By Joseph Saulnier
(Please Excuse our look and layout, we are still working to fix and restore after a cyber hack attack.)
The best movie of the summer has arrived, and it’s Star Trek Into Darkness!
There are so many cool things about J.J. Abrams second adventure in the beloved universe created all those years ago by Gene Roddenberry. But the best way to experience this movie is cold, devoid of any internet spoilers, if such a thing is possible in this day and age. That being said, here’s what I got for you.
The movie begins with Captain James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) getting in to trouble with Starfleet for violating the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive is the United Federation of Plants number one rule against alerting primitive cultures to things that they are not nearly ready to grasp (i.e. space travel). But Kirk manages to avoid his punishment because Starfleet has a bigger problem on its hands: a rogue agent, named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) is attacking Federation facilities on Earth.
Admiral Markus (Peter Weller) gives Jim Kirk orders to kill Harrison, who has managed to escape Earth and hide on Kronos, the Klingon homeworld. So Kirk, along with his trusty crew including the ever-logical Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), James “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), warp to the Neutral Zone that separates Federation space from the Klingon Empire. Only they discover that this mission – including the identity of the fugitive Harrison – is not what it seems.
That’s all I am giving you for plot details. Go see the movie!
And when you do, watch for the cleverness of the screenwriters. There are many classic Trek littered throughout the film including characters, place names and alien species that a Trekkie, excuse me… Trekker, will be hooting and hollering at. But this movie isn’t solely for the die hard Trekkers. There is enough action and excitement to keep even the most hard to please moviegoer entertained.
Abrams got a lot of flack for his 2009 reboot of the franchise, and most likely he will get it again for this film. But this time around, Abrams does stay closer to the virtues of the original universe including the bond of the Enterprise crew and the close friendships among Kirk, Spock and Bones. Abrams manages to draw nice moments of tension and comedy alike from the entire crew.
Our main characters do shine through though. Pine brings just the right amount of swagger to Kirk, Quinto gives both the humor and emotional intensity within Spock’s struggle to balance logic and emotion. But both of these actors have to work overtime to even be on the same level as Cumberbatch, who brings muscle and old-school, butt kicking style to the villain’s role.
The other thing that I really enjoyed, again without giving too much of the plot away, is the films willingness to acknowledge that we have strayed from the original story of Kirk and crew, and how the plot can draw on that to help strengthen the story. Once you see it, you will know what I am talking about.
I saw the movie in 3D, though I am of the impression that 3D is getting a little overrated these days. I am just not blown out of the water by the 3D effects that we are seeing in movies. The one thing that I was truly grateful for is that they didn’t throw it in your face, too much. There were moments where they had things fly at you, but for the most part it wasn’t the emphasis which allowed it to play out nicely.
What are you doing still reading? Get out there and see this movie. If you don’t, you will be sorry you hadn’t as everyone and their mom will be talking about this movie come Monday. I, myself, will be seeing it for a second time this Friday hoping to spot things I missed this first time around. The movie made people laugh, cry, and hang on to the edge of your seat. As a Star Wars fan, I loved this movie. And really can’t wait to see what Abrams does with the next installment (as well as Episode 7).
4.5 Stars out of 5
Second Review by Ryan Guerra
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Without a doubt Director/Producer J.J. Abrams proves yet again that he is a master storyteller. Abrams crafts a spectacular film that pulls you in with his trademark style both visually and audibly. He is supported by strong performances from the young cast who assume their famous roles and continue to define those characters for a new generation of fans.
While the film has less in-depth character development as the pervious film in the series, this film more than makes up for it with tons of action that is actually enhanced by solid 3D. Putting all these elements together produces a film not just for Star Trek Fans or even Sci-Fi fans, but rather for anyone who enjoys cinematic adventures.
4 out of 5 stars