Star Trek Into Darkness Reviews
The movie starts off with action, which may not seem related to the actual plot. On the contrary, it was quite important to begin that way, because that's how it sets the characters feelings and actions for the real plot. In comes Benedict Cumberbatch, who I believe was the right choice for the reimagined antagonist, Khan. He and his character are what made the plot far more memorable than Eric Bana's Nero (though to be honest, starting off with a new antagonist like Nero was a good thing, rather than bringing up an existing foe so early in the new series).
Cumberbatch delivers in manipulative fashion, similarly to Tom Hiddleston's Loki. His character also has a strong emotional commitment to back up his motives, and in that aspect, Cumberbatch's effort pays off. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but Chris Pine deserves an award for his performance this time around. Unlike the past movie, his role as Kirk was MUCH more likeable and respectable here, as his character is more fleshed out with depth, adding to his more heartfelt performance. Zachary Quinto's Spock also has a lot more depth this time around, while also being just as goofy with his "logic" as before, only even funnier. In fact, the humor in this movie has doubled since Star Trek '09, with Karl Urban's Bones as worrywart as ever, and Simon Pegg's Scotty getting more screen time, therefore exponentially increasing the amazing goofiness one would expect from Pegg. Sure, there's a notable amount of arguing involved, but at least the drama is believable. It puts the crew's trust to the test, and it also brings them closer together like a family. My god, that sounded incredibly cheesy, but you know what I mean, right?
The visual effects are as phenomenal as they were since 2009, only this time, we get bigger panoramic views of futuristic skyscrapers and foreign lands that truly look like they're out of this world. A few subtle changes here and there as well, notably the Enterprise ship going into warp speed, now with a new starting sound and a shiny disappearance, similar to Serenity. Even the camera work resembles that of Joss Whedon, which possibly could've inspired it. The action sequences are tightly edited and are exciting to watch, thanks to J.J. Abrams' assured direction. Again, he does cut corners here and there as the director usually does, but the increased depth of characters here as opposed to Star Trek '09 makes up for the speed. A lot of people seem to complain about the director's fetish for lens flares, but I actually thought he toned it down in this entry, therefore not being nearly as distracting as in his first attempt at Trekking.
And last but not least, the musical score is just as epic and beautiful as it was previously, but now included are some beautiful piano ballads that are effectively used in certain areas of the movie, adding to the emotions undergone throughout those moments.
With all that said and done, any problems I may have had with the movie feel left behind hundreds of thousands of kilometers as Star Trek: Into Darkness has officially become my new favorite J.J. Abrams movie. Again, I'm positive that this movie doesn't intend to be better than The Wrath Of Khan, but merely a different take on it and featured in an alternate timeline, while also paying homage to the original timeline. Those who're angry about it must have overlooked the characters that drive this movie. But I can't argue any longer if they did take the performances into consideration. Either you'll love it like I did, or you'll refuse to accept the new events that don't necessarily replace the old ones.
Still, a lot of what worked about the previous voyage remains; the faster pace and fun new crew, it is not clear whether it is more apparent here that some of them can't hold a candle to their predecessors or that they are becoming their own characters, stepping out from the original crew's shadows. Some of them are given limited time to shine, but this is made up for by new memorable heroes and villains. The limitations of the new vibe do start to show through, however, by being a more generic, fast-moving action film with less emphasis on social commentary it is more forgettable that the best of Trek. The worst thing may be the lens flare, distracting in the last movie, here it outright robs some dramatic moments of their weight. It's by no means a bad film, just not as flawless as the film it follows and perhaps the cracks are starting to show in the new premise of repeating the series in a more blockbuster style.
This movie was an absolute knockout. If you take it in the context set from the first Abrams' trek, it makes sense. The military build up of Starfleet after the decimation of Vulcan, the seeking out of the Botany Bay, and the incredible portrayal of Khan by Benedict Cumberbatch. Some fans may nitpick, but they're most likely the ones that never stop doing that anyways. 5 out of 5 for this Trekker.