Review: Star Trek Into Darkness – Less Reboot, More Nostalgia (Alex’s)

Star Trek Into Darkness Poster

Star Trek Into Darkness | 2013 | J.J. Abrams | Paramount | May 16, 2013

If there was a mantra for Star Trek Into Darkness it should have been, “Old Tricks.” J.J. Abrams completely outdoes himself by successfully tapping into the Star Trek folklore in his sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. The sequel is bigger, bolder and just as equally entertaining as the first one.

The opening of the movie immediately jumps into heavy sequence as we are left off with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew getting into trouble as they excavate an uninhabited planet. The events of the poorly done excavation lead to his removal of command of The Enterprise. Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) withdraws Kirk’s captaincy. In the first film, Pike was the one to convince Kirk to join Starfleet. This time around, Pike still has faith in Kirk’s greatness but grows weary and frustrated and goes back to square one with his thoughts on Kirk.

Back on earth, a terrorist bombing occurs in London, which mandates a meeting by all the officers of Starfleet. They are properly cornered for a planned assassination attempt on them that is semi-successful. It is here we learn that the terrorist was in fact, a Starfleet officer gone rogue and goes by the name of John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The manhunt ensues and it tears apart both Kirk and Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) views on logic and instinct. This is as far as I can get into the plot without any spoilers.

What I can say though, is that this movie is a blockbuster masterpiece. Abrams magically finds a way to connect the nostalgia from the previous movies into the new one, without sacrificing freshness. You can go into this movie, only seeing the precursor and still enjoy it.

The acting is about all you can ask for in a movie like this. Benedict Cumberbatch, brings what lacked in the first one; a real juicy, memorable villain in John Harrison. His portrayal of John Harrison is elegant, conniving and ruthless. As a viewer he tugged away with my emotions in so many scenes. Pine and Quinto truly embrace the bromance in the sequel channeling theatricality that I thought neither of them had. Their on screen chemistry is perfect and one particular scene had me teary eyed. By the end of the movie I was convinced that the both of them were born to play this role. Karl Urban as Bones and Simon Pegg as Scotty were great comic relief but still had the chops to play the serious and emotional parts.

J.J. Abrams’ ultra kinetic style of camera work goes very well with the CGI implanted in the movie. The cinematography was beautiful, something difficult to achieve in modern day sci-fi movies. The hyper-framework of Abrams went particularly well with Michael Giachinno’s score. The two combined added for a more intense thrill ride.

I was overjoyed with this movie and I think most viewers will be. It has everything you want in a blockbuster movie; action, comedy and most of all, heart. J.J. Abrams drew enough from the past and injected it into his new Star Trek universe without sacrificing its integrity and for that he’s effectively made a damn good sequel.


Filmtastic Aggregate:
Will’s Score: 8.5/10
Filmtastic Aggregate Score: 8.8