Thursday, August 22, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

[Reviewed on June 4th, 2013]

I saw this last weekend and it was pretty good.  I tried to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.  Hope that you all get a chance to see it so that, similar to Black Swan, it would be interesting to hear your take on the spoiler areas.  In any case, my short movie review:

Main Takeaway
It's like Star Trek awkwardly asking Star Wars out to Back To The Future 2's Enchantment Under the Sea dance but getting rejected because Star Wars is going out with Brokeback Mountain and thinks Star Trek has bad breath.  Recommended, definitely in IMAX if you have the chance

  • Lots of starship porn (you know, lots of hero shots of the Enterprise, not actual porn)
  • Lots of lens flare (but disappointingly not as much as the 2009 version)
  • Nice throwbacks/homages to the original series movies
  • Nice male bonding between Kirk and Spock (like I said, no actual porn!)
  • Space battles!  Pew pew pew!
  • Scotty has some of the best scenes
  • Benedict Cumberbatch is a badass villain; better than Nero, Sherlock definitely has this steely stare that would send shivers down V'Ger's core
  • A good number of contrived moments that almost breaks your suspension of disbelief.  Sure all of the movies have them (I mean seriously ... whales?) but there are some in the movie that were a bit too convenient
  • Where Star Trek (2009) had a bright and hopeful vibe, Into Darkness definitely is heavy (there's that word again.  Is there something wrong with Earth's gravitational pull?)

There is an episode in Lost where one of the characters (Desmond) realizes that he can travel through time.  However, while he has the power to alter things, there are some things that, no matter what you do, cannot escape their unalterable fate.  You get the feeling when watching the 2009 Star Trek and this movie:  the events from the first movie (alternative timeline) carry over to this movie, where echos from events in past movies (the canon timeline) reverberate in Into Darkness.  Things might have changed but it doesn't alter their fate (Kirk captaining the Enterprise to what happens at the end of Into Darkness).  Similar to the alternate 1985 in Back to the Future II, where everything was all weirdly dark and scary looking (Biff's casino, Lea Thompson in old age makeup), this Star Trek alternate universe is everything that you know about Star Trek but a strangely corrupted and almost menacing version.  Unlike the first movie, which was a Spock-centric, "I miss Winona as my mom" story, this is more of a Kirk-driven, "Revenge is a dish best served cold" storyline and to be honest, I like it since you really buy into each character's motive that often lead to some kind of breathlessly crazy action sequence ...  even with the glaringly contrived moments (Dislike #1).

Starring:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch
Written By:  Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Directed By:  J.J. Abrams
Genre:  Action/Science Fiction
Rated PG-13

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