Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Review

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine (r) in Star Trek Into Darkness

From our friends at DC Film Review...

Star Trek: Arm the Torpedoes

‘James Tiberius Perfect.’ Everyone’s favorite Starfleet Academy graduate is back (fellow crew intact) in J. J. Abrams’ flashy sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. Though not as polished as its predecessor, Into Darkness delivers all the necessary bells and whistles to satisfy your Star Trek cravings (at least until the next sequel.)

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes 'Star Trek Into Darkness.' When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

What’s Best: ‘Sounds like we have a Superman on board.’ He’s not Ricardo Montalb├ín; but Benedict Cumberbatch makes a welcome addition to the franchise, even if he spends most of the movie trying to kill everybody else. Cumberbatch’s Commander Harrison proves a worthy opponent (especially when Kirk throws every punch in the book at him, with zero effect.) Otherwise, Into Darkness relies on some of the same old (but effective) tricks: It’s hard not to enjoy the exchange of banter between “old friends.” Scotty (Simon Pegg) takes a big step up, and the film is better for it. Special effects are average at best, but kudos for a cool “catch-up” mid-warp towards the end of the movie.

What’s Not: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’ Forgive me for borrowing from another mega film franchise (Spider-Man) but Uncle Ben’s fateful words apply to Abrams’ Star Trek sequel too. Like it or not, Into Darkness has huge shoes to fill (it was our choice for Best Film of 2009) and sadly... Abrams & co. fall a little short of matching the original’s overall joy and success. 3D effects are worthless (Should you pay an extra $3-4 to see a couple of spears chucked in your direction?) Trekkies may frown at the similarities to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it’s not like this franchise hasn’t copied itself before. There’s a hurried feel throughout... Some things shouldn’t be rushed.

Best Line: All that “back and forth” produces a slew of great lines, such as Kirk’s ‘Never trust a Vulcan,’ ‘I’m not going to take ethics lessons from a robot,’ and my personal favorite, ‘Sometimes I want to rip the bangs off his head.’ All three volleys are directed at Spock (I thought these guys were best mates?) As colorful as Kirk’s zingers are, they don’t hold a candle to Dr. McCoy’s trademark, ‘Damn it man: I’m a doctor, not a torpedo technician!’ Bones!

Overall: Expectations were high, and despite not matching the original... Into Darkness still manages to entertain Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. I could do without Abrams’ all-too-frequent, shifty camera angles; but the movie is easy enough to follow, and loaded with fun. As far as sequels and summer blockbusters, Star Trek Into Darkness fills the bill on both counts.

Grade: B