If, like me, you love a good action movie, then don’t bother wearing socks to the new Star Trek: Into Darkness because it will knock them right off. If you can dream it, this movie’s got it: fist fights, laser fights, man vs. flying object fights, foot chases, hover car chases, starship chases, small explosions, big explosions, volcanic explosions… In short, if ever a movie was made for IMAX it was this one. But before we get ahead of ourselves, as much as I want to, I simply can’t give Star Trek: Into Darkness a glowing review. And here’s why:
The movie begins with a classic screw-up. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) has been demoted to first officer for one of his many rash decisions. What’s new? Well, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) is new, and we’re all happy to have him aboard. Sort of. Harrison makes his sudden appearance by blowing up a Starfleet base. A big no no. Kirk chases after him, Harrison gets away, Kirk chases for longer, Harrison is captured, we begin to trust Harrison as an ally (how could we not, I mean… Cumberbatch), we get duped, and the shenanigans continue. Star Trek: Into Darkness is a wacky chase across the universe, with enemy turning ally and ally screaming “Suckers!” as he flies away, leaving numerous crew members weeping in his wake.
Everything that was witty and clever about the first movie is replaced with unnecessary sobbing and extreme close-ups. I’m hard pressed to think of a character who doesn’t cry in this movie. They’re just all so emotional. As is the music. Although explosive and adventurous when the time calls for it, the score otherwise mopes along with the teary-eyed characters. I’m not sure why there are so many feels; the heart-pumping action goes relatively seamlessly but always wraps up with the characters punching it out and/or a good cry. It’s like Star Trek: The Notebook.
As for our beloved team of characters, everyone is very deeply focused on Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) logic, often trying to elicit an emotional response from him. Hang on — I’ve heard this somewhere before. Unlike Spock’s childhood bullies, his Enterprise friends push him to love, not fight (mission failed, team). Spock’s stone-faced character is balanced by the comedic relief of Scotty (Simon Pegg). Aye, there’s nothin’ like a Sco’sman t’ pu’ a spring in yer gaggle.
Benedict Cumberbatch deserves his own paragraph here, if only for the purpose of saying he is fabulous – he really is fabulous. For ups, downs, and all arounds, that man can act.
On the subject of special effects Star Trek: Into Darkness gets, like, 72 thumbs up. Epic. Amazing. It’s incredible how believable everything looks, considering we’re zooming through space 250 years in the future. Before the film even began I was thinking it’s a good thing they have gravity on these ships for the sake of simplifying the filming process. Well, move over Inception. The anti-gravity scenes leave you with a very refreshing feeling of how-the-hell-did-they-do-that? There is no shortage of explosions either. Star Trek: Into Darkness is evenly divided between bleary-eyed stares, deadly laser tag, shrapnel showers, and unsuccessfully avoiding punches.
So all in all? Go see it, why not. But if you ask for my honest opinion I’ll give you a shrug, a few lazy nods as approval, and a 5/10. If you like action, you’ll like this. If you like good drama and twisty plot lines, you will probably not. I, for one, won’t be heading back to theaters at warp speed any time soon to see it again, but I think Spock says it best:
“’fascinating’ is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think ‘interesting’ would suffice.”