TOP 10 WEN-SDAY – Top 10 Fictional Jobs

ghostbusters, Harry Potter, James Bond, jobs, list, pokemon, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Thunderbirds, Top 10

Today I was rejected for another job that I really wanted. To be fair, I highly suspected I hadn’t got it even after they spent 4 days longer than they said to contact me. It still sucks though because I thought it would have been a really good fit. I’m getting so used to getting psyched up for interviews and then coming out feeling like shit. I’m sick of job hunting. When I got a promotion at work a year or so ago I nailed the interview. Since then, every interview I’ve had has ended in rejection. So I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion the job I’m most qualified for is the one I know, wholeheartedly, I don’t want to do. Whilst the job that I’m desperate to get is the one that nobody thinks I should be doing. Great. So, I’ve got some thinking to do, which is convenient because a recent Instagram challenge prompt asked me to reveal my dream fictional job. It’s an interesting question. Yes, it won’t help me in my job search but when my current job is so fucking boring I need to pass the time somehow. This prompt happened to fall today which is the first Wednesday of the month. Perfect timing for a hastily put together Top 10 Wen-sday.
Ten: 00-Agent (James Bond)

I know that James Bond is an awful mess of sexism and nonsense these days but I always loved the films as a kid. I think I’ve always been fascinated by spies and secret agents when I was growing up. My favourite episode of Thunderbirds was the one with the secret agents and I was obsessed with Bond’s gadgets. I realise that I wouldn’t be as suave or sophisticated as 007 and I certainly wouldn’t be ordering Martinis when I walked into a bar. However, I’d be pretty happy to drive around in fancy gars with exploding pens in my pocket.

Nine: Paper Salesman (The Office)

I realise that the act of selling paper itself isn’t that dream worthy a job but it would be if you were doing it at either Wernham Hogg or Dunder Mifflin. I’d love to do this job for a short time just to get the chance to work with the characters on both shows. We’d all love to mess around with Tim/Jim and hang out with Dawn/Pam at reception. And, despite their flaws, I’ve have worse bosses than either David Brent or Michael Scott. This could be a breath of fresh air.

Eight: Man in Black (Men in Black)

This job may have more to do with the accompanying Will Smith song than a real desire to do it but I think that’s reason enough. This just feels like a cool job. Wake up, save the world from Alien scum, erase people’s minds, and go home. What a way to spend your day. This would be a job where you would wake up desperate to go to work and look insanely good whilst doing it.

Seven: A Detective (Sherlock HolmesPoriotMiss Marple etc)

In real life, I’d probably be shit detective. I’ve watched enough crime dramas and failed to work out who the killer is to know this. I’m probably either too trusting or not trusting enough of people. This wouldn’t work too well. I’d either suspect nobody or everyone. So, in my dream world, I’m a great detective. It’s perfect. You solve crimes and get to be kind of a dick to everyone. Plus, you always get some sort of great accessory that makes you stand out. Hat, moustache, knitting… I wonder what mind would be.

Six: Member of Starfleet (Star Trek)

I don’t even care what job I’d have to do for this to happen. I’d be a red shirt and run the constant risk of sudden death if I had to. Who wouldn’t love the chance to be on the Starship Enterprise? Especially if it was The Next Generation era. Working under Captain Jean-Luc and discussing great things with Data? Sounds like a great day at the office. Then there’s the whole holodeck thing… and we all know, what happens on the holodeck stays on the holodeck.

Five: Auror (Harry Potter)

I reckon a lot of people who thought about this kind of list would say that a teacher at Hogwarts would be the best job in the series. However, I would hate it. I’ve already discussed my feelings about the way the school is run so I don’t think I could get on board with it. There would be far too much stress and so much work to do. Then you have to deal with kids. Not just any kids, mind, but magical kids. No, I’d much rather be the next Alastor Moody and go around kicking the arses of bad witches and wizards. Doling out justice with my wand in hand… I can picture that.

Four: Ghostbuster (Ghostbusters)

I’d happily be a part of either the original team or the new, girl-only team. I think the original film is clearly better but there was something about the new one that I loved. Whatever happens, I’d love to get the chance to test out a proton pack and capturing some spirits. I could even get on board with the unflattering jumpsuits.

