I fought long and hard with myself while looking in a men’s room mirror of the Brownsburg 8 theater. Would I start this out with a positive or a negative? Obviously I’ve started it out with a story of myself in the bathroom, so take from that what you will.
The first thing I have to say is that I was engaged and entertained for the entirety of the movie (with one slip-up). It was beautifully executed and not quite as blinding as the 2009 reboot, so no Star Trek II: The Wrath of Lens Flare here. In other words, this is the prettiest that Star Trek has ever been “shat on”.
This is not the terrible movie my Trekkie compatriots would lead you to believe. One of the biggest successes with this outing was how well the time with the crew was balanced. We have…
-Zoe Saldana as Uhura speaking Klingon and regularly “interacting” with Spock,
-John Cho as Sulu being as competent as an acting captain as he is a helmsman,
-Anton Yelchin as Chekov taking over (temporarily) as Chief Engineering Officer and saving Kirk and Spock,
-Alice Eve as Carol Marcus being the hottest woman I’ve ever seen in a Starfleet uniform,
-Karl Urban as “Bones” giving us witty metaphors and lots of “damnits”,
-Simon Pegg as “Scotty” being… well, Simon Pegg.
Even old Spock was there, but I’m not really sure why…
Benedict Cumberbatch is so charismatic and likable that I kept forgetting who he was supossed to be, thus aiding in it’s separation from “The Movie” everyone keeps drawing comparisons to. In fact, I see more of the episode Space Seed than ST: II, though some Wrath does pop up. He also pulled so much from George Lucas again that it is no surprise that he got on the Star Wars train and will no doubt ride that to cash city, USA.
Remember that spoiler tag? They kill Kirk in a role reversal of Wrath of Khan‘s climax. Quinto slipped so well into the Spock role that I forgot for a moment that this Spock is not really the Spock than I’ve been watching my entire life. When he welled up and cried, I felt some pulls on the old heart strings. This cold, logical half-man that we’ve barely seen crack is falling apart as his best friend’s life comes to an end. Then he yelled “KHAAAAAAN!” and I snapped back to reality and laughed at the absurdity of the whole scene, as did the rest of the audience. This scene alone derailed the movie for several people, and the silliness only gets worse as they waste little time bringing him back from the dead… with Khans blood. Shouldn’t have killed him, shouldn’t have yelled, shouldn’t have brought him back so soon especially with Khan’s Blood (which needs to be a new energy drink in my opinion).
BOTTOM LINE: Into Darkness is a great sci-fi movie. It has it’s plot holes and it steals from the genre more often then not, but is thoroughly enjoyable and a better offering than a lot of flicks lately.
It does not, however, feel like Star Trek (which is becoming a regular occurrence for their movies)It keeps interesting characters and doesn’t do away with the story, but it also feels like it was run through the Michel Bay filter of IN YOUR FACE ACTION! That may be a bit too harsh, even if the Klingon ships DO look a bit like Decepticons…
If you like Sci-fi? Go see it. If you’re a Trek fan? You should have already seen it! Either way, just go into it keeping in mind that it’s not perfect, but will have some gems (section 31, “Mudd Incident“, etc) that only we fans will pick up on.
I look forward to hearing what you all think.
Be safe and stay nerdy,
Rob is a life-long Trekkie and a huge fan of comas. He uses them way, too, much.