I Saw A Film Today… Star Trek: Into Darkness

startrekmattneedleOutside of J.J. Abrams first Star Trek film, I have not really explored the Trekkie universe outside of a few episodes of the original series. It doesn’t have to do with Star Trek over Star Wars or any of that stupid bollocks, it’s just another thing I would have to take time out of my life to watch them. I turned twenty-three recently. Which made me think about life a little more and about the time I have left and blah blah philosophy ponderings. And as much as I love entertainment, I feel- I’m going to stop myself before I begin rambling. The point is this: As great as film and television are for escapism from the currents of life, if you don’t take the time to enjoy life more, then what are you escaping from? Or something like that. Basically, don’t sit around all the bloody time and do something you lazy git.

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is still the captain of the USS Enterprise and still not following the rules. After an observatory mission does wrong, requiring Spock (Zachary Quinto) to be rescued from an active volcano, the Enterprise is taken from him and given back to Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood).

But after a terrorist named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks Starfleet and leaves the Enterprise captain-less, Kirk take the helm again and pursues Harrison on a personal vendetta. But after capturing the fugitive, the crew realize they have only cracked the surface of the truth.

I feel sympathetic for the other blockbusters that come out this summer. Or year frankly. It’s going to take something truly mind-blowing to out due this film. This is just how you do a modern-day blockbuster. Plenty of drama and conflict, a little bit of comedy, and of course plenty of dazzling action sequences.

J.J. Abrams continues to impress with each film he produces. He melds nostalgia with modern film making techniques effortlessly and without cheapening anything. His storytelling has a flow that hasn’t been present before. It ebbs and flow naturally. One of the distractions, one of the very few, that plagued the genesis film is where too much is being thrown at you. A lot of back story, told in staggered states. You don’t get this with the sequel. You know the characters, time to get down to business.

Relationships do play an important part here though. One of the main focuses in the story is the strange and sometimes strained relationship between Kirk and his crew, mainly his friend Spock. This is where Pine and Quinto really shine. When they are together, they showcase the highs and lows of any friendship in a way that makes you understand why one cares for the other, and vice versa. One scene near the end especially does this, a scene that will make even the driest of eyes moist.

The real scene stealer, and the highlight of the film, is the pure brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch. His stoney villain carries a cloud of genuine mystery throughout the entire film. He is sinister and cold to his very core, from the icy bravado of his voice to his unflinching and sudden violence, Cumberbatch is easily one of the most terrifying villains in years.

The supporting cast is great as well. The addition of Alice Eve, admittedly, was a little perplexing. I understand that Dr. Carol Marcus is part of the Kirk/Khan story, but I just don’t understand why here. She isn’t really integral to the story, outside of stripping to her intimates. Regardless, Eve has light air about her. Then there is the rest of the Enterprise gang, who much like the first go around don’t disappoint. Another great thing about this film is that it makes a point of showing that every member is important. Whether it be Scotty or Zulu, everyone matters, which is something that seems to be lost often in a film such as this.

Skip the 3-D. Just another standard film wearing an ill-fitted stereoscopic cut suit. Other than that, Into Darkness is a staggeringly great film that any movie-goer would consider seeing twice. J.J. Abrams really set the bar high early in the blockbuster season.

Verdict: See it!

*Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence. 129 minutes. Directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8).

**Poster by Matt Needle.

*** Special thanks to my friend Cody for exploring the final frontier with me.

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One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… Star Trek: Into Darkness”

  1. Word. I loved it. I liked Karl Urban’s character, Bones. He had some great lines. Actually all of the main cast and crew were great and entertaining. The movie definitely stirred up new interest for me to want to rewatch the first movie and dig deeper into the classic Star Trek.

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