Star Trek's Into Darkness Movie Review...
Star Trek's Into Darkness Movie Review….
It is true that that I do not go to the conventions nor do I dress up like any of Star Trek’s iconic characters, yet, I am an avid fan… who have seen all of the tele-episodes and debated ad nauseum about the various captains of the Enterprise… with my favorite being Patrick Stewart’s, Jean Luc Picard; however, one does not have to be a ‘Trekkie’ to enjoy JJ Abram’s new “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which is a warp speed, raucous ride with the copious attendant thrills and adventures… and a plot borne out of the old adage that the roads to hell are paved with good intentions. For a settiing that could be deemed the future Military Industrial Complex, we see weapons that are concocted out of genuine fear of projected enemies and then fearing those same weapons because they might turn around and harm us… and so we are introduced to Benedict Cumberbatch, the leader and one of those suped-up humanoid futuristic weapons who is our ‘baddie’ in Star Trek into the Darkness, but who has a legitimate beef for wanting he and his kind to survive. Those who are fans of the Star Trek franchise, be it television or the movies, will know that Cumberbatch is playing the role of Khan in Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan, who was brilliantly played by the late Ricardo Montalban.
Star Trek into Darkness is a Benedict Cumberbatch’s movie - his acting is off the charts and I will say again that I have never understood why these performances, like that of Cumberbatch’s in Star Trek into Darkness, are never considered during Oscar time. Such an Oscar worthy scene is depicted where Cumberbatch is telling Captain Kirk, as played by Chris Pine, why the former went on a Jihad-like murderous rampage… and even though Kirk’s fatherly mentor dies in that rampage… one can see by looking at Kirk’s face that Cumberbatch had convinced him and many of us in the audience about the ‘rightness of his cause and his justification in his use of wicked tactics,’ which, then, is akin to our having sympathy for the Devil.
I like how director Abram paid rabid meticulous attention… even to the genre in general; for example, one of the ships in the movie is name The Bradbury, paying homage to the late science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury… and, in addition, those of us who have been watching much sci-fi movies over the years can appreciate Peter Weller, from Buckaroo Banzai's fame, being cast as the co-baddie, in Star Trek into Darkness. The rest of the cast is excellent, so much so, that their performances are better than the roles they have inherited. There is a scene where the New Spock, played by Zachary Quinto, is conversing with the old Spock played by Leonard Nimoy and I swear that Quinto’s performance is better.
Speaking of Quinto, the romance between his Vulcan Spock character and Uhura (Zoe Zaldana) is not going well and just like how in real life when friends are caught in the middle of disputes between lovers… so it is in the movie when Chris Pine’s Kirk, Spock’s best friend, is caught up in the row between the two crew lovers: there is a hilarious scene when Kirk is wondering what it is like to have a lover’s spat between Spock, who supposedly has no emotions because he is half-Vulcan and Uhura, a human. And speaking of Spock being Vulcan, we also see the consequences from two points of view - Vulcan and Human - of breaching the Prime Directive, which basically means that there should be no interference in the affairs of other species, even to assist them in their development.
In Star Trek into Darkness, the action sequences are eye watering/satisfying… we get to see a volcano from the inside; characters flying with jet packs and threading what are tantamount to needles; menacing Klingon bird of preys; witnessing a vicious beat down of a squad of Klingons at the hands of Cumberbatch; and a seminal scene that takes place on what looks like flying cargo transports between Cumberbatch and Quinto… it is as if you are there dodging obstacles, and feeling every blow thrown between the combatants. Even the so called minor characters in Star Trek into Darkness get to shine and no line from the script is wasted. Case in point, there is one scene where Mr. Sulu (John Cho) is the acting captain and he must, through his voice, bring to life a bluff… he does so with such panache and conviction that it is a marvel to hear and behold.
I can say that those who were worried and afraid because the Star Wars franchise is now in Abram’s hands should not worry because I dare say that he has done a wondrous job with the Star Trek franchise and will do the same with the continuing saga that depicts the struggle between The Force and The Dark Side, and incidentally, what interesting times that we are living in with this current crop of directors doing stellar auteur work in the genre we love: Christopher Nolan (Batman); Josh Whedon (Avengers); and Zack Snyder’s pending Superman. For the Star Trek fans, let me leave you with another nugget of inside knowledge that you may peep in the new Star Trek into Darkness: at the end of Star Trek into Darkness, we see the Cumberbatch character in cryo-stasis and, if indeed you are a 'Trekkie,' then you should have heard the chilling: “Welcome to Seti Alpha 5.”