As is traditional, this post will contain NO SPOILERS. Because spoilers are evil.
Together with two of my dearest friends, we boldly drove through the nasty weather just for the chance to see this movies premier in IMAX Digital 3-D. I was determined to see this movie come hell or high water, not knowing what to expect from the movie. But hoping that it would capture some of what I love about the Star Trek franchise. I have never been particularly kind of Abrams’ Star Trek only because of his prevention of a Star Trek television series. The last movie (Star Trek 2009) was a great movie, but because it was great, Abrams got a lot of leeway with the rights. Thus preventing multiple attempts at re-branding a television show. So while I expected this movie to be decent, I expected the inner Trekkie in me to become complacent and upset about the lack of Star Trek television imposed by Mister Abrams.
I come to you a broken man. I can honestly say that very few things in my life have shaken me to my very core. This movie stands as one of those few things that have done so. I am broken, and struggling to find the words to say. Thus this post and review might be terrible, I just hope that you all hear me out and understand my final message. I’ll start in the usual way.
Once again the familiar faces of the re-branded and re-cast Enterprise are all on board. All of them do excellently. While Uhura was quite a bit less important and less bad ass than she was within the first film, many other characters filled the void. Sulu got some much needed love while the Kirk/Spock/Bones dynamic was fluid and more perfect than it has ever been. Alice Eve did a great job with this universes Carol Marcus, a little wink to fans of the original universe, and she was on her way. Chekov was cute but annoying, as is the usual for him. The real character that deserves all the praise is Simon Pegg’s Scotty. He is easily the fan favorite character, and does an absolutely brilliant job. Benedict Cumberbatch is the other new comer to this film and the very mysterious antagonist. I’ll say this as to the character. He was perfect. He was threatening and terrifying, while allowing us as the audience to sympathize with him at the same time. The perfect antagonist for the movie of this scope.
The Action was over the top and well done. While Star Trek doesn’t scream “action flick” this movie definitely provided plenty of well done action and fight sequences. The drama is what really drives this movie. As a narrative, this movie doesn’t need any introduction. It feels nothing like a sequel. Someone who has no concept of what Star Trek is could feel at home within minutes. The narrative however, will hold them for the entirety of the movie. The suspense is indeed there, but unneeded. Unfortunately much of the film can be easily predicted. And that was saddening to me, at first (but more on that later).
This movie has fan service galor. Referencing every bit of Star Trek history that has happened. I’m pretty sure every show got referenced within that episode at some time or another. Normally a criteria for my nerdy reviews are accuracy to the original source. And frankly this movie is as Star Trek as it gets. Remove all the glits and glamor, all the action and violence. It is Trek through and through.
This is the part where I talk about the overall “feel and fun” of the movie (I have to get better criterion). This movie is….. I’ll save it for a bit later.
When compared to other like films, Into Darkness stands as a heavy weight. The one film that truly has the potential to be crowned best Star Trek film ever. Standing between it and its glory, Wrath of Kahn. Can Into Darkness beat it? Stay tuned.
Favorite part of the movie: While this is hard to calculate precisely what moment, so I’ll just say any scene with Scotty. Hilarious and perfect.
Least favorite part of the movie: Because apparently he follows me around like a disease, Micky Smith everybody. Yup. That actors in the movie. And plays a pretty massively important role. Just so you know.
The verdict is:
Into Darkness boldly goes where no film has gone before. It gets a perfect 10 out of 10.
To preface, this movie has flaws. Plenty of flaws. But that is also what makes this a gem of a film. It embraces those flaws and then exploits them. It recognizes that it is a trifle predictable. But you know what? It doesn’t care. Because the moment you get to the events that you could easily see coming? You fall in love with it. You cheer, you laugh, or in my case you squeal. This film emphasizes what it is. An iconic and unforgettable part of American culture. One that may be a tad outdated, but one that has never once lost sight of what it is. A beautiful narrative about dreaming. Dreaming for a better tomorrow. And while this fantasy is likely to never come true, Into Darkness made me believe all over again.
So put on your suit, and attach your lapel pin. It’s time to beam aboard the Enterprise and witness of the greatest pieces of cinema that I have ever experienced. The Enterprise welcomes both new and old fans alike, which embodies the very spirit of Star Trek itself. Roddenberry is very much alive. This movie has made sure that his dream and vision will boldly go where no man has gone before.
I cannot wait to hear all of your responses, and I hope that each and every one of you reading this sees this movie. I will now have to bite my tongue on Abrams and Star Trek. He made me question every doubt I ever had in him.
Until the next time, live long and prosper.