Why the next “Star Trek” movie could be great

There is good reason to hope that Star Trek 2, the untitled sequel to the latest Star Trek movie, will be awesome. No, not because some scenes are being filmed with IMAX cameras (thought that can’t hurt). It’s Benedict Cumberbatch!

This talented actor was unknown to me until I watched the BBC series Sherlock. It’s an excellent take/update on the Holmes mythos, and Cumberbatch’s extraordinary acting talent makes it work. He is intense. Precise. Funny. Unpredictable. It’s always a pleasure to watch this show because you know you’ll get a solid two hours of television, which is rare these days.

Cumberbatch plays the villain in the new Star Trek movie, which recently finished principal photography. His role is hush hush but rumors are rampant on the Internet. I won’t repeat them here because they’re probably true and I wish I didn’t know, let alone my readers.

One of the weaknesses of the last Star Trek movie was that the villain, Nero, played by Eric Bana, was two-dimensional and uninteresting. He did nothing for me and I blame Bana for that. He was boring, as he is in most films.

When you look at the most successful Star Trek films, they each had a great villain portrayed by a great actor. Ricardo Montalban reprised the role of Khan from the original Star Trek television series in Star Trek II; Christopher Lloyd played the rogure Klingon captain Kruge in Star Trek III. Christopher Plummer was awesome as Klingon General Chang in Star Trek VI. These guys all pushed the regular cast to up their game as well.

Cumberbatch is one of those actors that can do anything. I’m trying not to raise my expectations too high for this film, but it’s hard not to after seeing what he’s capable of doing. If the next Star Trek movie is a failure, it won’t be Cumberbatch’s fault. It’s elementary.

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