Space the final frontier. It seems that no matter how many movies we make about the black void, we still continue to push the limits as to what lurks out there. While numerous movies have failed in their challenge, there are some movies that shine brighter than the stars that decorate the screens. One of these treasures is the Star Trek series, both show and movies, which deliver the science fiction adventure to other words and sticking to the physics pretty well. Although I was a little shocked at Abrams reset of the series, I still enjoyed the modernization of the series and the update in graphic/action. Now four years later, Abrams has come back with another sequel in an attempt to keep the interest alive. How was this movie? Please read on to hear my opinions.
Just like the last movie, Abrams pulls out the stops to get the tale going with a rush out the gate. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are out on a mission trying to save everyone from everything. Amidst the beautiful world and rather impressive CGI landscapes, the action gets the audience’s attention quickly, perhaps even bringing you to the edge of your seat. Of course this is only the beginning, and throughout the movie the action just continues to vamp up bringing in more lasers, highly choreographed moves, and ship on ship action. All of this is brilliantly captured with cinematography that keeps up with the fast pace, only going into shake down mode when necessary (i.e. the ship gets hit). Now don’t get too upset and worried that Abrams has turned this franchise into a kung fu movie with flashing lights, no instead the action is integrated with the story and drives the plot to help avoid any slow parts. Is it the best balance? No, but for this reviewer I like a faster pace so long as character development isn’t sacrificed. Unfortunately the developing team did get a little carried away at points where a few chase scenes or an epic crash felt a little dragged out, or maybe it was just the fatigue I felt at two in the morning.
Now let’s turn our attention to the plot of Into Darkness. In a nutshell it’s good, it’s fun, and it has a lot of character development to keep people interested in the story. The relationship between Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) in particular was rather well done, blending in a variety of comedy, anger, and a variety of other emotions that made it feel like I was watching two brothers fight. Yet just like last time, these two are only a segment of the character pillar and not the whole thing. Abrams and his staff did a great job integrating the entire crew into this film, getting all of them involved in some major way. Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), and many more provide lots of laughs, plot elements, and a variety of other qualities that keep the movie just as fun as the first, yet with more drive behind it. In this film, the audience gets to see new sides to these classic characters as they are pushed by the darkness that surrounds them. Most of this darkness is due to the new villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The casting crew did their homework or got lucky when they got Cumberbatch onset. This man had the look, the tone, and moves that a good villain needs. I don’t know if it was his acting or the character design that impressed me more, but this dude kept the story exciting and diverse as he threw new challenges into the fray. Of course tactics wasn’t the only thing this dude had going for him, awesome moves, skills with weapons, and other qualities that I wish not to mention at the moment. Yet despite the sheer awesomeness of Cumberbatch’s character, they still made him a little too strong, giving him the qualities of an unbeatable God that was a little too stretched for me.
Abrams success with the characters and action are just the tip of the iceberg of success with this movie. The man managed to integrate a lot of movie aspects in a balanced manner that again kept the audience into the movie. There was plenty of comedy in the film, whether it is a well delivered line or a Star Trek reference that fans will absolutely love. When the audience wasn’t laughing they were captivated by the “twists” and “turns” of this predictable story line. Parts of the movie even had people crying, or at least silent, as they awaited the fate of their favorite character. As I already said, the action was very well spread, constantly building upon itself to an exciting end game battle. All of this was a formula for success for me, and I wish that other movies could take the hint and incorporate this style into their movies, *cough Transformer, cough Newest Iron Man, cough a lot of other movies cough. However, I don’t know everything about the art of making movies so I’m sure I’m missing some pieces to the puzzle.
Star Trek into Darkness is a great science fiction action movie to get the summer started off. Great acting, beautiful CGI work, and balance left me clapping at the end of the movie. Sure the story was predictable for me, and yes some of the intensity was lost on me with their obvious foreshadowing, but still it was a tale worth getting into. As for the 3D, I can’t give you much on that since I saw it in the cheaper 2D version. However the scenes I pictured popping out at me could be cool and not too cheesy. My score for this film is:
Movie Overall: 8.5-9.0