Review: Star Trek Into Darkness
J.J Abrams reboot of this beloved series was welcomed with open arms, but sadly those new and old fans alike of the franchise had to wait four years for a sequel. As it usually turns out, good things come to those who wait. That being said, I really do not want to wait another four plus years for a sequel to this one. This sequel from Abrams takes what was successful from the previous entry and improves upon it with an incredible villain but by also making it personal. We saw Kirk rise to the occasion in the first film, but the tension had to be raised in his next foray. As a young captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, he had to have been challenged in every way and see how he would react in the fact of insurmountable odds. That alone has the makings of an interesting movie, but Abrams didn't settle there as he adding it more personal issues between his crew which helped make the film completely come together and become one of the best sci-fi fantasy films released as of late.
The film starts with the Enterprise crew on a desolate planet with religious sort of inhabitants that live inside a temple protecting it's contents. The mission in front of Kirk is just to observe and preserve the species as they are about to be wiped out due to a volcano that is about to explode. Spock (Zachary Quinto) tries to stop the volcano from erupting but instead gets stuck inside of it. Spock implores Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) to leave him to his doom as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Kirk refuses and willingly allows the species to see his ship, which goes against Starfleet regulations. Kirk doesn't care as he would rather break a rule then let one of his crew die. Spock is saved in the last second, but the both of them get reprimanded for their actions. Spock is assigned to another ship, and Pike (Bruce Greenwood) takes over as Captain of the Enterprise once more but due to his pleading, Kirk stays on as the First Captain. Starfleet calls a meeting as there was an attack on the archives that leads them to give a mission to every fleet to look for the man responsible. However, they severally underestimated how ruthless and how smart this mystery man can be.
Kirk takes it upon himself to go after this criminal who was once apart of Starfleet named, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he is hiding out in Klingon territory and if Starfleet were to go after him it would start a war with them as the two are on uneven ground as it is. Thus Kirk believes he can take his crew in quietly but he is implored to kill Harrison on sight. Starfleet Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) gives Kirk torpodeos to wipe out Harrison from a distance with. After reaching Klingon territory, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Bones (Karl Urban) help steer Kirk away from killing Harrison as the man is still a part of Starfleet thus he deserves a trial instead of being killed like a sick dog. Kirk takes to the Klingon planet Kronos with a small team of himself, Spock and Uhura to extract Harrison so they can put him on trial at Starfleet.
Quite simply, it is a wild ride that never lets go of your attention and it demands to have your attention at all times. It is not a typical summer blockbuster film that has style, it has style and substance. It has themes of morality at the forefront but it is truly driven by the fantastic directing ability of Abrams and even more so the terrific acting performances given by Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch. I have watched the show, Sherlock, which has given Cumberbatch his fame but this film and his commanding performance as the fearsome villain is something to watch in it's own. He completely owns the role and his delivery with each line is powerful but nothing compares to the shear physicality and his control over his performance. It is truly impressive. Chris Pine shines in the role of Kirk, but it is also a role that he is beginning to get typecast into. He is a strong actor and fits the role perfectly. The same can be said for that of Zachary Quinto. The only negatives I can really say about the movie is that the climatic fight at the end and the moments after that seem to fall flat a little considering how huge the rest of the movie was. All in all, it is a terrific movie and most likely the best film of the first month of this crowded summer blockbuster schedule.