J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

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J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by Deviss on Sat May 18, 2013 11:45 am

Deviss wrote:"C'mon Bones, it's gonna be fun!"

  • Story: Four and a half Stars
  • Acting: Five Stars
  • Directing: Four and a half Stars
  • Visuals: Five Stars
  • Overall: Four and a half Stars

While I can't remember exactly where it was, I've gone on record saying that I was by no means a Star Trek fan until I'd seen the 2009 reboot/revival "Star Trek" directed by the ever-adaptable J.J. Abrams. Did that cause me to want to go back and watch the past iterations of Trek in its various forms? Not in the slightest. I've had a general understanding of the past Trek; who played whom; the various movies being certain actors' starting points; and the villains that transcended that culture into becoming true Science Fiction icons and, quite possibly, household names. What J.J. Abrams had accomplished with his first Trek movie, and has done so again with its sequel, was a reinvention of that beloved franchise. Some might even call them a revitalization of something that toed the line between continued life and all-encompassing death. If those people haven't called it that before, they damn well should now.

---

After an unexpected attack on a secret Starfleet installation, perpetrated by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former Starfleet agent, Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine), First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), and rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise resolve to track the traitor down and make him answer for his actions. But all is not what it appears to be, as Kirk and his crew soon realize what they have gotten themselves involved with; an epic chess game with life and death consequences. Love will be put to the test, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Before I get into everything else, let me pose a question to you. You've heard of the "rule" saying that a sequel won't be as good as the movie that came before it, right? Good. Because of that, would it be too much for me to assume that you've heard of the rare handful of movies that have proven that "rule" to be a load of BS? No? Even better! I'm sure we all have different movies that come to mind, but for me it's always been "The Dark Knight". I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting, but that's beside the point. The point is that while the 2009 "Star Trek" was good, "Star Trek Into Darkness" is even better.

You might be thinking, "How can a self-proclaimed unlearned fan say such a thing? He doesn't know the history between these characters; the losses they've faced or the hardships they've endured. He doesn't know about this, that, and the other thing..." While all of that is true, I don't know EVERY last thing about the characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the others, I don't think director J.J. Abrams made his movies with that intention. Like any good director, Abrams made these two movies with the intent to bring in new fans to the vast Star Trek franchise, introduce them to the characters that people already love and cause those new fans to love them just as much. That has certainly happened for me. I'll always be Star Wars over Star Trek, but that might not matter anymore come 2015.

I'm getting off-track, back to this awesome movie. For weeks, maybe even months, before this movie's release, rumors abounded all across the vast Internet about who would be the next big bad in Star Trek 2. "It's this character!" and "No, it's this one! Here's why I'm right and you're wrong..." were all I saw on the various message boards and YouTube video comments. Having only a general knowledge of the villains of Trek, and not having the years of experience and moments like others did, I had no personal stake in who would be the villain. I had my own ideas, of course, but I was interested to see what Abrams would decide to do above all else. Unlike some other reviews here on MW, I'll stick the to rule I've had since the beginning of my career here and not spoil anything.

The returning actors and actresses of Pine, Quinto, Urban, Pegg, Cho, and Saldana are just as fun as we remember them from the first outing, albeit some having diminished roles in this movie, and every actor/actress has successfully cemented themselves in the embodiment of their respective characters. While a reboot could happen some years down the road, these are the versions of the characters will be the ones that stick with me.

But let us address the new additions to the Star Trek cast: Benedict Cumberbatch and Alice Eve. While the latter was reasonably memorable and enjoyable in her performance, the former outshines her and very nearly everyone else on the roster. The only other movie I've seen Benedict in was 2011's "War Horse" and I'm sure we all can agree that was no good measure of his proficient acting ability. Some of you might be thinking of the BBC adaptation series Sherlock, but I have yet to watch any of that simply because, for the longest time, Robert Downey Jr. was my Sherlock Holmes. After having seen him in this however, I am seriously interested in seeing what Benedict can do as the great detective and even more eager to see his voicing/portrayal of the villain Smaug in the next Hobbit movie.

As is my usual custom, the soundtrack for "Into Darkness" is falling over my ears as I type this out. Giacchino has delivered a wonderful soundtrack yet again, with tracks that bring the events of the movie right back to the forefront of memory, and with rather clever titles in some cases. If you've seen the first "Star Trek" and enjoyed the soundtrack for that, I would recommend you look into buying or downloading the soundtrack for this movie soon.

While it there hasn't been much said about it yet, I am very eager to see what Abrams, or whomever takes up the director's chair, for the third installment in the Star Trek franchise. And the one thing that I would be remiss in not including is the satiated belief that there is no one better to usher in a new era of Star Wars films. 2015 is a long ways away, but after seeing "Into Darkness", and reading the various message boards, interviews, and articles, I've no doubt that Abrams' movie will be something that changes the landscape of Sci-Fi movies, and geek culture forever. Just as "Into Darkness" has done.

This was a review by tMG, and while I really appreciate the read, you really should let me get back to sleep!

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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by foxrock66(Roadkill) on Sat May 18, 2013 4:00 pm

I'll read this over in a bit. I've got my own review on the way, need to put finishing touches on it. It was an interesting ride, to be sure.

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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by Tempest on Thu May 23, 2013 8:42 pm

Like I said on Foxy's LOVED this one. Khan was greeeeaaaat!
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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by frang on Sat May 25, 2013 4:07 pm

I hate to sound negative about ST movies, but I stopped going to see them way back in the 1990s. I liked the TV shows, except for Enterprise.

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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by Denjie on Sat May 25, 2013 5:44 pm

frang wrote:I hate to sound negative about ST movies, but I stopped going to see them way back in the 1990s. I liked the TV shows, except for Enterprise.
I've seen all the movies and I've seen most of the series except Deep Space 9. Ugh that show.

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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by Deviss on Fri May 31, 2013 9:05 am

Tempest wrote:Khan was greeeeaaaat!
Wasn't he though? I haven't seen Cumberbatch in much, but damn I loved him in this role!

frang wrote:I hate to sound negative about ST movies, but I stopped going to see them way back in the 1990s. I liked the TV shows, except for Enterprise.
Don't worry about being negative dude, there's always a place for that, so long as you're not flying off the handle. I have to ask though, have you seen the '09 Abrams Trek movie?

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Re: J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Post by frang on Fri May 31, 2013 3:23 pm

Nope. When I swear off of a thing, I go all in. First Contact was the last one I saw. Before that one, I had only seen two other ST movies. After that one, none of them appealed to me, that's when I kicked ST movies to the curb.

I've seen every episode of every ST series except for Enterprise....and I managed to grit my teeth and watch the first two seasons of that one....so go figure.

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