Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Movie Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek: Into Darkness deserves to be seen on IMAX. That way, space scenes can be absorbed in all their beauty, plus viewers get frequent close-ups of Zachary Quinto's face! Win-win!

Director J.J. Abrams' sequel to the 2009 reboot sees Captain James Kirk and his crew on the Enterprise performing a clumsy survey of a newly developed civilization. Before long, they are chasing down a Star Fleet intelligence officer (Benedict Cumberbatch) gone rogue. The villain goes into hiding on the Klingon planet; to avoid conflict, Admiral Marcus orders Kirk to launch photon missiles from neutral orbit.

Since Star Fleet functions more as an exploratory institution rather than a military organization, the police/military nature of the manhunt for Cumberbatch raises moral and practical questions for the crew. Why not bring the man to trial? Why risk bringing unknown torpedoes into an exploration vessel? How can the Enterprise be sure that the Klingon's won't attack anyway? Commander Spock persistently brings up these and many other issues to Kirk, who is in no mood to listen to his First Officer's even, velvet Vulcan tones.

Now some commentary on the main ingredients of this summer blockbuster, in alphabetical order:

Acting--Fine. No standouts, except for Cumberbatch and Quinto competing for sexiest voice. Still undecided on that one. Just kidding! Cumberbatch wins, obviously.

Action--Lots of it, and loud, too! They caused good vibrations in my TempurPedic theater chair!

Cinematography--Pretty great! Loved seeing all those shots of deep space. Lighting looked fine. No complaints about 3D.

Characters--Could've used more Khan.

Music--Sounded like John Williams and Philip Glass took turns composing the score, but it was actually Michael Giacchino, the same guy who did the music for the 2009 Star Trek.

Writing--Acceptable. Funny banter, especially whenever Spock is involved (mostly because he never gets why it's funny). Themes of revenge, honor, justice, friendship, et al given due consideration. Gratuitous plot holes questioned here. The Chekhov's Guns were like clubs to the head. (Chekhov's Gun: an element in a story that is introduced early on and will play a key role in the plot.)

That's all that comes to mind at the moment. Like the first one, this is a movie that I'll re-watch when it comes out on cable. Until then, I shall have fond memories of being massaged by my IMAX chair!

This post brought to you by Circus Boy from the Magic Hat Brewing Company.

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