So, about a week ago, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to the 2009 reboot of Star Trek. This sequel is also directed by JJ Abrams, whom has proven himself a good action movie director through the years.
Before I get into this film, I want to quickly lay out my thoughts for the last film. It was pretty good, had good action scenes, had a lot of plot holes, many of which were surprisingly not related to time travel (Kirk being made Captain in that movie made no sense). Overall though, the movie was quite enjoyable and satisfied me.
There is also my history with Star Trek, as in I have none. My only knowledge of Star Trek comes from Futurama, Nostalgia Critic’s one time where he tackled the odd numbered movies, and the Plinkett reviews of the Next Generation films, so I really didn’t know to much about Star Trek. My impression of it was “hey, its that thing that we like to make fun of nerds for in our pop culture, and they always wear those shirts and sit on the ship set. Nimoy and Koenig are pretty good actors, and I can’t seem to find anyone else, except Takei, who is one of the current internet gods.”
Taking that pitiful amount of Star Trek knowledge into account, now you know my view, as an average movie viewer, which makes me kind of sad, I’m just gonna start this review so I don’t have to think about this realization. By the way, its gonna have spoilers, cause this film’s trailer also tells you very little about the film.
So, trailers only tell us one thing, an English terrorist named John Harrison (which sounds like an amalgamation of two of the Beatles members) comes to Earth and starts blowing stuff up and Kirk wants to go after him for some reason. There is also a subtle implication that Kirk is gonna have to face the no-win scenario. I’m so glad that I saw this movie the day after it came out, because it has the most unavoidable spoiler ever, in that Benedict Cumberbatch is actually Kahn from the series and the second movie. No seriously, when I went back to my English class, my teacher told everyone that she was told that the film was basically a remake of “The Wrath of Kahn”. It not like it was that hard to figure out though, mainly because John Harrison sounds like a name I’d make up on the spot to my cashier at a fast food place to mess with them.
So, the film starts with a scene where everyone’s personalities are established and Kirk saves Spock from a volcano by exposing the Enterprise to a planet of people who are about as civilized as humans 15,000 years ago. As expected, the Federation is kinda pissed once they find out because Spock told on Kirk for exposing himself to the natives, and the two have an intimate chat about covering each other’s backs.Captain Pike from the first movie tells Kirk that he’s lost his captain position, which would’ve been a nice character moment if he didn’t get it back like 10 minutes later. So, then Starfleet calls together a meeting to discuss a bombing Not-Kahn did, and he tries to kill them, and he succeeds in killing Captain Pike, right after Kirk began to see the man as a father figure.
So the rest of the movie is the Enterprise going to Klingon territory to go retrieve Kahn, and that’s the rest of the movie. The cast in this movie is very good, but many characters are given very little to do. Chris Pine is a decent actor, as is Zachary Quinto, and they perform their characters well, as the two are the core of the story, with Spock needing to learn to feel and be less emotional… again. And Kirk needing to stop being such a reckless egomaniac… again. Uhura has very little character, and he issues get resolved about 30% into the movie. Mr. Sulu does very little except have a cool scene where he threatens people, and Chekov has even less to do in this film.However, all hail to the great Karl Urban, who nails all his witty lines and puts in an amazing performance. In fact, I want to see a movie about Bones McCoy.
Then there are the antagonists, first, Kahn himself. This performance is so over-the-top, but this Cumberpatch guy still manages to be so scary despite that. Any second, you feel like he could resort to a violent fit of rage and someone would die, similar to Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men or Heath Ledger from The Dark Knight. Speaking of The Dark Knight, Peter Weller, fresh off voicing The Dark Knight Returns (also, Bruce Greenwood, who plays Captain Pike who also voiced Batman in Young Justice and one of the movies), serves as the antagonist that is not in the trailer to this film, kinda like Guy Pearce in Iron Man 3. Peter Weller is great in this role, but gets overshadowed by Benedict Cabbagepatch.
The movie looks great visually, as expected of JJ Abrams. I really dig the scenes where the Enterprise flies off at warp speed and we have that beautiful crystal-like jet stuff come out. It really looked amazing. I’m also quite surprised at how tight the script is, setups are paid off perfectly. It made nothing seem superfluous. Kahn’s blood was set up twice to heal people, and it plays a part at the end to de-zombify Kirk. Speaking of which, that scene was good and it was a cool parallel to the Wrath of Khan, which I still haven’t seen, but I know of that scene, it was cool to see Kirk and Spock physically switch places because they were thematically switching places, Kirk did the logical thing to save everyone at the cost of his own life, and Spock went down and called Khan, kinda like this:
then proceeded to chase down Kahn in a manner similar to Kirk. It’s character moments like that that I miss in many movies I see today.
Wrapping this up, the movie is good. I would recommend it as one of the better movies of this summer season.