TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3861 - Today's blog is guest blogged by my wife, Tina LoSasso! (Pictured at the top left photo.)
Review: Star Trek Into Darkness
WARNING: if you haven't seen Star Trek Into Darkness, this review contains mild spoilers.
As the title indicates, this second installment in the J.J. Abrams reboot of Star Trek is darker. What exactly is darker? Is it the villian? Is it the setting? The events? The motivations? I leave it for you to decide for yourself. For me, it was humanity. But don't worry, this is after all, Star Trek and we still have the five year mission of peaceful exploration that is the Original Series ahead of us, assuming the timeline is intact. Of course after Abrams' prequel maybe I shouldn't even mention "timeline". My apologies, purists.
Unlike previous movies in the franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness pits Kirk and crew against a human threat, a bio-engineered one, but human nonetheless. After a terrorist destroys a secret Star Fleet facility hidden under the Kelvin Archives (a nod to J.J. Abrams' grandfather), the Star Fleet command convenes to deal with the threat. Apparently Kirk never saw Godfather III. He realizes too late that When you've been attacked, never gather everyone in the same room...in a high story building...with really big windows. In this case, a gunship manned by our terrorist villian does the job. Kirk and the Enterprise is then dispatched to terminate him in his Klingon hiding place.
This leads to a scene that will thrill Star Trek fans the world over -- Uhura conversing with a Klingon warrior. I've never heard so much extended Klingon dialogue since I stumbled into that Klingon play at San Diego Comic Con. For the rest of you, no worries, there are sub-titles.
I mention the Klingons only to point out that there's very little in the way of non-human characters in this Star Trek. Aside, of course from Spock, the aforementioned Klingons and assorted aliens of the Enterprise crew (it felt a bit like the Star Wars cantina - forgive me, I had to say it), that was pretty much it for aliens after the opening scene. All of which serves to keep us focused on the emotional elements of the story.
The cast does a commendable job of reintroducing us to the younger versions of themselves that we met in the previous film. Not an easy task. The jokes already out. We've already seen young Kirk, Bones, Scotty, Chekov, Uhura, and Zachary Quinto's amazing Spock. Instead we see more of their mannerisms, how they bond, and how they become the crew of the Original Series. It's good stuff. For me, the most fun of the movie.
If the crew doesn't hook you, then this Star Trek movie's villian, well played by BBC Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, will. I hate to name his character because that might ruin some of the fun for you. But suffice it to say, I kept wondering if that coat he ran around in was made of rich Corithian leather. Cumberbatch is fun to watch and his character is an interesting twist for a Sci-Fi villian and fun foil for Kirk.
I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness. It was much less Sci-Fi than the previous prequel. At the same time, there were plot points I could see a few light years ahead. (Although they did fool me with Kirk insisting that Chekov change into a red shirt; I kept thinking he'd be a goner.) Happily for me and perhaps you, Star Trek into Darkness focuses on the human element in Sci-Fi which makes us care about what happens to the crew and manages to set us up nicely for the Original Series.
Rating: 8.5 (Very Fine Plus) VF+ out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.
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