Three: A Member of International Rescue (Thunderbirds)

I absolutely bloody love Thunderbirds so would love the chance to join the team. I’ve always wanted to be Virgil if I’m honest. Yes, he doesn’t get the glory in the way that Scott does but he’s probably the most important guy on nearly every mission. He carries the bloody supplies to each site and controls every piece of equipment that is needed. The guys a bloody hero but Scott acts like the big I am all the time. Ridiculous. Still, I’d rock the hat and I’d love to have a portrait that has light-up eyes.

Two: Pokemon Trainer (Pokemon)

This may not really count as a job but, in the game at least, you got money for winning matches. I’d love to wander around and catch Pokemon for a living. It’d be difficult but I think I’d get a pretty good team together. Then it’d be on my way to the Gyms to get my hands on the coveted badges. I’m already a proven Pokemon Master using my Gameboy so why not make it official?

One: Jedi (Star Wars)

Okay, I’m not entirely sure that a Jedi even counts a job either but I can’t deny that it’s something I’d love to do. Yes, the whole celibacy thing would be tough but I’d love to learn how to use the force. To travel around the galaxy and stop uprisings and shit. I think I’d be a pretty good General and could proved fairly useful in the Clone Wars. I think I could cope with the pretentious and moral act that I’d have to put on…as long as I could get my hands on a lightsaber. That’s the real draw.

Tuesday’s Reviews – STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

Chris Pine, films, Idris Elba, meh, review, sci-fi, Simon Pegg, Star Trek

I’ve had mixed feelings about this film since I first saw the trailer. I hadn’t exactly been blown away by 2013’s Into Darkness despite my love of Benedict Cumberbatch. I just didn’t like the silliness that the trailer seemed to be portraying. It was trying to go down the Guardians of the Galaxy route with the references to The Beastie Boys. It felt fucking desperate if I’m honest. Like it’s just trying to fit in with the other spacey blockbusters instead of trying to be something new. Of course, there was still hope. I know I’ve said a lot of shit about Simon Pegg over the years but the fact that he came on board as co-writer surely had to be a good thing. I mean the man helped write Spaced and a trilogy of films that succeeded 2 out of 3 times. At the very least we’d have enough in-jokes and references to keep is preoccupied long enough to not notice how shit everything else was. So, with only a month to go before the film comes out I finally got round to watching it.

I have to admit that I enjoyed Beyond way more than I thought that I would. It’s a pretty standard kind of Star Trek film but it was enjoyable enough. Naturally, it is one of the funniest films in the franchise and certainly the most self-aware and humours since the reboot. However, I still couldn’t get away from my feeling that it was trying too hard to be the opposite of Into Darkness. It takes the dark and grittiness of its predecessor and goes to great lengths to be sillier. It means that, instead of being a complex film with a narrative that flows nicely and deals with real human feelings, Beyond is basically just a selection of hit-and-miss jokes between massive action sequences. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. The Original Series hardly went into great depths about the human relationships at the heart of the show.

I guess Simon Pegg and co-writer Doug Jung attempt to bring some emotional range into the mix as both Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) contemplate leaving the Enterprise for more fulfilling work. Kirk is finding out that a five year journey in space isn’t quite the fun-filed adventure he had hoped and Spock must decide between the Enterprise and political work on New Vulcan. However, this is never really developed to the point that either of them learn anything about themselves. Every time they get close something will inevitably blow up or something funny will happen to distract them. Ultimately. both of them make their decision without really discussing anything important, which makes the whole enterprise really fucking superficial.

However, there are many who will love that about Beyond. It took a lot from the negative audience reactions from Into Darkness and made a film for the fans. Something that is both clever and really fucking risky. After JJ Abrams’ second film came out the audience wanted more Kirk and co, less darkness, and a plot that wasn’t just a rehash of a classic. All of these things are catered for but the team seem to have forgotten a few key points. Namely, a coherent and engaging story, a well-written baddie, and decent roles for anyone who isn’t Kirk, Spock, Bones or Scotty. But, as Some Like it Hot famously told us, “nobody’s perfect”.

