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A Review of Star Trek Into Darkness - the Movie Depicting the Early Years of the Star Trek Characters
As I review the new Star Trek Into Darkness, I must admit that I am a huge fan of Star Trek. Ok, so that one statement has reached the heights of cliché. I don't really care. I have been a fan since the crew of the first episodes Gene Roddenberry’s amazing story of the Utopian Starship Enterprise, began traveling the galaxies in search of new worlds. I traveled right along with them.
The Star Trek television series only made it through three seasons, but the legacy continues decades later with the opening of Star Trek Into Darkness which is as much an exploration of the early character of the Enterprise crew as it is a space adventure.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a true thrill ride set in a future that looks familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. You sit up, you sit back, you squirm around in the seat like a kid. The movie just grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go.
The cast portraying the young Enterprise crew have settled into their characters, much like the cast of the original series did. They seem comfortable while they remain true to the essence of their characters.
Director J. J. Abrams also seems to have settled comfortably into the story. His directing has resulted in characters who are not parodies of the original portrayals, but who could truly have been their younger selves.
The Original Series
Captain James T. Kirk is portrayed by Chris Pine. He does not try to imitate the quirks that are familiar to the acting of William Shatner, which is a good thing. Shatner’s portrayal and mannerisms were so much of his real nature. However our “rebooted” Captain Kirk is as brave, head strong, reckless and spontaneous from the outset, which is at the heart of Captain Kirk He is unable to keep away from the women, hold onto a commission or maintain an intact ship, but he is able to save the day with a little humor and a lot of camaraderie thrown in. A true captain, swashbuckling style.
I especially liked Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana. She displayed the gutsy, cheeky spunk that you knew was always just below the surface of her character and that occasionally showed through in the original Uhura. It is not difficult to see the logic of Spock as her love interest rather than Scotty which was sometimes hinted at in later movies. Her gustiness and confidence would be her ally in a relationship with someone who embraces (with a passion, I might add) the passionless, Vulcan side of his genes.
From the moment I saw Zachery Quinto as the emotionless Syler in the television series, Heroes, I thought he would make a good Spock. Apparently so did the casting directors. With the pointy ears added, he has not disappointed.
It is not hard to imagine that Simon Pegg is the young Scotty or that Karl Urban is a younger version of Bones. Bones is not yet quite as curmudgeonly, but he is getting there, quickly.
Scotty is self-effacing, but delivers the miracles. He never looses that trait.
And what about the bad guy this time? It's all over the internet, but in case you don’t know who it is, I’m not naming names, but he is a worthy opponent in every way. Benedict Cumberbatch is true to the character he portrays: singleminded, ruthless, strong and cunning. Add that voice, those eyes and you have someone you don't want to drink Romulan ale with and definitely someone you don't want to cross.
Miss the series or the the first reboot?
The movie left a couple of questions, to my mind. What about that world whose space the Enterprise so boldly invaded and what happens to the beings on the planet where the prime directive is nobly, but blantently ignored. Certainly the makings of future Star Trek “installments.”
I can only see Star Trek through the lens of comparison. My advice, run to the nearest theater and enjoy a trip to the future’s past. The crew of the Enterprise and the stars of Star Trek Into Darkness, the special effects team and the witty script make it a trip that is still worth taking.
Copyright 5/20/13 Cynthia Turner