Monday, November 4, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Cast: Christopher Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve, Anton Yelin

Director: J.J. Abrams

Synopsis: Christopher Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the next chapter of the Star Trek for a new generation. The Enterprise is sent on a dangerously abnormal Starfleet mission, which Kirk and Spock must bring to justice rogue Starfleet Operative Jon Harrison. As the mission unfolds, there is more to both Harrison and the mission itself. J.J. Abrams continues this adventurous reboot further growing Kirk’s abilities, Spock’s humanity, and their philosophies of Starfleet and their own missions.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4/5 Reels


In one of the most anticipated summer blockbusters, J.J. Abrams delivers once again. With the entire cast of the Star Trek (2009) reboot returning to screen everything that we loved about the previous film continues to build upon. Kirk continues to lead the Enterprise as he sees fit despite the council of others and Starfleet regulations. Spock continues to be the voice of reason Kirk ought to have in himself all the while going through his own development and relationship with Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Uhura once again proves her own abilities while still being the cliché girlfriend. Bones (Karl Urban) continues his trademark idioms, Scotty’s (Simon Pegg) genius is under appreciated, Chekov (Anton Yelin) and Sulu (John Cho) continue to take the results of Kirk’s pride.

This 132 minute sequel wastes no time dropping the audience in both action filled chase of what appears to be a minor mission, which develops into the conflicting philosophies of Kirk and Spock while laying the groundwork for the greater issues that the crew will have to work out as they navigate through space, their mission, and their relationships with one another. Is Kirk indeed ready to be Captain following his ascent from probationary cadet to Captain? Can he listen to the council of his crew without endangering his pride or their safety?

J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster offering remains true to the alternative universe to justify the remake while giving the present generation an Enterprise and crew they can take ownership of. Abrams gives both homage to the original trademark characteristics of the crew while offering much more than a repackaged movie with updated special effects, which has been Hollywood’s leading genre in recent years. The cinematography and epic theme music from the first reboot returns to us at the most opportune moments giving the same sense of awe both visually and mentally. At the same time, in true summer blockbuster fashion, Abram’s still manages to utterly destroy another city in a movie that primarily takes place in space.

Lens flares aside, J.J. Abrams seems to have taken some notes from Zack Snyder’s Batman reboots giving both engaging plot while at the same time offering themes and conflicts that our own society is trying to answer. There are masked references to the United States’ use of drone warfare in a foreign sovereign land, extra judicial killing, and pre-emptive strikes as national policy. In this film, both the action-seeking film fan, the gamer, and the war theorist can come together over a smoothie to discuss the generational shout-outs like a HALO inspired space jump, lens flares that blow the mind, or the deeper philosophies of each character and how they apply them to the supposedly non-militarized Starfleet on mission to peacefully explore sentient life across the universe.

By Joseph Lake

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