I’d try and sum up the narrative here but, really, I don’t really understand much of what happened or why. The crew of the Enterprise were lured into a trap set by the supposedly villainous Krall (played by a completely wasted Idris Elba) and have to stop him unleashing a weapon of mass destruction on a Federation outpost. Hang on, what was that I was saying about “original story”? Change this guys name to John Harrison and we’ve got Into Darkness all over again. Although, Beyond does have the unmistakable feel of classic Star Wars about it. The gang get stranded on an alien planet and there are plenty of unnamed red shirts who get offed. This is also the closest the reboot has got to getting the characters to be familiar interpretations. Well the main trio anyway. The relationship between Spock and Kirk is a wonderful as ever and, thankfully, Beyond shows us more of Bones (Keith Urban) and Spock. Bones was the underused but brilliant aspect of the last two films and Urban is finally able to get some real screen time. The banter but ultimate care and respect the two show are some of the film’s highlights.

However, the rest of the crew really get fuck all to do. Although, there is a wonderful new addition to the team thanks to Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah. The newcomer is a stronger, more intelligent and developed female character than anyone in the previous films in the reboot. Although, even she basically just turns up to fight people and give vital bits of exposition when needed. There’s nothing wrong with films that are all about action but that action needs to be spectacular to make it worth it. There can be no denying that Justin Lin has a better handle on the action sequences than Abrams didn in the previous instalments but they’re still all over the place. The first major action sequences is kind of spectacular though. The Enterprise is set upon by Krall and his fleet of tiny, bee-like ships. The later two setpieces are edge-of-your seat stuff but they’re nothing near the first. The rest of the film does little to prove that Star Trek is a decent enough action film to rival the ones currently being produced. The editing is choppy, the camera bounces around all over the place, and there is an over-reliance on deafening sound effects. No amount of cheesy references to the Beastie Boys is going to convince me that the action scenes save this film.

Somebody really needs to remind the people who make these films that the whole reason the Enterprise set out was to “boldly go where nobody had gone before”. Modern filmmakers have clearly forgotten this fact and decided it’s better to just copy every other big action blockbuster that’s ever created. When Abrams first took up the reboot I was excited. I loved the idea of new Star Trek. However, it’s always tried to be something else. Abrams wanted to make it his version of Star Wars and now it’s just the poor man’s Guardians of the Galaxy. This film should have been the franchise’s Skyfall but instead it’s more like fucking Quantum of Solace. Something that had a load of promise but just lost its way. I mean in the grand scheme of things Beyond isn’t a shitty film. It is, however, shitty Star Trek.

TBT – Galaxy Quest (1999)

alan rickman, films, parody, review, sci-fi, Star Trek, TBT

So, as we established last week, I’m still in mourning over here. Watching Die Hard reminded me of how good Alan Rickman was so I decided it was best to continue to celebrate his talent for the next few Thursdays. Whilst Die Hard and the Harry Potter films are probably his most loved roles and Robin Hood being another memorable and iconic characters, I’m going to focus on my personal favourites. The films I grew up knowing Alan Rickman from. The films that shaped the way I saw the actor. In his life, Rickman wasn’t incredibly happy about being named one of the greatest actors for playing villains. He had a wicked sense of humour and enjoyed playing light-hearted roles as much as the straight ones. This can be seen most obviously in this 90s Star Trek parody.

Everything about Galaxy Quest is instantly so familiar. The outrageous television plots, a science-fiction convention filled with desperate fans in costume and the washed-up actors arguing backstage. Dean Parisot’s send-up of the Star Trek television show and the Trekkie fandom is not meant to be a criticism of a much-loved franchise. It’s actually an incredibly funny homage to a series that has, and continues to, affect the lives of so many people. So good, that Trekkies once ranked it as the 7th best Star Trek film.

Galaxy Quest is set 18 years after a popular science fiction show has been cancelled. The fans have stayed loyal but the stars are now shining much less brightly than they once were. The series hero, Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), still insists on taking the limelight and act like the Commander he’s best known as. When Nesmith and his fellow cast members are taken onboard a real-life spaceship they find themselves in an illogical situation where fact and fiction collide dramatically. They must use their knowledge of the show that made them famous, the knowledge of their loyal fans, and their own dumb luck to save a doomed alien race from the deadly warlord Sarris (Robin Sachs).

Suffice is to say, this film isn’t going to win any awards for being surprising or complicated. It’s your basic ‘aliens think a TV show is real so recreate every detail and place the actors in real peril’ narrative but that doesn’t make it any less pleasing. It takes details everyone, fans or not, will recognise about Star Trek without ever verging on the mean. The portrayal of the fans is extreme but it only thanks to the help of the devout that the crew are able to return to Earth safely. Their in-depth knowledge is the key to success ans as such celebrated instead of ridiculed.

