Posted May 17, 2013 by Nicolo Parungo in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: Star Trek – Into Darkness

Movie Review: Star Trek – Into Darkness

I’m no Trekie, but 2009’s Star Trek movie was a nice surprise. While not flawless, it succeeded in accomplishing multiple tasks. It was a reboot that was both faithful to the original incarnation’s core premise therefore not pissing off any hardcore fan boys and fresh enough for new fans to jump on the decades’ old bandwagon. Now we have the sequel “Into Darkness” which keeps the cast of the last flick and director JJ Abrams who will also be directing Disney’s Star Wars reboot (therefore making Abrams the king of sci-fi remakes) and adds plenty of things to make veteran trekkers pee in their pants. It’s got space travel, familiar names, the Enterprise and (gasp!) Klingons! While the movie will definitely please it’s REALLY old fan base will new fans still be able to CLING ON (yeah I went there) to it?

Minor spoilers ahead:

Once again the bond between Captain Kirk and Spock (played by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto respectively) takes center stage. Now though, instead of being rivals they’ve become awkward friends. The chemistry between Pine and Quinto was great in the last movie, but it’s nothing compared to how it is now. The pair play off of each other through humorous banter and brotherly moments that will affect you emotionally (or if you’re from tumblr it has plenty of touchy feels). Individually both are still rather impressive. Pine shines as Captain Kirk with his shameless bravado and witty comebacks, but he can also handle the serious moments really well. He’s also gained some weight, I’m not sure if that’s laziness in Pine’s part or dedication to the role since original Trek actor William Shatner never really had abs of steel either. Quinto’s Spock continues to be the highlight of the franchise as he sells his cold demeanor and inner struggle with his emotions to perfection.

New to the franchise is Benedict Cumberbatch from the popular tv show Sherlock. He plays as antagonist John Harrison, but is actually another character so important to the Trek mythos that I wouldn’t dare spoil it (admittedly if you’re one of the newer fans like me you wouldn’t care, but hey let’s be nice!). Cumberbatch is perfect as far as villains get; his voice commands attention (and can move mountains), his facial epressions are phenomenal and his acting saves his character. I say that because the character is pretty generic; he’s egotistic and boastful which is delightful, but his goals (which I won’t spoil) aren’t clear. Admittedly that blame goes to the script since Cumberbatch truly gets the most out of his character.

The other characters are mixed as some get needed screen time and development while others are ignored. Simon Pegg’s character Scotty gets more attention this time around and he does a tremendous job being both the comic relief and the heart of the movie while Karl Urban continues to be smart, charming and funny as Dr. Bones. The ladies don’t get the same treatment sadly; Alice Eve’s charcater Carol Marcus is essentially a very pretty plot device who only does like two things and then gets her leg broken while Zoe Saldana doesn’t really do anything as Uhura except yell, kiss and comfort Spock. To be fair male characters Sulu and Chekov don’t do much either which is a shame as John Cho and Anton Yutchin play their roles well, they just don’t matter to the plot.

Star Trek - Into Darkness

Speaking of the plot it is a MESS. I’ll admit that it’s not horribly written, but it feels like the writers wanted to cram as much stuff as they wanted into 2 hours and it shows. It starts as a black ops mission then becomes an intergalactic military conspiracy theory which uncouthly transmissions to a framed for not following the orders style story which THEN roughly turns to an expected betrayal arc, still with me? Good, because there are TWO MORE PLOT TWISTS AFTER THAT. I understand that any good script needs one or two twists to make a story interesting, but this is just ridiculous. The pacing is also incredibly off. The laughs, tears and punches are balanced well for the first hour then everything turns to bananas thanks to plenty of explosions and drama for the sake of putting the cast in danger, but without any breathing room to let everything sink in it all feels Empty. The prime example of this is near the end where Spock and Kirk have an astonishingly touching scene that was built up perfectly from the beginning with the actors truly pulling on the heart strings of the audience and is then followed up with MORE EXPLOSIONS AND – I sh*t you not- A CHASE SEQUENCE.

Despite the faults I still give “Into Darkness” a full recommendation. It might have too much explosions and unnecessary drama for it’s own good, but at least the explosions are pretty to look at and the drama is well acted by everyone in the film. In the end despite a mediocre journey to venture through the actors’ performances shine through the darkness. Yes I went there as well. WATCH IT!

Special thanks to our friends from SOLAR-UIP for the Imax tickets and the opportunity to watch this awesome flick!

Nicolo Parungo