Monday, May 20, 2013

Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Directed by J. J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness is the sequel to 2009's Star Trek reboot. After the destruction of a Starfleet building in London and an attack on its admirals during a meeting, Captain James T. Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. When our heroes find themselves at the center of a nefarious plot that threatens millions, Kirk will have to decide if he is willing to make the sacrifices needed to protect the only family he has left: his crew.

Star Trek Into Darkness is an improvement to Abrams' 2009 reboot. Like any good sequel, Into Darkness takes what was good about its predecessor and amplifies it while doing its best to fix the previous film's problems. Gone are the domineering lens flares and the awkwardness inherent to the transition between the original series and this re-imagined universe. However, the film has developed some flaws of its own. Thankfully, those flaws do not stop Into Darkness from being an enjoyable film that feels like a Trek film.

The acting, once again, is great. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have fully embraced their roles as Kirk and Spock, making the characters their own while remaining familiar to die hard Trekkers. Both were perfect choices to play younger, less experienced versions of the famous duo. Benedict Cumberbatch is equally fantastic, giving a performance that is both interesting and chilling. Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, and the rest of the crew also are great and each gets their moment of time.

The directing is just as good. Abrams knows just how position his shots for the greatest effect, making the movie visually great and interesting to look at. The only real weakness is his tendency to shoot space battles very close up, making it hard to make things out at times. While that isn't that big of a problem since there is only a handful of space battle-like scenes in the movie, it can be annoying at times.

The only major problem with the film is its strange need to reference other Star Trek movies. Near the end of the film, it actually lifts an entire scene from one of the other films and simply flips the roles of the characters. While the scene does make scene with the context of the movie's story, it isn't as effective as it should be because those who have seen the original version will most likely groan (like I did). While I don't mind the occasional reference, but its never a good think when the references detract from the story and tone of the movie.

With that being said, Star Trek Into Darkness is a entertaining, Sci-Fi/Action film that I'd highly recommend to both Trekkers and those who just want to have a good time at the theater. I'd also suggest seeing it in 2D. While the 3D conversion is decent, it's not worth the extra money.

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