It also boasts a pretty great cast with comic actor Tim Allen excelling in his William Shatner impression. I can’t say I’ve always been a fan of Allen but I love him here. It’s a funny and clever performance. Backed up by some great work from Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. Both offer incredibly funny performances without ever compromising their well-known talent. Rickman in particular shines in every scene and appears nothing but professional. I love him here.

There is a great deal of humour to be found in the satirical look a science fiction television. The film soars when it really delves into the illogical plots of the episodes. The dramatic scene where our heroes are running through an assault course of mechanisms ready to smush them for no other reason than dramatic tension. There have been plenty of attempts to parody the formulas of shows like Star Trek but Galaxy Quest is by far the most successful. It never loses sight of the importance its source material or the people who love it. Yes, it’s the humour doesn’t always land but it doesn’t matter. It’s damn near perfect.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, JJ Abrams, review, sci-fi, sequel, Simon Pegg, space, Star Trek

I set out a promise to you, dear readers, before I continue: I promise I will try as hard as I can to make sure this doesn’t just descend into my ramblings concerning the attractiveness of Benedict Cumberbatch. It’ll be hard. He is one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen and his voice should come with some sort of parental guidance. Seriously this film should have been rated a 15 just because of how erotic all of his lines sound. Not since the days of Jack Bauer has someone sounded quite so sexy whilst threatening to kill a bunch of people. But here I am falling into the same old trap.

Back in 2009 JJ Abrams rebooted the Star Trek franchise by rewriting history to allow a wider range of people to embrace a dwindling franchise. Abrams famously admitted to not being a fan of Star Trek and set out to make a film that would appeal to people like him whilst hopefully not alienating the loyal fans. It was a Star Trek film made as a Star Wars film and the whole thing was considered to be a major success. The decision to start a clean slate by rewriting such familiar character histories allowed Abrams to do what he wanted with the franchise whilst still leaving the classic television show in tact. It was a brilliant decision and for the past four years cinema goers have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up.

Into Darkness picks up shortly after Star Trek left off with Kirk (Chris Pine) and friends exploring the depths of space in his very own ship. We catch up with them mid-adventure with Kirk and Dr Bones McCoy (Karl Urban) sprinting through an alien wilderness to escape an angry extraterrestrial mob. We quickly learn that this is all just a huge distraction whilst Spock (Zachary Quinto) works to calm down an active volcano. To be honest, I could have done without this opening piece as, really, it adds little to the overall story and seems to drag everything out a bit. (Also, the idea that the Enterprise could survive hidden underwater for a few days seems a bit far-fetched to me but there we are.) Although, it allows Quinto the opportunity to shine once again as Spock. The actor continues to get better in the role and his inner-wrangling between his two halves is a great thing to watch as he finds himself getting deeper into two personal relationships. The most important and loving of the two is between Spock and his Captain and as we pick up the story we find ourselves in full bromance mode. The pair continue to play off each other very well and it’s a double act I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the future.

It is the conflict between the two men that creates the supposed need for the opening gambit as it’s major purpose is to remind the audience that Spock is all about the prime directive and favours the needs of the many over the few. Of course, Kirk being Kirk the crew manage to go against the all important Prime Directive and makes their presence known to the simplistic lifeforms inhabiting the planet. Inevitably this doesn’t sit well with the important people back at Star Fleet and Kirk has his ship taken away from him before being made First Officer to a returning Admiral Pike. That is until a disgruntled ex-employee John Harrison vows vengeance against The Federation by blowing up one of their secret bunkers in London, with the help of Dr Who’s lovable Mickey Smith (also known as talented actor and film-maker Noel Clarke). Kirk is called back into play after promising Admiral Marcus that he will hunt down and capture the deadly Harrison.

Benedict Cumberbatch gives another stand-out performance as Harrison. He plays the character with a chilling intensity but doesn’t make the mistake of taking him into ridiculous super villain territory. He humanises Kirk’s deadly foe to the extent that it often becomes difficult to separate him from the the supposed good guys who are out to stop him. I won’t go into massive spoiler territory (as my personal cinema experience was slightly marred after IMDB revealed the true name of his character before I’d seen the film) but he brings about a great new insight into one of the most infamous Star Trek foes (OK maybe that was a bit too obvious but the film has been out a while and I doubt any of my two (at best) readers are coming to me for advice on whether or not they should see a film). Cumberbatch really is one of the greatest actors around and will no doubt go down in history as one of the most devilish villains in the history of the franchise. The decision to cast him in the role may now be creating some controversy with some critics but based solely on performance, Harrison is a complete success and I can’t imagine any other actor playing him with the same balance of drama, humanity and light-heartedness. And he’s pretty easy on the eye… don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet.

