Star Trek Into Darkness Review
Rated: Basically Spoilage Free!
For all you trekkies and trekkers, this movie touches every molecule in your sci-fi DNA. From the start, the movie grabs you and shakes you up like a margarita in a blender. That’s how all action movies should be. It should wake up your senses…well two of your senses; hearing and seeing. This film reaches into your mind and plants a seed of thought provoking dilemmas that everybody can relate to. It is the hard choices the captain has to make that either lead to dire consequences or brilliant outcomes, and that can put a strain on the captain. It is unsure how many months or years have gone by between the first film and this one, but it feels that the crew is getting into their groove. This time this movie gets much darker, grittier and very personal not just to Kirk and his crew, but to the very universe itself. Loyalty and mortality comes into question that seems to be the main focus in this story. The question of what is right and wrong is a struggle with Kirk when dealing with his inner demons, and a foe that is smarter than your average Vulcan.
This movie brings together the entire cast from the first film with a few new additional faces. Chris Pine reprises his role as James Tiberius Kirk, serving as captain of the Enterprise in which he delivers another great performance. Chris definitely puts his own style to Kirk, but still retains some of the charm that made Shatner’s version famous for; like wooing the ladies and going head first into action. He took Kirk’s character to a whole new level. He had to, because the adversary never let’s up and raises all kinds of hell. Zachary Quinto raised his game as well when portraying Spock in this film. I felt like he let his character loosen up when it came to dealing with various emotions. It was refreshing to see him become more human in situations where it needed to be. Every character from Scotty to Chekov got their chance to shine; I was definitely impressed with Sulu in one scene that made me proud to be a trekkie. Alice Eve, who plays Dr. Carol Wallace and Peter Weller who plays Admiral Marcus are the newest addition to this film. Even though they have small roles, they play an important part in the story. It was great to see Peter Weller again in the Star Trek universe. On the small screen, he played a pro-human terrorist leader on the short lived show, Enterprise. He plays an admiral in Starfleet in which his performance was terrific. Alice Eve brought sex appeal and brains to her character, a refreshing break from the mostly male cast, aside from Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura. By the way, I still hate the idea of Spock and Uhura being romantically involved. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I cringe every time they are together. I guess I’m just an old dog who is loyal to the original series that had Spock and Uhura as shipmates and nothing else. Lastly, Bruce Greenwood reprises his role as Christopher Pike. Just like in the first film, Bruce brings Pike’s character a mentor-like quality for Kirk, and helps him through pretty rough times with a tough love approach that only Kirk can relate to. .
As a fan, I love the variety of villains and aliens that make up the Star Trek universe. What Benedict Cumberbatch did to this bad guy was nothing short of brilliant. I watched him in a modern version of Sherlock Holmes and realized he was the perfect choice for Star Trek’s next adversary. Being a British born actor, he has the perfect tone and tempo to deliver a chilling, yet mesmerizing performance as Kirk’s nemesis. His character John Harrison becomes a force to be reckoned with by pushing the limits of Kirk and his crew to a point where lines should not be crossed. To be honest, he made the movie better. He approaches his character with egotistical brilliance. He knows how to give his character the intelligence to manipulate those around him to his benefit. Benedict also has this ability to intensify his performance by drawing out the raw emotion needed to deliver a frighteningly brilliant performance.
In a nutshell, my opinion of this film is that it delivers a story that gives your emotions one hell of a roller coaster ride. It has great surprises, and wonderful twists to keep you on your toes, not to mention eye popping special effects. This movie has a lot of terrific action scenes, and wonderfully funny moments to keep you entertained for two hours. If this would be the last Star Trek film, I would be satisfied…it is that good. But I get the feeling we are not done with the crew of the Enterprise just yet.