Star Trek Into the Darkness (2013, 2 hrs 12 mins)
Where do I start? This movie was incredible from the first frame to the last. I am rarely so enthusiastic about big budget films, but director J.J. Abrams had me from the opening credits.
The Enterprise gang is in full mission mode, trying to deactivate a volcano that threatens a primitive world. Going against strict orders, Captain Kirk saves these beings and Mr. Spock, but at the cost of the mission directive. As a disciplinary action, Kirk is demoted to first officer under his mentor and friend Admiral Pike, and sternly reprimanded. Unfortunately, Starfleet has a new threat within their very corridors. Kirk is catapulted into a search and destroy mission to avenge a merciless attack against Starfleet, and he takes his team of Uhura, Sulu, Bones, Chekov, Scotty, and of course Mr. Spock on a journey fueled by courage and peppered with deceit and non-stop action.
Abrams knocked it out of the park with Star Trek Into the Darkness. I think I liked it better than the first film! The script was so witty and snappy, the set design was stunningly beautiful, and the costumes (down to Uhura’s earrings) was on point. Since there are rabid Trekkies/Trekkers all over the world, I felt the attention to detail was so painstaking that this was a film to please fans. While I am not a die-hard Trekkie, I did appreciate the campy goodness of the original series, especially the aesthetics. I was also smitten with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek: TNG. I felt Into the Darkness really respected all the series, and from the reviews, fans approved. Even though I read that Abrams was not a huge fan of the franchise, I think he stayed true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a multicultural, interplanetary future, from the people of colour, to the alopecia universalis Science Officer 0718 (Joseph Gatt), to the aliens. Maybe directors should take a cue from this vision and cast people (and aliens if need be) on their ability and not because they look like the status quo.
And speaking of the cast- they were amazing! Zachary Quinto as Spock, Chris Pine as Kirk and Zoe Saldana as Uhura kept up the chemistry, and I saw a few familiar faces here and there, like Aisha Hinds as Officer Darwin who most recently appeared as the baddie detective Rosalind Sakelik on Cult, and Noel Clarke as Thomas Harewood who was in Heartless and a season of Dr. Who. Of course I have to mention Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as Bones, who provided great comic relief. Benedict Cumberbatch (better known for his lead role in Sherlock) played a formidable and fitting menace as Khan, and that voice! Creepy and enticing all at once. And one of my favourite actors, Peter Weller, was great as the stern and steely Admiral Marcus. The casting directors got it right for sure.
I have been a fan of Abrams since Lost. He blew my mind with one of the most original T.V. shows that kept you watching because you had no clue what was going to happen next. He also brought us Cloverfield, which to me, revived the monster movie that I felt we were missing for many years. I will stand by my statement that Cloverfield has one of THE best monsters ever created by creature designer Neville Page. A key visionary in the Abrams team, Page is behind all the weird and wonderful aliens that you will see throughout Star Trek Into the Darkness, as well as a redesigned “sexy” Klingon for all those crazed Trekkies/Trekkers out there!
Star Trek Into the Darkness is an entertaining, beautiful spectacle that you must see this summer. So do it. Now!!
Most Memorable Line: Probably the entire script. So many zingers that I couldn’t keep up. A lot of them came from Bones. I especially liked when he called Captain Kirk’s mind “corn-fed”. I loved his crankiness.
Favourite Scene: Has to be when Spock gets gangster. So Awesome. So. Awesome. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to go see the movie.