Review: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

 
Capt. Kirk: Chris Pine
Spock: Zachary Quinto
Dr. McKoy: Karl Urban
Scotty: Simon Pegg
Uhura: Zoe Saldana
Sulu: John Cho
Chekov: Anton Yelchin
John Harrison: Benedict Cumberbatch
Admiral. Pike: Bruce Greenwood
Admiral. Marcus: Peter Weller
Dr. Carol Marcus: Alice Eve

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof
Running Time: 132 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence)

 
I’m going start off by saying that I loved watching the first J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek movie. I thought it was brilliant, so I had very high expectations walking in to see “Star Trek Into Darkness”. Not only did this sequel meet my high expectations, the film exceeded them.

This movie surpassed the original reboot and then took the franchise to new and more awesome levels. The writing was clever and unpredictable and the acting was even better than the first time around. The friendly banter was easier to go with, and the villain was so good he almost stole the show. I actually think the late Gene Roddenberry would be very happy with this new version of Trek, especially considering that the tones it takes with Kirk and the lessons he learns about command as the film progresses is the kind of character development that we’ve come to expect and love with our Trek. It’s shines here and combined with some amazing action sequences, it’s clearly a contender to be the best movie of the summer.

(By giving a commanding performance in this stunning sequel,
Benedict Cumberbatch has secured a spot in Star Trek infamy.)

 
Thanks to a well written script and another great performance by our new Trek ensemble, this was another successful Trek film in a series that is exceeding all expectations. We are getting more and more used to the new actors in iconic roles and we can feel the actors getting more comfortable with the roles as well. The addition of Benedict Cumberbatch (from Sherlock) was by far the best casting move they could have made. Cumberbatch commanded the screen every time he made an appearance, stealing almost every scene he was in as the fugitive, John Harrison. Without giving any spoilers, this was an iconic performance by Cumberbatch and he’s secured a spot in Trek infamy and at every Star Trek convention for the rest of his life. I can’t think of another actor that could have nailed the role like he did. People are going to be impressed by the acting chops many Sherlock fans have come to enjoy for the past few years. He was brilliant and fans are going to love his performance.

(Poor Enterprise takes quite a beating in this sequel…)

 
There is a lot of action in this film and since it’s a sequel it’s easy to give this film a pass on that. The scenes are not over the top and stunning thanks to some amazing effects. There is also a lot of call outs to films of Trek past as well as to the older original series as there are tribbles and Klingons! Yes, I said Klingons!!! There is a lot for everyone to enjoy, fans and non-fans alike. J.J. Abrams brings us another unforgettable Star Trek film that easily outdoes the previous film, something many of us thought was not going to be possible. There are a lot of action scenes in this new Trek that has a lot of Sci-fi fans no looking forward to watch the new Star Wars movie, confident that Abrams can handle space battles just fine. The suspense and action had a lot of us on the edge of our seats, Abrams is getting better at this with each film and it only makes us cry out for another Trek film with his name in the credits. Paramount should offer this man anything he wants… Abrams is worth it!

(This Star Trek film also had a lot of heart: this
scene had a lot of people crying in the aisles…)

 
Despite all the action, which is pretty much double from what we saw in Abrams’ first Trek film… the movie had a lot of heart and some tear jerking scenes that were a call back to the older movies. There were a lot of parallels to films past and this was very creative on the part of the writers who knew their Trek. The scenes didn’t seem corny and were handled very well by both cast and crew.

Star Trek has also been known to attack political issues of its time and this film was no different. I could see a lot of parallels to the post 9/11 response and the assassination of Bin Laden resonating within this particular film, and not in a positive light either. After Cumberbatch’s villain kills innocent people with a bomb, many people (Kirk included) are all on board with just attacking had killing the man responsible, straight missile attack without trial. Spock stands up to Kirk with a interesting debate about how civilized people should respond to attacks. Do we have the right to incur on alien territory to seek out our enemy and wage war on someone not responsible for what happened? Sending drone attacks to wipe our enemy off the map without so much as a trial to prove guilt? The important question is asked: if we are unable to control our bloodlust, how are we any different than our enemy? Such a great theme to bring up, especially considering how drone obsessed many people have become in the post 9/11 era.

Overall, Star Trek Into Darkness has brought the popular film franchise higher than it’s ever been before. This movie is going to bring more fans, more money and more fame to a series that up until a short while ago was dead in the water. Thanks to Abrams and his writers, this series is not only back from oblivion but now has a great cast and now a new core of fans that will no doubt make sure that this series lives very long and prospers. This film will blow the minds of Trekkies and non-fans as well as it’s by far one of the best films I’ve seen this summer, if not this year. You’ve gotta check it out, I highly recommend it!
Rating: 10 (Out of 10)

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