Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star trek into darkness-HD

Star Trek Into Darkness is the follow-up to 2009's Star Trek by JJ Abrahms. Star Trek has a long and storied history with numerous incarnations including 5 television series, an animated series, 12 movies, video games, hundreds of novels and short stories, and comic books over it's 47 year history. It is a long running franchise that is both highly regarded and dismissed. Until 2009 there seemed to be 2 camps that Star trek fell into, those that liked it and those that didn't because it was either too camp or philosophical.

That changed in 2009 with JJ Abrahms dropping most of the philosophy in favour of increasing the pace with action and adventure. This was not a bad thing as the decrease in density brought in a greater audience.

Abrahm's used an old Star trek trope for his reboot but with a new twist – An event occurs that sends time askew and the crew of the Enterprise must right the event to return time to normal, only in 2009 they did not and a new timeline was born. The wonderful thing with the specific style of reboot Abrahm's and his team brought was that it allowed them to draw upon the entirety of the Star Trek canon and tell new stories with old concepts, characters and species with a fresh voice.

Into Darkness brings our characters into peril by pitting the Enterprise's crew against John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch - BBC's Sherlock). Added to the mix is Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller - Robocop, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Dexter) providing a stern authoritative figure. These two actors are vocally impressive and stand apart from the Enterprise crew, Cumberbatch for his resonating voice and his rather unique head (sharp lines on an oval skull that somehow appears weirdly soft), Weller for the deep throated bass and the wonderful articulation of his lines (I sometimes think that Weller could sit there and speak gibberish and I wouldn't care).

The film draws from a great many Star Trek stories that fans of franchise will find homages throughout, the variety of which will have fans creating very long lists and debating the specifics for ages. It also reintroduces the Klingons providing an updated look to the species and their technology. The new look includes the (now) traditional forehead ridges but updates the warrior races armour, adornments and ship designs.

I saw the film in 3D, and while it doesn't need it, there are some excellent uses of the format – Engineering and the warp core, and the space battles. The 3D was done post production rather than native and feels a great deal smoother than some other 3D films, and probably the biggest kudos I can give the 3D is that it doesn't feel like decopage.

This film will garner a range of positive and negative reviews. The positive will be for the effects and grandiosity of the action. The negative will go on and on about how the plot is derivitave, filled with holes, out of character, or any of number of such things that naysayers always say, especially in regard to a big budget blockbuster (I think Hollywood leaves themselves open to a lot of abuse by labelling anything 'Big Budget' or 'Blockbuster', don't you?). To all of those people I say, why bother going to see it if you don't want to enjoy it?

Personally I found the film to be a great romp and a had fun watching. The set pieces are great, the action well put together, the plot as over the top as the first film if not more so, and while it has its flaws overall it was more entertaining than not.

The hardest thing it seems for the (re)viewer to do these days is to distance yourself from other recent films, to stop comparing what you are watching now to what you watched last week or ten years ago and try and take the present on its own merits. This is especially hard to do with fans of the source material as anything previously done is oft lauded above its merit simply because it was there first. I mentioned in a previous film review that it is hard to create something truly new and that it all comes down to the delivery. A story you've seen a dozen times before can be made fresh again if the delivery is just right. Star Trek falls into that category, unlike other recent films (cough, cough... Die Hard 5 cough).

It was worth the price of entry and I rather look forward to seeing it again in the comfort of my own home.

7 out of 10.

Joomla! Debug Console


Profile Information

Memory Usage

Database Queries