Update!! Seen It! Star Trek Into Darkness – Movie Review


The next installment of the reimagined Star Trek franchise is just a few weeks away! I’m setting my phasers to awesome!! Can’t wait!!

MOVIE REVIEW

Tonight I went to the 7:00pm screening, on opening weekend, of Star Trek: Into Darkness with my darling wife Val. We had seen the previous movie together, so I coerced her into seeing this one — plus I bribed her with her own popcorn. The following are my thoughts on the movie, but be forwarned that there are SPOILERS! from here on out so read at your own risk!

THE BAD

*Firstly, let’s get the not so good stuff out of the way first! Keeping in mind that this movie is designed to be a summer blockbuster, and is essentially an action movie in space, there’s not much that I can really gripe about it…but there are a couple of minor points which are a bit spoilery. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, do not read any further until after you’ve seen the movie!

Spoiler!

*Yes, the villain is Khan. I can see why J.J. Abrams wanted to keep that fact shrouded in secrecy leading up to the release of the film. I’m not particularly a fan of going back to the well of the old franchise to cull stories. So that irked me a teensy tiny bit. What’s the next sequel going to be? Going back in time to 1985 to save the last humpback whale? With that said, though, Benedict Cumberbatch does play a far far far more badass Khan than Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island did.
*Old Spock has a cameo once again. Does Leonard Nimoy have a Stan Lee clause in his contract somewhere that he has to show his wrinkly old face in every Star Trek picture? It worked for the first movie, now it’s kinda tired. Let’s retire this Abrams.
*I know I said that spoilers were on, but I don’t like ruining the endings of movies. So I won’t elaborate too much on it, however, reversing roles for the big finale sequence was a bit cheesy; so was the convenient resolution.
Those are the boos…on to the sis boom bahs!

THE GOOD

I freakin’ loved this movie. I am not a Trekker, to be clear. I did not grow up loving the original series, or TNG, or Voyager, or any of the other spinoffs. I liked the original series of movies, but I didn’t fawn over them. But I loved the previous movie that J.J. Abrams directed, and I was really looking forward to this sequel. Into Darkness has action in spades. In quick summation, Khan seeks revenge on Starfleet for incarcerating his people that are frozen in carbonite…uh, cryostasis (sorry, had to). He starts off by blowing up London. He also takes out an entire squadron of Klingons (yup, they’re in this too — yay!) singlehanded. He takes on just about everyone actually. Dude can fight. Benedict Cumberbatch also adds a lot of extra creepy to the mix which works quite well with the character. Something I really enjoyed, is that they actually gave some shining moments to some of the other cast members in this installment. Scotty and Uhura, in particular, have considerably upgraded roles from the first flick. Until Zoe Saldana I really had no opinion on the character of Uhura. She just struck me as an aging fat women who answered the space phone as a cosmic receptionist. I am most certainly no longer of that opinion. She’s f’ing hardcore in this movie. Particularly when trying to negotiate with an armada of Klingons on their homeworld of Kronos. Simon Pegg plays Scotty for laughs but it’s just the right amount and not over the top. He’s not a one-note “Ahm givin’er all she’s got Cuptin” Scottish stereotype relegated to lounging around the engine room for the whole movie. He contributes substantially to saving the day as a stowaway aboard an enemy vessel. Chris Pine continues to deliver a great reinterpretation of Captain Kirk. He truly makes the character his own. Zachary Quinto as well. I just find his version of Spock more animated and entertaining. Plus, he had a really great fight/chase in the final sequence. The development of Kirk and Spock’s friendship is further explored too, and towards the end I found myself rooting for Spock to kick Khan’s ass all the way to Vulcan.

*3D AND VISUAL EFFECTS – The visual effects were amazing. From the warp signatures to the cityscapes on Earth, to a massive starship crash landing into a heavily populated area, the visual effects greatly added in expanding this Starfleet universe. On a technical level, I really liked the look and feel of this movie and has strengthened my confidence in what J.J. Abrams has in store for his next space epic when he helms the relaunch of the next Star Wars movie in 2015.

*SCORE – The score was typical of this style of film. There wasn’t really anything extraordinary about it, except that it kept apace with the action on screen.

OVERALL

Star Trek Into Darkness was an exceptionally fun movie going experience. From the moment the movie starts to the cut to the final credits, the film has you locked into its tractor beam of awesome action. To quote my dear wife “It was good”. For someone that normally rips into everything we see together, this was as good a positive review I was going to get out of her — even with her constant complaints about the tiny and uncomfortable seats (we went to an old school theatre not one of the modern redesigns with the reclining seats and moveable arm rests; my wife is a seat princess! Lol). When I asked her what she liked about it, she said “Chris Pine”. I can’t dispute that claim, he was really good in this movie. But I think she was referring to him being a hottie more than anything else. All in all, I can confidently say that I believe that this was a superior sequel to the previous film and a truly, enjoyable motion picture experience. It’s worth shelling out the $15 to go and see it in the theatre. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.

*Apologies to my friend Amber whom I said I would see this with. Raincheck on another flick?*

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