Of all the box office releases in 2013, this “blockbuster” is the one with the most hype, and if I had to guess, the best “by the numbers.” Having now seen it, I can understand why and 100% approve.
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) Film Review
It happens again. On a scouting mission, James “Jim” Kirk (Chris Pine) takes the rules and rips them to shreds. He calls the Federation’s bluff by breaking rules directly from its playbook and though he saves a life, that of his first officer, Spock (Zachary Quinto), he puts the Enterprise at great risk. The result of that action strips him of his rank, and command of the U.S.S Enterprise. This inspires reorganization among ranks and a reinstatement of Pike (Bruce Greenwood) as Enterprise’s captain. Before everyone can report to their new assignments, disaster is in the cards. A terrorist inside the Federation, a man calling himself John Harrison attacks the HQ, leaving many dead. This angers Kirk at the loss of a mentor.
Given permission to go after the man, Scotty (Simon Pegg) discovers Intel that he lands on the one territory the Enterprise and Federation cannot go. Kirk isn’t about to let inconvenient rules stop him, and in spite of orders, he captures Harrison, who reveals himself as Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), a dangerous assassin. In so doing, he unleashes a dangerous game in which the lives of his crew and the Enterprise walk perilous ground.
After watching Star Trek this past winter, my opinion is that it’s good. When I saw the trailer for this follow-up sequel, my mind was blown. It seems like it would surpass 2009’s Star Trek, and golly, does it ever! After seeing a movie that seems unbeatable, it’s sometimes impossible for writer’s to match that same feat. Fortunately this movie suffers no such fate; seriously, it’s “epic.” It’s a legendary saga that I may not totally understand (the mythology or planet life) but this series is not only fun, it grows. First off the principal photography is gorgeous. Somehow, the mood is more exciting and each frame is reflective of that. The colors and inventive imagery is brilliant without distraction from what’s always at the foreground, the characters.
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Speaking of the characters, let’s chat about them, shall we? I know many fans of the “original” franchise don’t like Kirk. I do. This is for more than one reason but primary of these is, while he may be a flirt and all-around jerk with women, he’s also a man who cares deeply. He doesn’t leave behind friends, he doesn’t take lightly the honor of that friendship. Is he a respecter of the rules? No, usually not. Does this make him a bad person? No. Rules are there for a reason and they do have a place, but sometimes they’re wrong. Kirk’s primary is protecting those under his command and ‘Into Darkness’ shows that quality off well. He grows a lot, and by having a command, he’s learning to be a leader. Perhaps he’s not the greatest hero ever but he is worthy of being called such.
In addition to Spock (whom I absolutely love; we want to simultaneously shake and love him for his logic), Karl Urban’s Bones and Zoë Saldana’s Uhura return along with newbies Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) and Cumberbatch. I’m not sure if I could manage it or not, but in all likelihood, an entire paragraph or even review could be devoted to the acting and characterization that man gave to said Khan character but really all that seems necessary is this: he was awesome.
Heading up the movie is J.J. Abrams who seems to have an excellent comprehension in the telling of these stories – while the 2009 prequel may not have this leaves a lot for us to think about. There are many possible scenarios to pull from the script and its conversations. In particular Kirk and Spock have many introspective scenes; Kirk recognizes his weaknesses as strengths in Spock, and is a man who refuses to justify a death if there is even the smallest chance to save it. In short, as Khan observes, he does have a conscious. It’s that which is remaking Kirk into a leader and not the play boy he was when we met him. Kirk knows how to be a responsible adult, a leader who people can count on, he just doesn’t apply it.
It’s safe to surmise that this movie is near the top of 2013’s favorites list. Working together, this cast is not only a fabulous group of talent, they also have a memorable repertoire of witty on-liners and some poignant moments that work with the humor, not against. ‘Into Darkness’ is many things. There is political reasoning and heroes to cheer for, yet through it all, somehow a sci-fi franchise manages to touch its viewers. Many of the arcs in the story are things we’ll have to face; in the journey it’s the choice that will determine fate. The Enterprise and her crew learns this at a great cost. Whether or not these are things moviegoers will glean from here, that I cannot answer. Cool as they may be, they aren’t Star Trek; it’s the superior writing and moments of significances that is.
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You can find Star Trek: Into Darkness digitally on Amazon Video
CONTENT: Multiple structures blow up and/or disintegrate. The climax in particular involves skyscrapers falling to the ground and people running for their lives. Many crew members perish which fighting off attack on the Enterprise [we hear screams and bodies flying through the air]; a women’s leg is broken, various characters are beaten up and shot [men have their necks snapped]. One man takes out multiple teams with high-caliber weapons. There is some minor flirting [we see Jim – briefly – in bed with two women, another woman strips to her underwear to change]. There is some profanity – sh*t, h*ll and abuse of deity. The film rates PG13.