Star Trek: Into Darkness (Or “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”)
When I first saw the trailer for the sequel to the 2009*cit needed* blockbuster, I was intrigued. When I saw more of the movie, I was excited. When I saw and heard Benedict Cumberbatch, I squealed with delight (Fanboy doesn’t describe my feelings for that man) and instantly knew I needed to see this movie.
Now on the other side of my viewing of it, my feelings for it are different though not in a negative way. So to describe those feelings, I’m splitting my review in three parts- story, impact, and characters. Try to keep up.
Story- As my subtitle suggest, I have some minor issues with the movie. I might be nitpicking but hey, it’s my review.
Here’s my take- its the exact plot of the first movie. Kirk does something stupid, gets in trouble, somewhat redeems himself, pisses off crew members, gets into a dangerous situation, and must do something big to get past it. Heck even Scotty and Kirk have a similar situation like they did in the first movie!
That being said, this is not a Hangover Part II. It took the plot and made it So much better. The first one was good to begin with, really tested the characters and the fans. Heck I’m a fan of McCoy and Karl Urban because of the first one. Chris Pine took an iconic role and made it his own. Everyone else stepped into big shoes very well. This flick only expounded on that. A strong plot drove visuals that wowed and that’s what’s important. I give the story a B.
Impact- Now I’m not a die hard Trekkie, but I didn’t dislike the series either. In fact I enjoyed The Next Generation for numerous reasons. But as each series stands away from the other ones, JJ does the same. A good reboot will do that (see The Dark Knight trilogy) and his understanding of cinema helped the jump from the series/films. A lot have issues with the visuals, the lens flares and such. But as a whole, it stands very well. Heck even, William Shatner made a documentary about the Captains of Star Trek and Chris Pine was a part of it. As an impact-full beast, it drew more and more of the populous to the Trekkie way. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I was a Batman fan before the movies and they only strengthened my resolve. I feel the first movie did a good job of that. The second only expanded on that. If Trek-cons doesn’t grow because of these films, I’ll be surprised. JJ is exactly what the Trek-universe needed. Impact scores an A.
Characters- Wow. Where do I start? I’ll start with the least favorite and finish with my favorite character.
Please note because I say it’s my least favorite doesn’t mean it’s a bad character or anything like that. In fact, if they get mentioned- I liked them.
Alice Eve/Carol jumped into a role that I felt was both needed and unneeded at the same time. She served a nice purpose of balancing Kirk and the romance of Spock & Uruha. But even still she was still a bit forced. Like a hexagon peg into a round hole. (I understand the character existed before this movie and I actually really like Eve, but fitting in with the rest if the crew is where I draw this from.)
Zoe Saldana & Urban/Uruha and McCoy were as witty and needed as the last movie and both did an excellent job. They just got underplayed some.
Anton Yelnich/Chekov- Love ya baby, keep up the silly accent. Seriously though, having Chekov in the position he was made Anton dig back into the roots he can easy use.
Zachary Quinto/Spock has an understanding of the character that only Leonard Nimoy can compete with. Quinto pushes the character to limits that were established in the first movie, reminding that these people are in fact that- people. Viewers, like myself, forget that sometimes.
Simon Pegg- I love this man and his interpretation of Scotty is so simple and complex that I believe James Doohan (the original) would give a thumbs up. Pegg is not only cocky but he’s intelligent as well, which drives the character to be more the chief of engineering. Thank you JJ, thank you.
Chris Pine/Kirk has become more than a rebooted character. He’s completely a different character. Is it possible to have different ways to be cocky? Pine found a way in the first and by George, he was endearing. Now with this sequel, not only does he retain this, it makes the character grow! On screen! It’s like it was planned that way!
Benedict Cumberbatch/John Harrison- It’s going to be extremely hard to not spoil anything and talk about this performance but I’m going to do my best. Cumberbatch is a new breed of actor, the raw emotion he brings to every role he plays has the intensity of a 1000. Just look at his eyes, I know I did. All of the time. He just draws you there and holds you with that dark timbre of his voice. He commands each scene he’s in and I don’t want at any other way. Have I gone on enough about him? No? He kicked serious butt in his action scenes and gave a great foil to Pine and even Quinto. That enough? Yeah, I agree.
Overall for Characters I give a A. There was some other mentionable things but I need to stop while I’m ahead. (Okay, Sulu was pretty badass and John Cho did a great job.)
So all in all, a worthwhile movie that earns a B+ in my book. I think there was areas of weakness but nothing to derail the rest of the blockbuster.
So go, watch this, enjoy it, and do what I’m doing- hoping against hope that Star Wars part VII actually is good. (Please let there be nothing worse than Jar Jar!) You can do it JJ, just do it right.
Live long and Read on my friends.