STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, 2013
Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
Review by Joseph Paul John McCarthy
After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
It's F*£$%&@ Amazing. I wish that is all that I could put as the review and that I could swear my head off throughout. But that's hardly going to cut it. So here's a more in-depth review
I'm not going to get into the plot too much at all because much of the awesomeness of the plot is all of the twists, reveals and incredible surprises that the great writers, Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof were able to come up with. They have, with this one film undone the terrible writing of the Transformers movies.
Basically Kirk (Chris Pine) gets himself in big trouble for not following orders and endangering the lives of his crew. He gets demoted to Commander but is then the one who figures out that a terrorist attack in London was a set-up for an even worse attack on Starfleet. That's a minor spoiler and anything beyond that would be a major spoiler so let's just say that Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise end up traveling to the Qo'noS, the Klingon home world, to find a terrorist and bring him to justice.
This film is definitely one for the fans and at the screenings fans applauded several times throughout the film. Which, as a general rule, I think is pointless but on some occasions during this film it was definitely worth it.
This is a J.J. Abrams film so it's going to be awesome. What can you say? The man knows how to make a film. I did absolutely hate the over use of lens flairs in the previous film so thankfully in this film the flairs have been toned down quite a bit. Whilst this film still maintains the glossy over-the-top perfection of its architecture and Earth based backgrounds generally they are somewhat more realistic, in as much as they still allude to a utopia but you can still see that they are really fragile. This ties in with some major themes with in the film.
Chris Pine is just a great Jim Kirk, his womanizing, his cowboy diplomacy, his leadership skills would all seem very over-the-top in the hands of a lesser actor. But Chris Pine has totally nailed the Captain Kirk character.
Zachary Quinto is the perfect Spock for the new Star Trek reboot. There is little question here that anyone else could pull of a character like Spock.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a brilliant villain, menacing, cold calculating and genuinely intimidating.
In fact everyone in this film is just a brilliant actor, they all fit their characters so well Zoey Saldana's Uhura is a really powerful three-dimensional female character, Simon Pegg's Scotty is an excellent blend of comic relief and miracle working heroic genius and Karl Urban's Dr. ‘Bones' McCoy is awesomely angry with everything all the time without going to overboard with it.
Now on to the themes, they really have picked on some very current themes, what with the Boston bombings only having occurred a week before the Premier in Sydney. The main theme is dealing with Terrorism from within your own organization. John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a terrorist who knows Starfleet inside out because he has been working for the shady under-handed side of the organization known as Section 31. Harrison basically wreaks havoc upon Starfleet, killing off many of the higher officers. This is not something that has happened quite yet but it seems to be the kind of thing that has become trapped within the American collective psyche over the past few years.
Spock (Zachary Quinto) almost has the monopoly on one theme about dealing with your emotions. Spock and Uhura are having a fight for a good portion of the film as Spock has nearly killed himself on an away mission; yet again apparently. This annoys Uhura because she thinks Spock doesn't care about her feelings. At first this felt pretty tacked on to the plot, it seemed like the old tack on a relationship problem to show the characters development. However it turns out that this isn't the case, it turns out that the destruction of Vulcan in the ‘original' movie caused Spock great emotional stress and he now has redoubled his efforts to suppress his emotions because he didn't want to feel that way ever again. That isn't the end of that particular arc but I cannot explain further because it will ruin several plot points.
By far the main theme does seem to be not to trust authority. And that the main thing to do when dealing with a new situation is to adapt, obviously. This is a good message as it has definitely proven true in recent times. That was always a major part of the original series and it was good to see it make its way into this movie. Kirk is the only one who can defeat Harrison because he isn't stuck in his ways like the Admiralty or the other older Captains.
There is also another theme that fits in perfectly with the philosophy of the original Star Trek series, but again I don't want to ruin the film for you. But compassion is a big part of it.
There were a few minor issues that I had, mainly nerdy ones so we can skip over those. But there are some moments when things are a little too convenient, which was a problem with the first film as well. There is also a scene which many action films use repeatedly; Kirk figures out at the last second that the attack on London was the precursor to getting all the high ranking Starfleet officers into one room so that John Harrison could ambush them. He barely has time to scream evacuate the room before Harrison starts firing all phasers at them. But of course somehow some people survive and this we are meant to attribute to Kirk's warning. I mean the effect would've been totally the same.
I don't like the lens flairs, as mentioned above, because the point of cinematography is meant to suck you into the story of the film and the lens flairs just get in the way and create a barrier between the viewer and the film.
In conclusion this was a great film, better than the original, awesome dialogue, brilliant action sequences and a lot of fun moments. I highly personally recommend it whether you are a Trek fan or not. And I highly recommend seeing it at an IMAX in 3D. This film was made to be seen with all the gimmicks and it just makes it more awesome.