Hello, friends! It is Sunday and while that means the weekend is nearing its end, it also means that I have a new review for you. And guess what?! It’s actually a current theatrical release! That’s still in theaters! I know, crazy, but there you have it: Star Trek Into Darkness.
First, just a quick note about the previous movie in this latest Star Trek series, the 2009 Star Trek by J. J. Abrams: I loved it! I have always been more of a Star Wars fan than a Star Trek fan, but I love how accessible the movie was; you don’t need to be a “trekkie” to understand or even love these latest two films. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post: Star Trek Into Darkness. I loved it just as much as the last one!
I am a pretty big science fiction fan so I am familiar with director J. J. Abrams’ work and I happen to love his style of filmmaking. I think he has done a great job reimagining the Star Trek story (although, I admit I don’t know much about the original) and he has brought new fans to a classic sci-fi series, myself included. The actors were great and I loved that even I was able to recognize the quirks or distinct character traits from the original Star Trek series. Chris Pine may not be any William Shatner, but I think he did a great job of bringing the womanizing character of Captain Kirk pretty faithfully back to life, especially in this film. And I think everyone can agree by now that Zachary Quinto as Spock is wonderful – and hilarious! These two characters have the best on-screen relationship that brings so much heart – and comedy – to the film (not to mention the rest of the cast including Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana).
Of course, the big hype with this film was casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, or maybe it was just me who was so excited to see the Sherlock star! I have to admit that at first, all I could see was Sherlock in space, especially as both characters (Sherlock and Khan) have a touch of the sociopath about them (or antisocial personality disorder, if you prefer). Either way, I quickly got over it because Khan is much more brutal than Sherlock could ever be! But I digress; this review isn’t about Sherlock (as amazing as the show is!).
I was also very impressed by the special effects in the film. I am not a fan of an over-reliance on CG, but I think, for a sci-fi movie that takes place hundreds of years in the future in space, special effects are essential, and so is getting them right. Now, many people have criticized, or poked fun at, J. J. Abrams for his use of lens flares and other special effects to enhance the look of his films, particularly the last Star Trek, but I will admit that I am totally biased because I love them! Lens flares aside, however, the special effects in this film were practically seamless! There were very few scenes where the computer graphics stood out to me in such a way as to pull my attention from the story. That being said, some of the impracticalities of the story, especially the heroics during the action scenes, were a little… “C’mon, really? You expect me to believe that?”
Trust me, I know that believing any sci-fi based story, especially one set so far in the future, requires a certain amount of faith to go along with the story; but, human beings still have their physical limits. I won’t go into specific details because I don’t want to divulge any spoilers, I will just say that if sci-fi films require faith, action films require blind ignorance and this film requires a little of both! Fortunately, there were only a couple moments where my friends and I gave each other skeptical looks and it in no way hindered our enjoyment of the movie.
So, all in all, the special effects are excellent, the acting is stellar and the story is just believable enough to get you through to the end. If you at all like the first Star Trek (or, rather, the last one), then you are sure to enjoy its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness and I highly recommend seeing it!
Thanks for reading :)
PS. Don’t forget to check out my other reviews!