May 16, 2013
I am very happy to report that "Star Trek Into Darkness" more than lives up to the excellence of the previous movie, the franchise reboot "Star Trek" (2009) (My review of that film is posted HERE.). In this their second film, the new cast portraying the crew of the Starship Enterprise all really got well and cozy into the skins of their iconic characters. Director JJ Abrams has come up with a movie that will satisfy both old and new fans of this revered franchise.
The action and sci-fi sequences are excellent with awesome CGI whatever the setting of the scene, be it in outer space or on land in any planet. The initial sequence alone set in the background of an impending volcanic eruption on a planet with red trees was already breathtaking. And this high level of visual and visceral excellence and excitement would be repeated and maintained throughout the film.
The human dimension of the story is also truly executed with excellence. The key scenes between Kirk and Spock were essayed so well by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. I enjoyed the interaction and the cooperation among the crew, each with their own talents. Simon Pegg (as Scotty) and Karl Urban (as Dr. Bones) particularly stand out. The antagonist is a super- soldier first known as Harrison, who turns out to be another big character in the Star Trek canon (a name who is in the title of what was arguably the best of the original Star Trek movies). Upcoming actor Benjamin Cumberbatch portrays this super-villain with amazing screen presence and convincing menace.
This is a very entertaining, very satisfying movie I'd heartily tell everyone to watch, Star Trek nerd or not. It covers all aspects of the Star Trek that makes it the long-lasting popular favorite that it is: the teamwork, the adventure, the action, the drama, and yes, the humor, all are still definitely there. The reverence to classic "Star Trek" is intact, with cameo appearances by Klingons, Leonard Nimoy and even a Tribble. Yet, there is no stuffy feeling anywhere here, everything is fresh and jumping. We are also re-introduced to Kirk's future (ex-)flame, Carol Marcus (played by Alice Eve).
I was very surprised that this film did not receive the huge hype that "Iron Man 3" did. This excellent film deserves and should make more than just good box office. Anyhow, I am glad that it would be steady positive word of mouth that would bring this film its immense success, and not overblown undeserved hype. Highly highly recommended, 10/10!