Tuesday, September 17, 2013

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS will pull you in


Synopsis taken from IMDb
After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. 

Growing up, I was a huge Star Trek fan. As a child, I owned the entire series of action figures from "The Next Generation", along with The Enterprise, Transporter, and other diorama sets for the figures. I actually got my love for the series from my dad, who is a serious Trekkie. However, as I grew up and got into horror, I left all that stuff behind. I haven't watched an episode of the show in, I don't know how many years! 

In 2009, when J.J. Abrams released his first film in this franchise, I was an instant fan. I won't say that it got me back into the series but, I really enjoyed the fresh take on the characters. As well as how brilliant the story was written, and how it crossed over with the original series' timeline. So after missing it in theaters, and having to hunt it down from five Redbox machines, I was finally able to sit down and watch, "Into Darkness".

Much like it's predecessor, "Into Darkness" starts instantly with intense action and stays entertaining throughout. Aside from the one-liners, I enjoyed this one almost as much as I did the first film! Again, the action sequences are awesome, and borderline epic. Same goes for the cgi. I said it on Twitter, and I stand by the fact that J.J. Abrams has done to this series what Chris Nolan did to the Batman series, and I like it a lot.

I'm really satisfied that this one doesn't drop the ball, and keeps on rolling. The stakes are raised extensively high, this is to be expected when you have Khan as the main villain. I really liked Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as Khan, and rather than compare it to Ricardo Montalban's version of the character, I welcome it as a new take. A few people told me going into this that I shouldn't watch it with a hardcore Trekkie because they'll pick it apart with how it differentiates with the older flicks. Unfortunately, I watched this with my dad, so I didn't exactly take the advice given to me but, he liked it, the same as me.

There's a scene between Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) that I found profoundly sad. Good news is, it doesn't last long. There's a lot of rich story and character development between Spock and James Kirk, and we see them grow as characters. It's a nice touch to see them get along for once, instead of always being at each others' throats, like in the prior film.

This movie has a lot of underlying political tones that you can smell a mile a way. Especially when it comes to war. Some very serious and deep messaging in there. And what is great about this movie, is that it manages to go really dark, and takes risks. Things happen to characters all throughout that you don't expect, and aren't anticipating. It manages to stay fresh but, stay true to what we expect. Which is a hard thing to juggle.

"Into Darkness" is full of heart and hope, friendship, honor, and family. It's as uplifting and positive as it is dark. Managing a perfect balance of sinking so low, and then reaching so high, you're left excited and thrilled. Unfortunately, J.J. Abrams has announced he won't be on board for the third film due to being asked to shoot the new "Star Wars" film. I can truly say that he'll be missed, and I can only hope that they find a suitable replacement who will keep this series on the right track. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has been rumored to possibly be on board.

Aside from some senseless dialog at some points, and some over-the-top acting, "Into Darkness" is an overall success.

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