I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, as a kid I used to stay up until 2am on Sundays just so I could watch the latest episode – why it reran at this time I have no idea. As a result I woke up every Monday on the wrong side of the bed. But despite that it was well worth it. Captain Picard and his crew flew from planet to planet and as far as I was concerned each episode was as original as the next. The TV show ended in 1994 and with it came a few films that were anything what I had hoped for. Now a new generation of Star Trek movies are upon us and they’re directed by JJ Abrams. But this you already know, especially if you saw the 2009 blockbuster.
Now, 4 years later, comes another Star Trek film that picks up where the last left off. That isn’t to say it’s the same story, but much like the first Star Trek film from Abrams, this one follows a similar blueprint. And while that may disuade some from rushing to theaters to see this film, I assure you it’s anything but boring.
“Into Darkness” isn’t so much a sequel as it’s a rehashing, or an homage to The Wrath of Khan. It’s been years since I saw that film so I’m not about to begin to draw parallels. Nevertheless, it’s not the same film, though it draws inspiration. Inspiration that is aptly suited and plays well to the big screen, especially for a new generation of Star Trek fans.
Action packed might be an understatement – there is barely a point in the film that you have to time breathe and for that I love “Into Darkness”, as well as Abrams and the trio of screenwriters. The movie goes and goes, and gives you little time to think. That said, it’s not completely devoid of multilayered plot, but nor is it overly complicated.
Aside from the opening scene you’re immediately fired into the action that pairs perfectly with Kirk’s recent demotion (I’m trying to avoid any spoiler alerts). And much like a good mob movie, “Into Darkness” is a tail of betrayal and revenge, albeit with spaceships, aliens, and super human strength.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of the Klingons, though when we do the action is well-timed, aggressively fast and piques oh so well when one is revealed to communication officer Uhura. This part of the film, as do many others, serves as a perfect sequitur to the next arc – there are about 5 or 6. In other words, just when you think the film is going to end it doesn’t. And although this breaks from the 3 arc tradition, it works perfectly for the next generation of film goer, who is accustom to touchscreen accessible, instantaneous information.
There are no rapid twists and turns in “Into Darkness”. It’s relatively straight shooting (pardon the pun), though throughout the film I was waiting to turn the proverbial corner and find one. Khan’s motives are largely rooted in a simple and core value, which is family. It may sound odd, but because of this you can’t help but feel empathetic towards him despite the disdain you adopt rather early in the film. It makes you wonder if the plot will take a turn, and while it does, it gets right back on track and justifies those feelings of resentment towards the character.
“Into Darkness” isn’t without flaw – there are a few “why didn’t they just do that, it would’ve been easier moments” – but for the most part it’s an excellent film. Direction is solid, though Keith Urban gets a bit too, well Keith Urban, and this could just be attributed to his overplaying of the Bones character. The action is phenomenally well executed and choreographed, there is just the right amount of satire, and ultimately this all equates to a sci-fi action flick that most certainly justifies a DVD rewatch.
I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, as a kid I used to stay up until 2am on Sundays just so I could watch the latest episode – why it reran at this time I have no idea. As a result I woke up every Monday on the wrong side of [...]