Thursday, June 13, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness - Movie Review

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve and Peter Weller.
Directed by JJ Abrams.


This is a movie that is determined to have fun.  It plays with old Trek tropes (maybe a little too much this time around) while blazing a trail for the new.

It starts out with characters on the run.  Maybe if this had been an episode of the TV show it would have started with Kirk and McCoy landing on the planet, observing the sentient beings there. But we're in a movie, so let's skip to the action.  Kirk and McCoy banter as they run, until they get to a cliff where they don't even slow down; they just jump 60 feet and fortunately don't hit any rocks when they land in its ocean.

Turns out Kirk violated the Prime Directive while there.  (You remember the Prime Directive. That plot device that was violated every third episode.)  He gets demoted, and Admiral Pike gets the Enterprise back.  This can't end well for Pike, no matter what timeline we're in.  Hopefully this time he won't wind up as a quadriplegic who can only communicate with a "Yes/No" light, as he did on the series.  (Spoiler: he doesn't.)

Benedict Cumberbatch, an actor blessed with a name out of the Douglas Adams universe, plays the far-less-adventurously-nomenclatured "John Harrison", a domestic terrorist who is apparently plotting to start an intergalactic war.  Cumberbatch has a deep, symphonious voice, one where every syllable carries weight.

I caught the 3D version, and it was fine.  There were some set pieces where it worked well, but usually I forgot it was in 3D.  Which can be a compliment too.

My main criticism would be those "this is my JJ Abrams signature" lens flares on the bridge of the Enterprise.  I really hope he doesn't fill Star Wars Episode VII up with those.  Meanwhile I also hope they find a good director for Star Trek: Bring on the Klingons.

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