The scenes between Harrison and Chris Pine’s Kirk are wonderful as the pair face-off in an increasingly dramatic fashion. Pine has nowhere near the level of acting talent that Cumberbatch possesses but it is this fact that makes these scene all the more effective. Harrison is a deadly enemy, a super-soldier, and Pine manages to make his own shortcomings highlight his foe’s clear head-start. Kirk is left floundering in front of his superior enemy just as Pine is left to try and catch-up to Cumberbatches superior performance. It leaves Kirk seeming vulnerable but determined to come out on top.

It is a welcome consequence that also adds greater depth to the moments shared between Pine and Bruce Greenwood’s Captain Pike. The difference between the pair as actors only makes the father-son style relationship all the greater on screen. What Pine does bring to the role is an unending energy and ability to make all of the outlandish situations and slapdash narrative stick together. He appears to have absolute faith in what he is doing which makes it easier to accept some of the looser aspects of the plot.

That would have to be my major criticism of the new Star Trek. It just isn’t as slick as Abrams’ first outing and it doesn’t fit together as easily. There is a tension between Abrams slick production and the film’s thin and, at times, haphazard script. Into Darkness offers amazing visual episodes, moments of documentary style camera work and references to modern day terrorism. It is a triumph of modern film-making but this story just seems quite childish and sloppy. Rules don’t seem to matter in this world and there are no real consequences. Like a childhood game where you’re all just making it up as you go along, Into Darkness changes the importance of certain ideas as and when it feels like it. For all of Spock’s banging on about the Prime Directive there appear to be no consequences when the crew of the Enterprise consistently fail to abide by it. Kirk loses captaincy of his ship for all of 2 hours before he’s back in the hot-seat.

The main writing technique seems to be if it doesn’t make sense just add another fanboy reference in there to keep the audience happy. ‘Wait why the hell has that been allowed to happen… ooh look a Tribble!’ On the one hand I appreciated these little references to the Original Series and delighted in hearing talk of the neutral zone and Harry Mudd. On the other, it’s the Steven Moffat thing all over again. If you don’t have the substance to keep an audience happy why not just treat them like dribbling morons and wave shiny/familiar objects in front of their face? If Star Trek was about introducing a new generation of Roddenberry’s franchise then Into Darkness is about celebrating it. We have more great performances from the lead characters: something like a mix between an impression and a re imagining of old friends. All of the key players are there doing what they need to do to make this a successful Star Trek film. We delight at seeing Chekov (Anton Yelchin) panicking in his ‘can’t believe it’s real’ Russian accent and shiver when Sulu (John Cho) shows off his dark side whilst taking temporary command of the ship. Karl Urban continues to provide great laughs (and a great impression) as Bones and is not only one of my favourite characters but provides some of the most memorably one-liners. Who would be happy to call it a Star Trek film if Dr McCoy never said “Damn it man, I’m a Doctor, not a *insert occupation here*.” I can’t say I’m a massive fan of Simon Pegg’s Scotty and I do find his pretty dire Scottish accent grating but there can be no denying that he provides humour and, in this film at least, drama and emotion. All of the necessary ingredients are there but I still can’t help but feel the final meal is lacking some seasoning. It’s just not quite as good as it could be.

That’s not to say that there isn’t enough to keep you entertained and Abrams’ set action pieces continue to be amazing. There is nothing quite as intense as the arrival of Nero’s ship in the the previous outing but there are some great space-based sequences that will surely keep fans of the show and the new films entertained. The film’s world of the future is, as far as this can be true in 2013, a realistic one. Gone are the clichéd visions of the future from pre-1980s sci-fi. Instead we have a world that you could genuinely see existing; a world where the Federation live and try to keep Earth safe. It’s a joy to watch and it makes the connection between Harrison’s acts of violence and the modern world all the more obvious. This is a genuine look at terrorism and the hidden dangers that could be facing us every day. Our greatest fear nowadays isn’t the big, well-known foe but those hidden amongst us. The potential violence and hatred that lives within humanity. In any other setting this idea would have been lost in a haze of space kitsch. It speaks to a modern audience is a way that the Original Series spoke to the audience of the 60s. Abrams may not be a fan of the show but he is certainly keeping alive its ideals.

