Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
the directing: J.J. Abrams
the writing: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
the acting: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
For those few, those highly unhappy few, who have not yet seen Star Trek Into Darkness at all or in its entirety, you have been given another chance. Ticket prices are quite high nowadays, or maybe you were too busy for the months it played in theaters, perhaps you were on holiday in some foreign land where it probably would have been playing in theaters. But I digress, forgiving and forgetting. Of all the 2013 summer blockbusters, Into Darkness may not have been the most financially successful only garnering a measly $450 million worldwide, but I can tell you this much, it was the best of them.
Now, the Star Trek Into Darkness challenged of you out there might be asking, “what does this one have that its 2009 predecessor did not?” Well, let us go through it together shall we. There is no longer any small roles played by Thor, no evil Eric Bana, or Romulans of any kind for that matter. But this is a rather small price we must pay, for you will find the trade-off exceeds qualifications.
I am going to go out on a limb and assume Benedict Cumberbatch is at the top of everyone’s mind. However, before getting to that I would like to finish my list of pros. Like, Alice Eve bringing more British beauty to the film, while taking on a semi-believable role of weapons specialist, or Klingons making their first and I’m fairly confident not last appearance. Then somehow J.J. Abrams was able to ink Peter Wellers into the Star Trek universe. And yes, there were a plethora of lens flares.
Now back to the Cumberbatch. For some reason I have an odd faith in this actor. After seeing him in BBC’s “Sherlock,” I seem to remain doubtless that his performance will be grandiose. That is why the news of him joining this project made me so happy. I was a huge fan of the first film – my knowledge of Star Trek doesn’t go much further than that – making me worried for what the Into Darkness team had to do. Not necessarily their “saving grace” or “ace up the sleeve” (as they needed neither), but with a told you so mentality, my doubtless faith continues to amaze even myself.
After some set up and character evaluation, Into Darkness takes us through the ringer as Captain Kirk (Pine), Commander Spock (Quinto), and the rest of the crew (it’s a lot of people) hunt down Commander John Harrison (Cumberbatch). However, what seems to be a clear goal of an already turbulent mission morphs into something far more aggressive and illogical. Needless to say, shit goes down.
Although inching over that two hour mark, the film strays away from the oh so common 165 minute time. I say kudos for that as almost every scene – one or two could have been cut – had significant purpose to the film’s whole, creating a well establish relationship between film and viewer. This relationship is important, as people like me will rave about it in an unprofessional review and maybe get two people to go rent the film.
I wanted to keep this post short and sweet. Obviously I am a fan of the film and hope for more success to head its way. Usually I don’t really gush over the big Hollywood blockbusters – most of my gushing is reserved for those indie dramas the majority of people love so much – but I take exception with Into Darkness. This film had the right amount of goodness all the way around. We go to these films to see big action and big spectacles. I can appreciate that and most of the time it is why I buy the ticket. But with big explosions dazzling us in the front, the writers formulated small doses of character studies and overarching arcs in the background. I can appreciate that as well.
J.J. Abrams did it again, making hundreds of millions in profits, and likely millions more in home entertainment sales. He has helmed one of the most beloved franchises in history and people don’t hate him. Unfortunately, as he is getting ready to take on the other most beloved franchise in history, Abrams will not be back to direct the next Star Trek installment. He has made his endorsement of Rupert Wyatt clear and like all other things, we nod and agree with whatever he has to say. I wish good luck upon both men as these next couple of years will surely determine the outcomes of their careers.
Worth renting: Yes.
Blu-ray or DVD: Blu-ray.