Slumpy - Right-On Film Reviews

Friday, 17 May 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

In 7 words or less: Kirk & Spock et al enter the dark

What's it all About? The usual suspects are all back on the bridge to boldly go where no one has gone before. In this case, they actually go where they've gone before ie, breaking rules, travelling at warp speed and punching people in the face. This time there is supposed rogue agent on the lose added to the mix.  
Doesn't this guy know how doors work?
Best bits? The scene where The Enterprise plummets earthward with little to no power is exhilarating and tense and has sensational special effects.

Did it make you think thoughts? This experience started off with a whopping 6 trailers to get me in the mood. The Hangover III (awful), Enders Game (awful), After Earth (looks okay but will be awful), Fast and Furious 6 (cheesy fun), World War Z (awful) and Man of Steel (this has me super excited). I mentioned these trailers as it seems to be the norm nowadays to completely spoil any surprises for upcoming films by chucking every last twist, turn and cameo into the trailer. Fortunately the Star Trek trailer didn't go down this route mainly due to it being pretty terrible with super fast edits and stuff exploding that left me with a feeling of, 'what the hell was that all about?'. In this case a good thing though as it didn't ruin any surprises for the film itself the biggest of which is the identity of one of the villains. Avoid spoilers if possible and you'll get more of a kick out of it. 
More lingering Enterprise shots

The film has a great opening sequence that throws the viewer straight into the action as the crew of the Enterprise try to save an indigenous population form impending doom. The action is fast, furious and ends with a moral dilemma that has an impact on later developments.

If you stick J.J Abrams on scriptwriting, producing or directing you know you're going to get something good and that's the case here. (the fact he's attached to the new Star Wars flick is exciting indeed) Everything seems spot on and although there are stretches of talking heads and playful banter, none of it drags on or impedes the ensuing set pieces. The performances are good, the script helps obviously, and we get a mixture of light hearted comedy, drama and anguished filled bad guys bent on the destruction of our heroes. 

Future Spock rears his head again and has a conversation with young Spock but the resolution of that is left dangling. There's also a good bit towards the end that riffs on a previous 80's Star Trek flick but reverses two specific to great effect which I won't spoil here. It's just a shame that the 'event' isn't permanent as this could have continued into the next film much in the way it did in the 80's versions. If this all sounds confusing you'll know what I mean after you've seen it.
Necessary? You be the judge
There are a couple of missteps though. As much as I like Cumberbatch, his villain comes across as very 'pantomime' and most of his dialogue is delivered in such a way as to make it a bit too cringe worthy. 
We have Sherlock in custody
Another criticism is that it didn't feel at all like a sequel. This is good in a way as it lets newcomers jump straight in without needing any prior Trek knowledge although it does mean that we see virtually zero character development  and progression of story lines. I imagine that given time, it will also suffer a similar malady to the first installment. I've now seen the first one twice but, if quizzed, wouldn't be able to tell you what it was about or what happened. It's all kind of generic and melds into one big sci-fi space war thingy. Oh yeah, the Klingons are woefully underused as well. 
More of these guys please

Would you watch it again? Sure would.  

Rating (out of 100%): A great flick and my only concern is that the franchise will continue to not bring anything new to the table. That said, I give Into Darkness a beam-me-up 90%

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