PM Movie Reviews: Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Into Darkness keeps the hits coming in what looks to be a strong summer movie season, and is on track to topple the domestic box office king of the last two weeks; summer opener Iron Man 3. Ol’ Shell-head’s getting beamed to the smaller auditoriums to make room for the returning crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise and damn, do they return in spectacular fashion.
STID begins only a small leap away from the conclusion of 2009’s Star Trek, with the Enterprise and her crew in the hands of a brash and arrogant James T. Kirk, played again by Chris Pine.
STID presents a logical continuation to the altered Trek timeline, in which consequences of the previous film come back to haunt the characters of the sequel (pro-tip: refresh yourself and watch Star Trek before coming into this one).
While Kirk is the ever confident and capable starship captain fans love him for, his ego has only been inflated by his victory over Nero; a victory he won through a combination of bullheaded stubbornness and a lot of luck.
STID plays with the odds and asks: what happens when that isn’t enough? As in all stories of hubris, Kirk will fall. His spirit and his conviction will waver as he attempts to boldly go into the dark and come out the other side as the captain the Enterprise and her crew deserves.
With that to guide Kirk’s development arc, the film thrillingly zooms from exhilarating set-piece to set-piece and from plot point to plot point until its satisfying conclusion.
The performances by the ensemble cast are still great and Karl Urban is a welcome personality on the bridge, but top marks go to Pine and Quinto as they up their game and bring an extra OOMPH of depth and gravity that were only hinted at in the previous Trek.
Good thing returning director J.J. Abrams is skilled enough to trust his two leads and jam that camera right in their faces to allow them to convey the weight and emotion of the story with their eyes alone.
Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch intrigues as the big bad of the movie. His stentorian voice, that deep and low rumble that both threatens and charms at the same time, is just the perfect touch to a powerhouse villain who proves to be a worthy foe to the crew of the Enterprise and Starfleet itself.
At this point though, it is pretty simple to know if you’ll enjoy this film since it’s a direct extension of everything established by the 2009 entry. The frenetic pacing and the kinetic action of the film should overwhelmingly satisfy lovers of the previous Star Trek and beyond that, the story packs enough heart that it should resonate with viewers, Trekker or casual.
In 2009, I couldn’t wait for the cinematic sequel to Star Trek. In 2013, I can’t help but wish I could continue the adventure with this crew on a weekly basis in the form of another television series. Abrams, of Alias and Lost fame, could certainly do it. But I’ll definitely settle for another two-hour trek.