Where Trek Has Gone Before - A review of Star Trek Into Darkness
Summary: Not as fun as its 2009 predecessor, but still very entertaining with a cast and director who hit their marks every time.
As a trekker, I take great delight every time a new Star Trek movie hits the big screen. This last wait – almost four years – was almost too much to bear, especially since we were originally promised this film for 2012.
It was worth the wait.
Star Trek may take place in outer space with gargantuan starships and mysterious worlds light years away from this blue ball of goodness and charm know as Earth, but the true basis for every story in the franchise is the human one behind all the shenanigans and special effects.
This tale fits right in. Kirk and company are after a devil of a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has attacked and killed his own people here on Earth, then has hidden out on the Klingon home world to await his ultimately unavoidable discovery and arrest.
But Harrison hides a secret that could devastate our planet and Starfleet. Getting him to reveal that secret and defeating him before he and his followers can implement the plan may take more than even Kirk can handle – and may even mean the ultimate sacrifice for one of the crew.
I won’t spoil anything, but the parallels between this movie and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan are striking.
Which leads me to the utter feeling of déjà vu that will grip every Star Trek fan on the planet. There are so many insider homages to the original series and its four spinoffs that I lost count of them all.
But the biggest homage of all has to be the strength of the casting. All seven of the major characters are played to a T by their new, younger portrayers. Chris Pine is as brash and sardonic as William Shatner and Zachary Quinto plays the perfectly stoic Spock to such a wonderful extent that even Leonard Nimoy would raise an eyebrow in admiration.
Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as Bones are so channeling their predecessors that James Doohan and DeForest Kelley can rest in peace knowing their legacies will continue to transcend them.
Along for the ride on this adventure are Bruce Greenwood as the redoubtable Admiral Pike, Peter Weller (Robocop) as Admiral Marcus, the head of Starfleet and Alice Eve as Carol, a young blond scientist who is destined to catch womanizer Kirk’s eye – and maybe much more.
This movie is a treat for fans of the series and is a fun adventure even for those who have no idea what Star Trek even is. The nice thing about J.J. Abrams’ reboot is, you don’t need to know a thing about Star Trek to enjoy this film and its 2009 foundational predecessor. This incarnation completely un-writes over 40 years of Trek lore and breathes new life into this franchise.
It would, of course, be apropos for the producers to arrange the next installment for 2016, coinciding with Star Trek’s 50 year anniversary. I hate the thought of waiting, but seeing this movie and understanding the time necessary to develop this type of quality product, I guess I will steel myself and impatiently wait with baited breath like the rest of the planet.
And you know I’ll be seeing this movie a few more times between now and then. I give Star Trek Into Darkness 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.