Finally, there has been a lot said already about the female representation in the latest Star Trek film but that’s not going to stop me throwing my own thoughts into the ring. In the first film we were introduced to Uhura (Zoe Saldana) as the romantic interest that comes between Kirk and Spock. Yes she can speak a few alien languages but she didn’t exactly make much of an impact. To be fair to Abram and writers Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, the Enterprise’s major female presence does have a bit more to do in the latest instalment but there is still an apparent lack of kick-ass women in Star Fleet. The main argument I can see in favour of Uhura is that she has two moments of bravery and action (yes that’s right two whole short pieces in a film that lasts over 2 hours.) I can’t deny that she does has her moments of kick-assery as we see her face up to the Klingons with steely determination and she plays an important role in bringing down a deadly enemy during the final showdown. However, that still doesn’t seem enough to me. For the most part, she is present in the film as Spock’s girlfriend (and even then she is secondary to the all important bromance) and primarily to remind us of the separation between his Vulcan and human heritage. It’s just not good enough.

Especially when her only other female member of staff is Alice Eve’s Dr Carol Marcus who spends half of the time getting herself into sticky situations so a big brave man can save her and the other half being the sexy (and preferably half-naked) romantic interest for Kirk. There was a great deal of potential for Dr Marcus to be an intelligent and influential character in the plot but it just falls down to another example of an objectified damsel in distress. Alice Eve does a great job with the material she’s been given but there is only so much anyone can do with a character who spends her screen time being helpless and alluring. I’m not trying to preach about the sexualisation of women (and indeed men) in cinema and Star Trek in particular (especially when you consider that I started this review by salivating over the gorgeous Benedict Cumberbatch) but it would be a lot easier to take the unnecessary underwear scene if Marcus was shown to be something more than a hot bod. The argument that Kirk was shown in his underwear and that Harrison was supposed to be shown in a state of undress does nothing to diminish the argument either. It’s not so much about the nakedness but about the lack of depth. Both Kirk and Harrison prove themselves to be more than just a piece of eye-candy by the subsequent actions within the plot so these more sexual scenes are less prominent. Ask anyone what Alice Eve did in the new Star Trek film and I guarantee most people would tell you she got undressed.

This character would be easier to handle if there were a few more important female characters. Look at all of the scenes that take place at Star Fleet headquarters. Were there any senior female officers present during any of the key meetings? I certainly didn’t see any. Are we really meant to believe that a society that has started exploring space is so backwards in their ideas of gender equality that there are only about three females employed in the entire Federation? Although, we have gone from having one key female in the first film to two in the second. Maybe by the time Abrams’ 6th film comes out we’ll either have a plethora of women parading around in their underwear or, hopefully, just one strong and useful one?

(While I’m at it, I’d like to point out that arguing in defense of the undressing scene because the ladies from the 1960s show were sexy is the biggest load of bullshit imaginable. Times have changed so to say that something that was allowed in the 60s should be OK now is unbelievable. Star Trek can and perhaps should be sexy but we have to make sure that the female characters represent the sense of equality that society is now supposed to be supporting. Women can and are as useful and important as men and our biggest cinema franchises should share that view. What kind of message are the film-makers giving its primarily young audience with one-dimensional characters like Dr Marcus? Just think of the children. Won’t somebody please think of the children?!)

So, in closing, it’s not quite the Star Trek film we were all expecting but it’s good enough. Cumberbatch’s Harrison is a more than great follow-up to Eric Bana’s Nero and manages to take us into new territory by often forgoing the brute force tactics favoured by the angry Romulan and instead playing mind-games with his victims. He’s a deadly mix of strength and cunning like a terrifying amalgamation of Batman’s two greatest enemies Bane and The Joker… but with a much nicer face. There is enough to keep us all happy but it does seem slower and less slick than the original. Abrams’ first film was a game-changer and it is no wonder people left the cinema in wonder. This just feels a little flat next to its older brother. Nothing terrible of course. It’ll still beat most of the original films for sheer enjoyment and quality but we’ve come to expect something now. It’s better to not think of this as a sequel but merely a CV for Abrams next big science-fiction challenge. If Into Darkness tells us anything, it’s that Star Wars Episode 7 is going to be epic.