Star Trek: Into Darkness

May 12, 2013 at 9:46 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Or as I prefer to think of it Star Trek XI.

Director J.J. Abrams has done a great job.

Warning: Plot elements discussed.

The old gang (Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Bones and Scotty) take on John Harrison – a Federation operative gone rogue. Harrison has killed tens of people and some of the Federation’s top captains – including Christopher Pike. Joining the crew is Dr. Carol Marcus as science officer – much to Spock’s chagrin.

The re-boot of the Star Trek universe is still underway. The death of Captain Pike by phaser fire removes all of the old story threads that originate with the Captain-Pike-in-a-wheel-chair. The addition of a new character – Marcus – creates fresh opportunities.

The film is very much a character study – of Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) gets a significant look-in. Quinto’s Spock is softer than previous portrays. In some ways John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) acts like a mirror for Kirk. How is Kirk’s disregard for the rules different from Harrison’s ruthlessness. Cumberbatch plays a superb villan.

There are some nice combat – small unit and ship-to-ship – sequences. The original TV-series was strong on script because the cost of special effects. Today’s Star Trek TV-series and films are less shackled. Abrams gets the mix right. Having the Enterprise re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere is spectacular.

The opening third of the movie does a great job of dangling a number of possible plot directions; so it is a total surprise when Harrison’s real identity is revealed. This film re-boots one of the original TV episodes – “Space Seed”.

There were moments of light-heartedness: the throttle control on the Enterprise looks like a copy of the on on Galaxy Quest.

Well done to the Trailer director – who put together a completely different impression of the film.

Definitely worth seeing on the wide screen.

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