STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS Movie Review (With Giveaway Competition)
Star Trek Into Darkness has already received great reviews and you can go see it for yourselves when it hits theaters this weekend. For now here's a spoiler free review of J.J. Abrams' 2013 Star Trek sequel from CBM's newest Power User.
Check out the embedded video below for a comprehensive review plus a chance to will a canvas print poster from Star Trek: Into Darkness. Or you can read the written review found just underneath that. The video’s better. I’m just saying.
The success of the Star Trek reboot/prequel from 2009 took cinema-going audiences by surprise. What was considered by many to be an archaic franchise with dwindling appeal suddenly became hip and cool again. Suddenly we had a franchise with a young agile cast, full of action and excitement with less of an emphasis on exploration and diplomacy. Though many believed something of the original series and movies was lost along the way, Star Trek was suddenly in the public eye again with fans new and old alike eager for what would come next.
What we have here in 2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness is what has come next, unless you count that terrible game set in between (which many do not). It picks up closely after where the first left off, seeing Kirk and Spock return to helm The Enterprise backed by the likes of Bones, Sulu, Scotty, Uhuru, Chekov, Captain Pike and new comers Dr Carol Marcus and Robocop’s skeleton, more commonly referred to as Peter Weller. They’re pitted against the only British villain the Star Trek universe has ever seen. Except him perhaps Shinzon. And Soran. And possibly several others. Anyways this particular villain, a terrorist with a personal vendetta against The Federation is particularly menacing, his motivation and action however the less you know going in the better. Like the first movie, the cast can’t be faulted, except for the lack of screen time given to some. With an ensemble cast this big however sacrifices understandably need to be made.
Star Trek: Into Darkness is very much more of the same. That can be taken as either a criticism or a compliment depending on how you viewed its 2009 predecessor. As someone who enjoyed the previous film I found this a decent continuation of the franchise. The element of mass appeal from the first certainly carries over, there’s very little exploration of new worlds or discovery of new species going on here in what is essentially a galactic game of cat and mouse.
Elements of humour are woven throughout the movie, some stemming from lines referenced from older films and others a little more subtle and only perceptible to die hard fans. Most of the humour however comes down to the interactions between the main players Kirk and Spock, their chemistry continues to rival that of the original leads with their at odds personalities being a constant source of frustration between each other.
What is truly impressive about this film however is two standout performances from Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Cumberbatch’s character has some twists and turns along the way, many of which anyone with a passing interested in the franchise will spot from miles out, but it’s his execution of the role makes make’s him unquestionably menacing. Spock on the other hand is equally outstanding. What I like about Spock, especially new Spock is that although he’s calm and measured he’s basically a ticking time bomb and there’s nothing better than watching him explode. And he does that here. In spades.
The movie of course does have its share of problems, as someone who knows very little about science, the science in this film is all over the place. The finale also feels rushed and left me with the feeling like there are no consequences in the Star Trek universe short of a stack of red shirts being killed, mostly off screen. Chief amongst these problems is the way Kirk is treated by his superiors. As a man who saved the entire planet of earth not so long prior, maybe he should be given a little more free reign in his command.
My other problems with the film I don’t wish to go into here for fear of spoiling major plot elements for those who have not yet seen it. That being said I would be shocked if this movie wasn’t embraced by the general public, it’s got all the hall marks of a film that’s going to take everyone’s money.
All in all, Star Trek: Into Darkness is a decent, if flawed science fiction action film with a definite emphasis more on action than anything else. It is however definitely worth the price of admission. It’s also better than Star Trek: Generations. And that movie where the villains are guys who have their skin stretched tight over their faces. And that one episode in the original series where Spock’s brain is kidnapped. That’s not a metaphor either his brain is literally kidnapped, you should drop everything you’re doing and look that up.
In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness. When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
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