I’ve been a bit too critical of the Star Trek reboot by J.J. Abrams, and have been debating the merits of the original trek movies and the revised franchise with Bruce Simmons of Brusimm’s book, movie & TV review blog. As much as I hate to say it, I think he’s right in that I’ve let nostalgia blur my recollections of Shatner and Nimoy, as the new take on Star Trek is different and has merit in its own way, without being slavish to the past. In light of this, I asked Bruce if he’d do a guest post on Star Trek Into Darkness (spoiler free), and he has put together the following review.
Star Trek Into Darkness is the 2nd movie in the J.J. Abrams reboot realm of the Gene Roddenberry sci-fi franchise. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho reprise their roles while Benedict Cumberbatch (who has a very cool voice), Peter Weller and Alice Eve add their names to the franchise in one fashion or another.
J.J. Abrams directed and produced the movie off a story from Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof.
With such an all-star cast, the question isn’t will the actors bring their characters to life in an entertaining fashion, the question is will this movie fall into the typical sequel realm of so-so, or does it hold up on its own, or stand out above the first one?
One gem about the movie is that one does not need to be a fan to like the movie and the tale it tells. In fact, it was so fun, that the PG-13 rating is actually appreciated and the 132-minute runtime is not noticed.
The movie starts out in a whirlwind of opening stories.
One story involves watching Kirk (Pine) and Bones (Urban) and Spock (Quinto) trying to do a good deed. I say trying! But I can’t say much more without giving it away.
Another story thread shows a distraught set of parents hovering over their sick child. Cumberbatch’s character, “John Harrison,” beckons to them by offering a cure that no other scientist can provide. But in return, dad is employed (or coerced) into doing a dasterdly deed for our villian.
Our next story thread shows Kirk getting a lecture from Pike (Bruce Greenwood) on something he did wrong. It’s Kirk, after all, and somethings don’t change regardless of reboots, as I’m sure you can imagine.
And the journey goes from there. And oh, what a journey.
This movie covers so much content, with a mature story, wonderful explorations of Kirk and Spock’s characters, Uhara’s (Saldana) relationship with Spock, some surprisingly strong emotional moments and a few homages paid to the original series and movies. (Also, the history we know from the original franchise is never forgotten in this reboot of Abrams in moments here and there.)
The epic action is not over-the-top, but rather, seemingly well interspersed throughout this great story and movie experience.
One thing of note to keep an eye out for: Despite Spock being the non-emotional character, there are some wonderful moments that Zachary Quinto delivers with just his eyes, as he shows the inner turmoil of his struggles with logic versus emotion. Quinto brings a whole new level to the character I never thought I’d see.
I think this is one of the first times I’ve actually ever appreciated a PG-13 movie rating. I say that because despite the opportunity to show graphic levels of gore, J.J. Abrams still suggests some wicked action, but avoids needing to show it, and avoids ruining the energy of the scene. Implied gore is good enough because I love using my imagination to presume my own, personal comfort level of gore.
If you’re a Trek fan, go see Star Trek into Darkness. If you’re not a Trek fan, go see the movie anyway. It’s a wonderful story that does not need an intimate knowledge of the Trek franchise to enjoy.
This review provided by Bruce Simmons