Science Fiction Movies

Film Review: Star Trek – Into Darkness!

(I originally wrote this one in June 2013 when the film was released.  I’ve been a Trek fan since being a small boy in the ’60s.  I’ve met the actors who play Lt. Uhura and Mr. Spock.  I’ve seen William Shatner live on stage.  Abrams was brave throwing a film into the teeth of the maddened Trekkie fan.  Love it or hate it, it’s a bold move.]

star-trek-into-darkness-poster[Review is for the Theatrical Version — in IMAX!]

** Some Spoilers **

Into Darkness is an excellent follow-up to the 2009 film, Star Trek.

The alternate history that J.J. Abrams writes still has a lot of the borrowed items from the original TV and movies to make the film interesting to fans, yet for those not into the “canon,” the film stands on its own as an interesting science fiction film.

** Spoilers **

As you may have heard by now, the Botany Bay was discovered earlier than in the original time-line and someone who knows better wants to militarize the Federation and wants to use Khan for that purpose. Let’s get a man who knows how a military mind works and use him to handle the Klingon threat.

Quite a story!

** End Spoilers **

Relationships:

The film is very character-driven. Now this may seem at odds to you if you enjoy a film full of special effects and warp-speed ships. Even so Kirk is the same brash self who will break the rules if it means saving a life.

The film starts out with Kirk swiping a holy scroll from natives – white, wild natives with eyes that blink backwards — weird, but I digress. And somehow we have his science officer about to blow a cold fusion bomb into a volcano and save the planet. Yeow! And the Enterprise having the ability to land on the surface of a planet was a new look as well.

Some fans squawk about Spock having a relationship with Uhura. First, it’s not that unheard of. Remember in the original series with Apollo? And second, it’s done in a tasteful manner and really could have been cut out altogether!

The primary relationship of course is the Kirk/Spock dynamic. As in the original series, Kirk, Spock and at times McCoy really go at it. Would have liked this to have been better scripted with more banter and some humor injected here.

The other relation is between Khan (played coolly by Cumberbatch) and the Federation – playing on others emotions, playing them to get what he wants – fascinating character. As Kirk, he cares about his crew – frozen and awaiting revival – and besides wanting revenge on the Federation, he wants Kirk – very dead!

Cons:

Scotty in this film is a riot of a Scotman – but Chekov not so much. Not all characters come off well. Would have liked to have seen some more romance with the Carol Marcus character. Ah, well.

Special Effects:

See the film on the big IMAX screen. The cost is prohibitive but the effects are well worth it. The chase through a pink/purple Peter Maxx-like jungle, the new “warp speed” and the speed chasing with Klingon space cruisers is worth the price.

Make-Up!:

The Klingons, must mention the Klingons. They make a brief and exciting entrance half-way through the film as they confront a powerless shuttle containing Kirk and a few hand-picked men – who smartly took off their red shirts, LOL – and as in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the view of Klingons have again changed.

Music!:

The score is excellently done – the mix throughout was amazing and fit each scene well. Alexander Courage’s score is inserted where appropriate. Stay for the end credits and listen to the coda. Awesome stuff.

Bottom Line: A must-see especially for “Wrath of Khan” fans. You’ll see many similarities to an interesting story that will keep you on the edge throughout.

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