Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13)
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumnberbatch, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller
Written by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
Okay…let me get this out here now: I am an unashamed Trekker. I have been for the vast majority of my life, and I won’t be deviating from that anytime soon. I love just about everything from the Star Trek universe…everything except for Star Trek: Nemesis, because that was crap. I can’t judge Enterprise because I never saw it. I’m sure I could come up with a believable excuse, but I won’t, so I’m not going to. Of course, we are not here to discuss Enterprise or any of the other shows, but we’re here to discuss Star Trek Into Darkness. So…shall we begin?
The movie begins with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Lieutenant Commander Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban) as they are on the run from an indigenous tribe whose prayer shawl Kirk stole. This was done so Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) could activate a device in the planet’s volcano that would save them from certain destruction if the volcano erupted. They succeed – not easily, mind you – and save the planet, but not without breaking the Prime Directive to save Spock’s life. This gets Kirk chastised by Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) in a session that saw Kirk lose command of the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, after the destruction of a top secret facility in London, Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) calls a meeting to send a collection of ships out to protect Earth and make sure the vigilante known as John Harrison (the gloriously British Benedict Cumberbatch) – the man who is responsible for the attack – is brought to justice. The meeting is attacked by Harrison, and Kirk is reinstated as the Captain of the Enterprise with the sole purpose of tracking Harrison down and killing him. They track him down to a Klingon planet, and this is where the movie shows that all is not as it seems.
This movie had quite a few nods to the original series and movies, and it’s not done in a way that’s overbearing or obnoxious. In fact, it’s quite charming to see how they show their appreciation to the fans, as well as giving the newcomers to the franchise some jaw-dropping moments. The cast all comes together well and is as familiar as an old pair of shoes. I’m more enamored with the fact that they actually gave Scotty something to do, and Simon Pegg mines it for every ounce that it’s worth. Seeing Pegg scurry about trying to right wrongs and whatnot helps to highlight something else: this movie is funny. The humor in this movie is top notch, and it’s honestly something – with the lone exception of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, aka “the one with the whales” – the film franchise was missing. There was also an abundance of emotional depth, and it really kept me riveted throughout.
J. J. Abrams returned to the helm, and piloted this crew with the deftness that he is known for, and he doesn’t hold back on this one. Even with the mood whiplash that comes and goes in this movie, he always maintains his focus. He isn’t afraid to push his actors to the limit, and he does it with the skill of a pro. Frequent collaborator Michael Giacchino returns to compose the score, and this score is just as memorable and entertaining as the one before it. If you’re a lover of the score, this is one to add to your collection right away.
This was a lot of fun to experience. It doesn’t let up on the gas, and it keeps you entertained from the opening reel to the last bit of the credits. I didn’t see it in IMAX 3D, but I will as soon as I can…and I HATE 3D. Go and enjoy it with a group of your closest friends: you won’t be disappointed.
My rating: A+
Click here to read ProFan Rex’s review of Star Trek Into Darkness.