Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness - A Two-Minute Movie Review

The crew is back in the second installment of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot. Star Trek Into Darkness is an action-packed tour de force that bests its predecessor while upping the ante on our expectations for Abrams' Star Wars VII. Without the hassles of origin story necessities weighing it down, Into Darkness is free to start with a sprint, which it does,literally. It stops only to catch its breath occasionally when the plot demands something other than lasers, photon torpedoes and phasers set to stun. It's a thrill-a-minute popcorn movie that all other popcorn movies should strive to be. It's what most of the Transformers movies should have been, and weren't. But it's more than that; Into Darkness is often funny and occasionally teary, the former more than the latter. It's also pure Star Trek. Okay, there are probably Trekkies who may find faults, particularly in the way it revisits decades-old story lines, but Trek-lovers should be more than satisfied with Abrams' work. 


Even after the second movie, I'm still amazed at how well-casted these films are. Simon Pegg's Scotty is dead-on, as is scene-stealing Karl Urban as Bones. But Zachary Quinto, as the stoic Spock, is the real shiner here. His Spock is as logical as he is ripe with pent-up emotion (being 1/2 human 1/2 Vulcan). His scenes with Chris Pine's Kirk are crisp and true to the original duo. As *** (Abrams chose not to name the enemy prior to releasing the film, so I won't name him either) Benedict Cumberbatch is cold, concrete-strong, and a worthy adversary. In all, the acting throughout is top-notch. 


Not nearly as confusing as the first Star Trek, but complex enough to feel satisfied that we aren't just being fed special effects, Into Darkness is clever and well-crafted. The movie has just the right mix of humor (per Star Trek regulations, it seems) and action, never taking itself too seriously. After all, we don't expect the main characters to die. This isn't LOST


Awesome. Nothing looks obviously green-screened or fake. The space sequences are seamless. And the new depiction of warp speed is a welcome change. 


Star Trek Into Darkness is this year's best movie. Iron Man III is good; Into Darkness is better. But see them both. If these two movies are any indication of the quality yet to come this summer, we'll all be happy campers come August. Star Trek Into Darkness is rated PG-13. 

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