Shall We Begin . . .
In 2009 I went to the theater with some friends to see a remake of a movie I had never seen in the first place. I grew up a die-hard Star WARS fan. Toys, cards, movies, costumes, the works.
While I wasn't completely ignorant of it, Star TREK was nowhere on the radar. I had seen a TV show episode here and there. I'd seen bits and pieces of the Wrath of Khan and First Contact. I could point out Mr. Spock in a crowd. But it really wasn't my think, and I found it kind of goofy.
My expectations for J. J. Abrams new spin on the series were pretty low, if not completely uninformed. Abrams made LOST. That was enough for me to work with.
If you've seen that movie, you know how good it was. Needless to say, I loved it and became a Trek fan, of sorts.
Star Trek: Into Darkness was probably my most anticipated summer movie.
It's risky to admit that because I then had huge expectations for what Abrams would bring to the table for round 2.
Into Darkness essentially picks up where the first film left off. Jim Kirk finds himself a young captain trying to prove his value and leadership to both his superior officers and his crew. When several attacks by a mysterious, rogue member of Star Fleet leave the ranks in a frenzy, Jim must prove himself by leading the mission to bring the menace to justice.
With the movie as a spectacle, Abrams brings a bigger, bolder film to the screen. The CG is not over the top (see also GATSBY) and the action scenes are clean and fluid. I saw the movie in standard format, as I am not a huge fan of 3D; so I can't comment on how that looked.
Abrams is a master of visuals, but what I love about Star Trek is that he doesn't lose his characters in the midst of it all.
Into Darkness maintains the character arcs and collisions of all our favorites, the most of which is between Kirk and Spock. Witty dialogue and genuine emotion flow throughout the script, allowing the audience to feel attached to these characters amidst the fast-paced plot line.
My favorite new addition to this sequel, however, is the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
I am not largely familiar with most of his work, but the guy brought it as a simultaneously commanding yet restrained force of evil. His one big speech in particular was a defining moment in the film and glued the whole story together.
Abrams has done a fantastic job preserving the spirit of the original films, weaving in story lines and goodies from the older franchise. The film moves quickly, but it isn't overwhelming for the audience. I'm not ready to say that this film tops the original Abrams movie from 2009, but it is a great second chapter in the saga. Go see it.
Already seen it? What did you think?