Enjoy These Final Moments of Peace.
Tuesday again. Time again for a double feature at my local theater. It’s problematic for a film critic to hate crowds so much that he doesn’t like to go see new movies until the theaters have slowed down, but that’s the kind of critic you idolize. Me. This would normally be too soon for me to want to go see a movie of this magnitude, but there weren’t a lot of options in theaters right now, and my desire to see this movie was pretty strong. I was never a fan of the TV series this movie comes from, and I didn’t see the greater majority of the movies that helped make the series so popular. But I did see the movie right before this one and it made me a fan. I absolutely loved it. So when they put out a new one, it made me very excited. Did it live up to those expectations? Find out as I review Star Trek Into Darkness, based on characters created by Gene Roddenberry, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, directed by J. J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke, Nazneen Contractor, and Leonard Nimoy.
On a mission to the planet Nibiru, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) violates the Prime Directive in order to rescue First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) from danger. This causes Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to be forced to relieve Kirk of his command of the USS Enterprise. Elsewhere, a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) offers Starfleet Officer Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) a way to save his dying child in exchange for blowing up a Starfleet archive. Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) calls together the captains of Starfleet to figure out their next move, falling directly into Harrison’s plan. Harrison attacks the meeting, killing many of the Starfleet commanders. In retaliation, Kirk is sent out with 72 prototype Photon Torpedoes with the order to destroy Harrison, while trying not to bring on a full scale war with the Klingons. But all is not as it appears…
For the first half of this movie, I admit that I was feeling a little underwhelmed by it. It was good, but it was not living up to my expectations for it. Then shit started to get real. Some might be embarrassed to say that they started to tear up near the end, mostly on moments between Spock and Kirk, but I’m not your usual man. I’m barely a man at all! What I am is a nerd, so it’s completely appropriate. The story is also heavy with references to the past of Star Trek, which I’m sure I missed a bunch of because of my relative inexperience with the franchise, but I still got most of them. I know Khan, for instance. I know Tribbles. I also know what happens to Spock at some point in a radioactive room. But I like that these movies are taking place in an altered timeline so thing happen close to what happened in the past, but occasionally roles are reversed to be able to still catch the audience off guard. But I was beginning to get trepidations in the beginning because a few things made me think they’d be treading the same ground as the previous movie, like when they took away Kirk’s ship and wanted to put him back in the academy, but they didn’t waste that much time in that. Then Kirk would start getting at odds with the crew again, although he had a good reason. I got most worried about how I’d feel about this movie when Kirk and Scotty parted ways. BRING PEGG BACK!! But then they did, and I could calm down. But the end of the movie was filled with some great action and great emotional moments, and I’ve always said that ending strong is more important than opening strong. I won’t spoil what was happening, but when Uhura told Spock to, “Go get him,” I got some wood, and surprisingly more because of the awesomeness than Zoe Saldana’s hotness. I would have to admit that I saw the ending coming, making it not that much of a surprise when we find out Kirk’s fate. I even wrote it in my notes just after I first saw the Tribble. That being said, I didn’t feel like it was any less effective just because I knew how it would turn out.
There’s really no point even talking about the look of the movie, is there? You saw the commercials and how awesome and epic they make the movie look, right? Yeah, that’s what it looks like. They were not lying to you.
I loved all the performances in this movie as well. Chris Pine is great as Kirk. He does the funny parts as well as he does the emotional parts. He also plays a dick very well, easily making me silently curse him in the theater for making Simon Pegg leave. I find it hard to talk about Zachary Quinto’s performance as Spock. Through most of the movie, he’s acting really robotic. On the other hand, that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. And he’s able to convey quite a bit of emotion through his performance while still being such a Vulcan, and he kind of breaks down at the end of the movie in an awesome way. Zoe Saldana is hot. Simon Pegg is awesome. Peter Weller was Robocop. I was unfamiliar with this Benedict Cumberbatch before I went into this movie. I had heard him talked about a lot in nerdier crowds, so I knew he must have some nerd cred of some sort. I think it’s because he’s in that Sherlock show, but I’ve never seen it. And you never see him in The Hobbit because he only lends his voice to it. That being said, I still thought he was pretty awesome in the movie. Maybe not quite a Ricardo Montalbán, but pretty damned solid. Even with the emo hair that occasionally happened in the middle of a fight, he maintained a certain level of quiet badassdom. And the starring role in this movie for me is the white-haired chick on the command deck of the Enterprise. I don’t know who she is, but I want to be in her.
Star Trek Into Darkness is another addition to the series that wins in my book. The movie starts off a little slow for my taste, but ends strongly with a great deal of awesome action and emotion that actually made me tear up. It looks great and all the performances were also top notch. I’ve never considered myself a Star Trek fan, but if Abrams keeps this up, I might actually start watching the stuff that inspired the guy to make these awesome movies. In the meantime, I recommend getting yourself to the theaters to check this one out as soon as you can. Star Trek Into Darkness gets “If you test me, you will fail” out of “Because I am better.”
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