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Star Trek Into Darkness 3D Movie Review (chocked full of spoilers)
I'm telling ya, Abrams is a genius!
Are you ready for the Captain's Chair?
Again, this review of Star Trek Into Darkness is for people who have already seen the movie, as this hub is meant to not only review the film but spark discussion. You've been warned.
So I waited a week after the release to go see it. Then I arrived at the theater and argued with myself over "regular strength" or "maximum strength 3D". I chose 3D and I chose a large Cherry Coke, and I even splurged for a large Milk Duds this time. Lastly, I chose a 1030 showing on a week night so I wouldn't have to deal with a massive crowd. I ended up being the only person in the theater. All that being said....Star Trek Into Darkness is a movie you must see if you're a fan of The Trek.
Meet John Harrison...err...I mean....KHAN!!!!!!
Who should be in the Chair?
Who was your favorite Captain of the Enterprise?
The Plot: Wrath of Khan in some type of twisted bizarro universe
I made sure to only watch trailers for this movie prior to its release. I didn't read blogs, watch actor interviews, or even postulate about what it could have been about. Yes, of course I wanted it to be retelling of Wrath of Khan in an alternate timeline! Did I know that was going to happen? I did not! That alone made the cost of admission worth it. I do feel sorry for all of you younger or newer trekkies that would have surely missed the subtle and sometimes blatant relationships between this Khan version and the original. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this movie very much if I hadn't seen the original.
Where do I start on the parallels? Carol Marcus, the definitive bonding of Spock and Kirk's friendship, the "death" scene redux in reverse, using the opening scene to counter Spock's "the needs of the many..." mantra, and even the use of 2 severely wounded ships at the end. I especially loved the part where "New" Spock contacts Spock Prime to find out what recourse he used against Khan. And I don't care who you are, you had to love Kirk's "red shirt" speech to the away team guys and Bones' research on a Tribble.
Abrams also did a spectacular job of weaving the Khan story into the modern world's view on terrorism and how much it's permeated our existence in the real world. After all, one of the aspects of Science Fiction is it's ability to use future settings to document the social paradigms of our current era.
"Just wanted you all to know, none of you are coming back. it's been a pleasure!"
The new "Red Shirts" obviously have some skills!
The Cast: Dammit Jim!, I'm a Doctor man, not a casting director!
I will say this! Whoever is the casting director deserves a gold star! I watched every episode of the new Sherlock series and with each episode I asked myself: Who in the world is this Cumberbatch guy and man, he's good! Benedict Cumberbatch plays an outstanding Khan. He's ruthless, relentless, passionate about his "kind", and employs remarkable precision in all that he does. Cumberbatch also does a masterful job with Khan's weaknesses; arrogance, presumption, and an inability to anticipate the rash actions of the Enterprise crew.
Chris Pine really came into his own as CPT Kirk in this one as well. He was guns blazing during the whole film, but nowhere near flawless. He was loyal to a fault, and fragile when he faced the concept of possibly being without Spock. He finally realized what Spock Prime meant in the first one when he said "...of a friendship that will define you both".
Urban's "Bones" really captured the Deforest Kelley moreso than in the first one. Saldana's "Uhura" was subdued, yet steadfast in this sequel. Cho's "Sulu" and Yelchin's "Chekov" sort of got the shaft in this one, but then again, there wasn't much for them in this story. And as always, Pegg's "Scotty" played the comedy relief and the saving hand/brain when needed.
Lastly, I just have to say, this version's Carol Marcus really whooped the pants off of the previous version....
New version.......old version.....
The Visuals: or you can call it...the SciFi stuff
So again, I saw this film in 3D. I can honestly say, this was one of the few movies in 3D that did not disappoint or become a distraction due to the extra dimension. In fact, this movie was made for 3D! The ship explosions toward the end, the urban sprawl scenes of San Francisco, and the depth of the starships and facilities all popped perfectly in 3D.
I liked the new revamped look for the Klingons, even though it was a short scene. Abrams gave them a little more of a streamlined, symmetric look; while retaining their barbaric demeanor. The Enterprise looked pristine and majestic, even during it's death throws.
What I did not enjoy, however, was the uniform choices. The uniforms made the actors look uncomfortable and they seemed not very functional for wear. And for the love of all that's holy, did we really need the bus driver hats as an accessory. Kirk's speech at the end reminded me of the final scene of Police Academy with those dull gray, wooly, inflexible garments.
The urban center of San Francisco was done well, fusing ultra-modern with hints of time long past. Since I didn't get to do a review of the first film, I also wanted to say that I think it's outstanding how Abrams made the engineering section of the ship actually look like an engineering section.
All in all, the visuals were great in this movie. I look forward to the next one to see if they do the Enterprise retrofit like in the original series of movies. For instance, utilizing some of the technology on the Vengeance (Admiral Marcus' ship) to beef up the "old girl".
Space....The Final Frontier...
If you're not in the chair, who are you?
Who is your favorite "Kirk Era" Enterprise crew member?
The Final Call: No Vulcan neck pinches please....
Star Trek Into Darkness is an absolute must see film, assuming you have seen the first one. It would also help if you are up on your "Trek". It's a space thrill ride, mixed with some instant iconic moments that are paralleled with moments from the other films. It stands on its own merit as the new definitive Khan story and an outstanding outing by Mr. Cumberbatch. Well done sir! And to Mr. Abrams.......please keep doing what you're doing because it works!!!