#505/#56 Star Trek: Into Darkness
When a rouge Starfleet operative (Benedict Cumberbatch) takes out the top brass and escapes; Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the crew of the Enterprise must track him into Klingon territory. All might not be as it seems however, and soon they find themselves in a fight for their lives.
Having generally liked the 2009 Star Trek film, but also having no particularly strong emotions for it or the original series, I was interested to see how the follow up did without really putting any expectations on it. I think Into Darkness did a remarkably good job at maintaining the tone it set with the reboot while also upping the ante the way a good sequel should.
You’ve got to give it to the visual effects, set design and the sound people for this film firstly, because sections of this movie are just beautiful and really put me at ease for what JJ Abrams is going to be injecting into the Star Wars universe soon. The space battles look epic, the ship interiors look futuristic while still functional and the score was grandiose when needed and complementary when an emotional scene required it. Great stuff all around.
From the cast I thought Pine and Cumberbatch were the clear stand outs in this instalment with Quninto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones and Simon Pegg as Scotty all getting an increased role this time around as well. Even John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Chekov got at least one moment within which to shine. Alice Eve as Carol Marcus was the only one who really felt more like a plot point than a character.
Pine, who I’ve generally thought was kinda so-so in everything I’ve seen him in, was wonderful as Kirk this time around. He really brought an emotional element to the role, especially when dealing with Bruce Greenwood’s Pine character and with Spock, which you didn’t get in the 2009 movie. Coming from the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve always thought Cumberbatch was good actor but getting to see him as a villain this time around was a real treat. Some of the lines he gets to give and some of the actions he takes are wonderful to watch. Nero, from the original, was so forgettable that it was great to see Cumberbatch come in and just own this movie.
I’d definitely say this was a worthy follow up, and probably even surpasses, the 2009 reboot. Other than a bit of a lackluster final conclusion, some homage fatigue and a few logic failings here and there this movie is top notch. Can’t wait for Star Wars Episode 7 and Star Trek 3 now. 4.5/5