants to destroy all species—also he might be Syrian or something and I should be offended???). As someone who has never watched Star Trek 2, I felt completely lost. Cumberbatch has yet to impress me as an actor—here is only shtick is menace and it got tedius real fast. Kirk is told by Bruce Greenwood that he's going back to the Academy, and then in the next scene is told he's now first captain. Nimoy shows up to tell the audience Kahn is dangerous, which REALLY? Even the iconic moment of ST2 makes NO SENSE: Why is Spock yelling "Kahn!"? He...sort of caused Kirk's (not really) death, but Kirk more or less caused his own death. And thought everyone was kind of BSing over nothing when it came to that Alice Eve scene, but holy shit that was way more awkward than expected.
I can cite three things I actually liked
1) When the ship goes into warp speed, I like the moving particles it leaves behind.
2) There's a funny moment of Uhura and Spock having relationship troubles (though it nose dives into CHARACTER EXPOSITION BEING UNLOADED ONTO US).
3) I like Bones getting his hand stuck in the bomb thing.
So that's about 2 minutes of material. This film is 132 minutes long.
*In comparison, I had little interest in the Marvel films before The Avengers and Whedon's involvement was fairly perfunctory. Didn't really change my opinion of the franchise at all.
**Also, I enjoyed a giant ship crashing into a city more when it was called Speed 2: Cruise Control.