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I am opening a new topic for this rather than using the other thread, for I tried to do a write-up and had almost every single sentence in spoiler tags, since most of you won't have had a chance to see this yet (aside: that is so weird for a European to type, I can't even tell). So beware: This thread will be full of spoilers. I'm still going to spoiler-tag the huge, storyline-relevant ones that you really, really shouldn't read before seeing it, but the minor ones will be out for everyone to see. If you feel that reading stuff like (TINY SPOILER WARNING): There's a cameo by a Tribble is going to detract from your enjoyment of this film, please turn away now and come back once you've seen it. ****** Okay, spoiler gloves coming off now. ****** Star Trek 2 opens in unfamiliar surroundings (the crimson forest seen in the trailer) and ends in very familiar ones, That's the film in a nutshell - it bridges the gap between old and new, nods towards TOS and introduces fresh concepts, weds existing canon to new storylines. Amazingly, it does so fairly gracefully. It seems to have the potential to lure in both old Trekkers and newbies, a feat in and of itself - and it's also beautifully shot (but why oh why must those 3D films be so dark?) and fun to watch. A bit to hectic at times, but certainly never dull. The Enterprise's new crew seems more at ease with their roles now, and their interactions are great to watch. In fact, if there's one thing I truly missed, it was more of a chance for the crew to shine - Kirk and Spock and their relationship are very much at the center, while the others could definitely have used more screen time. They do make the most of what they're given, though, and Dr. Marcus fits in well. Both Pine and Quinto really own their roles this time. They play off each other beautifully, and manage to make both their differences and their friendship feel genuine. Pine's Kirk is both cocksure and vulnerable at times, and while the first film was about his finding his way into the captain's chair, this one is about his proving he truly has what it takes to lead. Spock, still visibly shaken by the loss of his homeworld, is trying to find his place and his path, and alienates both Kirk and Uhura along the way. Spock Prime makes a brief appearance, too, and it's a joy to watch the two of them interacting (I'd be so freaked out by another me, but Vulcans seem to take it in stride). By the end of the film, That being said, let's move on to the part you're probably reading this for : Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as John Harrison. He's beyond amazing. Bringing a deadly stillness and an earnest gravitas to this role, his John Harrison is genuinely terrifying. Much has been said about the prison cell scenes, and rightly so - they're pitch perfect - but there's one scene in the sickbay, where Harrison just sits, ramrod straight, and then calmly turns to watch Kirk with those glasz eyes, that makes a shiver run down your spine. Harrison's aloof and deadly, secretive, a brilliant fighter both with weapons and words, and very much a complex villain. His fight scenes are a blast to watch (and show an increased degree of confidence in BC's movements that I can't wait to see in season 3), and there's a great scene after the first big melee My favourite scenes, though, are the ones where Pine and Cumberbatch really pull this off amazingly and it's pure joy to watch these two different yet alike characters in that situation. J.J. Abrams leaves the franchise with a beautiful, upbeat ending and the potential for a great new beginning, and one can only hope that whoever takes the helm next doesn't squander that. Exiting the cinema to the sound of the classic score, I left with a huge smile on my face. eta: There's a little scene that has to be an actor allusion of sorts near the end of the film. There's that massive crash from the trailer, and Spock tells the crew to scan the wreckage for Harrison's life signs (paraphrasing here cause I saw the dubbed version). Sulu (iirc) protests that there's no way anyone could have survived that and Spock basically responds that oh, he could. Cue to them finding life signs and putting the signal on the screen, and Harrison jumping off the wreckage to the baffled exclamations of the crew that he could take a leap off somewhere that high .