The ship’s dead, sir! She’s gone.
In 2009, the J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek. It hit theatres and gave new life to the franchise, it also brought new people in to what was already a very established universe. Back for the sequel ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, J.J. Abrams has once again made a film that appeals to the people without knowledge of the previous movies/ TV series. Now I’ve seen very little of any Star Trek other than the J.J. Abrams movies. However, that’s not to say that I ‘m not capable of giving this a fair review. In fact, that should make this review all the more fair.
Star Trek Into Darkness is all about the crew of the Enterprise finding an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization. Knowing this, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
All previous cast members from the 2009 movie return, reprising their roles on the Enterprise and beyond. They all put just as much effort into their roles as they did in the last movie. All the relationships carry on over too, both the love and hate ones. This time around there are 3 pretty major new inclusions to the cast. These are Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, Alice Eve as Carol Marcus and finally we have Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the antagonist in the movie, Khan. At times in the movie you don’t know where his loyalties lie. That is what’s so mesmerising about his performance throughout the course of the movie. He plays a villain you love to hate. The script for his character is also fantastically written, combine that with the top-tier acting he brings with him, and you’ve got yourself the perfect villain. Benedict Cumberbatch was the highlight of the movie for me, when his character is in the fight scenes, he plays him with such precision, kicking all kinds of ass.
A new member of the Enterprise, played by Alice Eve, is Carol Marcus. She’s a scientist but also a weapons specialist and a very welcome addition to the team. That’s because I feel we needed more of a female presence on the Enterprise, we already have a large collection of leading males. She does well in the role, adding a nice sexual appeal along with Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura for the male audience like myself.
Peter Weller is in charge if the Starfleet as Admiral Marcus. I must say, as a fan of Robocop, I loved that he was in the movie. It caught me off guard, I had no idea he was even in this movie. He does his best with what he has, playing someone in charge is acting 101 and the way he plays his character is a lot like has come before in countless movies. As the story progresses though, we learn he has a lot to do with what is happening. This gives Peter Weller a chance to shine and he does just that, playing a cold leader, ready to kill to the cover the truth of what he has done in the past.
Compared to the 2009 Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness felt a lot more action oriented. It’s like they felt the 2009 movie spent its time to establish these characters enough to have a second movie just focus on delivering more action. That may leave character development to struggle at times, but mostly Star Trek Into Darkness succeeds to tell an interesting story whilst still throwing action at you on a constant basis. For that I have to praise the pacing of the movie. Any time we do get away from the action, they spend it developing relationships and characters as best they can given the time.
Being an action heavy movie, it’s safe to say that the action on-screen is eye candy. From fight scenes were you feel the punches as they connect, to chase scenes were the camera pulls you into the chase making it all the more intense. One particular scene, involving Klingons, Khan and some Enterprise personnel was amazing. It’s our first real look at what Khan is capable of in the movie and it succeeds in doing just that. This one scene sticks out as being my favourite in the whole movie.
The comedy aspect of the film I felt was not as strong as it’s predecessor. With Simon Pegg’s character of Scotty feeling underused because he’s missing for half of the movie. Star Trek Into Darkness feels like a more serious movie because of this. I feel like I had more fun with the 2009 Star Trek because of the comedy and the splintering relationships between some of the characters. That’s not to say there isn’t any light heartedness contained within the movie, just not as much as I would have hoped for.
J.J. Abrams still throws around lens flare like no one else. Whilst not doing much harm to the movie, it can get pretty distracting in key scenes, going as far as blocking the view at times. Something else I wasn’t too happy about was the ending. It isn’t bad by any means, but I expected so much more. After the anticlimactic fight, from there it’s all very Hollywood and happy times. I expected something different, maybe even a cliff-hanger for a sequel, but instead they chose to leave it wide open for anything to happen in the next movie.
When all is said and done, J.J. Abrams has an annoying name to keep typing. Joking aside, Star Trek Into Darkness was a very entertaining movie, it may have lacked some context and even gone with a little too much action at times. However, looking past that, I’d recommend you go and see it as soon as you can. Leave your brain at home and get ready for the eye candy that is Star Trek Into Darkness.
Let’s just hope J.J. Abrams has the same, if not more success with the Star Wars franchise in the future.
8 Klingons out of 10