Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013, J.J. Abrams)

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RATING: 7/10

Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve
Screenplay: Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof (Based on the TV Series “Star Trek” by Gene Roddenberry)

The second instalment to the new “Star Trek” film comes back bigger and better, with a seasoned cast and visual effects that is out of this world. J.J. Abrams and his team deliver a smart, entertaining and campy sequel to the 2009 “Star Trek”, that is hard to not enjoy. Though the film overplays certain dramatic factors and is flawed in a few ways, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a good follow up film, that is undeniably fun to watch.

Set in the distant future, we re-meet the team of Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) as they explore the universe and perform missions aboard their ship The Enterprise. When Kirk and his crew face terrorist attacks from within their own organisation, they discover Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), an unstoppable super being that seems to be the most dangerous man they will ever encounter. With the help of First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) and a highly specialised trained crew, Kirk must now stop him before he can carry out his plan.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” will quickly pull you in because of J.J. Abrams amazingly beautiful vision. However, when watching the first few minutes of the movie, it’s also not hard to admit that the introduction comes off rather weak. As Kirk and his team are on a mission in another planet (the screenwriters new tactic to re-introduce the iconic characters of “Star Trek”), it is action packed and visually stunning, however beneath the surface it is predictable and boring. It is a feast for the eyes however.

The film continues in futuristic London, where we are introduced to the new “bad guy” of the film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s introduction does not impress in this sequence. The short side-line story of the sick little girl was the lowest part of the picture and it off-tracked the campiness of the film. Cumberbatch (though a true bad-ass in the film) has a rather lame introduction, with an extreme close up that just didn’t make sense in a 2013 film. It seemed like a cheap 90s superhero movie.

But as the film progresses, so does the storyline and Abrams’ way of presenting the film. Cumberbatch, while we’re in the topic, is an awesome villain. This rising star has a solid filmography so far and I expect him to be everywhere in the upcoming years. He is a great match to the Enterprise crew with great acting (he had his “Loki” moments) that was ruthless and memorable. It’s hard to hate him.

Though Zachary Quinto impressed in the first “Star Trek” movie, he becomes a mere second fiddle in the this film. Ultimately outshined by Cumberbatch, Spock became more of an irritating character then someone loveable. He does, however, have redeeming moments by the end of the movie. Who I’m surprised with is Chris Pine. Though I was never a fan of his other works, Pine knows Captain Kirk well and plays him with greatness. He was perfect casting in this film, from his look to his all American attitude, Pine was spot on. He is becoming a seasoned actor who should branch it in more serious roles. Kirk is the first step for him. Alice Eve and her accent confused character was miscast, really.

Generally, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is nothing more then a fun sequel that hit the right spots. Its great to look at and I wouldn’t mind a third “Star Trek” movie, if the rumours are true. Abrams has been producing excellent work. Though I’m not too excited to hear that he’s at the helm for the new Star Wars movie, I am impressed with his futuristic space work that was in “Star Trek”. Applause to a film that’s not trying to be more then it’s suppose to be. Did I mention it was visually stunning?

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