I'll confess that I haven't watched every episode of every Star Trek series, or seen every movie, but I still love Star Trek, maybe just because it is a successful sic-fi series, and those are too rare for my liking.
I have seen JJ Abrams 2009 version of Star Trek, and enjoyed it very much. When I heard he was helming the sequel, Into Darkness, and that Benidect Cumberbatch would be playing the villain, and that Damon Lindeolf, of Lost and Prometheus fame would also be co-writing and producing the movie, my mind just about exploded.
And now the movie has been unleashed upon the public, and all those months of hoping and praying for an amazing movie are set to either be fulfilled or crushed like a lion's father in a herd of some sort of deer-like things.
|Yes Spock, volcanos be hot.|
This movie takes place in the same forked universe of 2009's Star Trek. The movie begins with an awesome looking scene involving an underwater starship and a lot of running through a cool jungle, being chased by natives, and being in a volcano. Captain Kirk, as he always does, bends the rules a bit in order to save the life of his friend Spock. Kirk is demoted for breaking the rules and showing a starship to a civilization that had barely invented the wheel, and he is all sad. Then a Star Fleet archive is blown up, and people die, and a big meeting of all the captains and second in commands is called. Kirk attends, and realizes too late that it was a set up. The meeting is attacked and his mentor and several others are killed.
The big bad guy behind it all is revealed to be none other than Sherlock Holmes, or at least, the villain is played by the guy who plays Holmes in Sherlock. Either way, it's revealed who the criminal is, and Kirk is ordered by the head of Star Fleet to chase after him and kill him. This makes Spock and several other nervous because Star Fleet is supposed to be about exploring, not killing. These people are even more worried when the guy in charge gives Kirk 72 very dangerous, experimental photon torpedoes.
From here, the movie takes all sorts of exciting twists and turns.
The plot of the whole film is simply incredible. The story is great in basically every way, which means the only real problems with the movie are what the creators decide to focus on, and how the story is executed. Sure, there are minor problems with the story, there are some (okay, maybe a lot) of clichés (Yay, we caught the bad guy! But wait, maybe he wanted to be captured!), but they actually work fairly well within the movie, and they didn't distract me from the movie like the clichés and plot holes in Prometheus did.
|Holy crap, its The Avengers and Skyfall all over again!|
There are many great characters in Abrams' Star Trek universe, and they were all examined very well in the 2009 film, and they all developed great personalities that worked really well together. In Into Darkness however, most of the characters are just sort of there. Kirk and Spock, of course, are still examined closely and awesomely, but even Spock's sort of girlfriend just kind of stands there and occasionally makes a comment on her relationship.
The dynamic between the characters is still there, and it's awesome. The wide array of character types mix amazingly well together, and the dialogue is (for the most part) very, very well written.
The dynamics between the characters also provide the comic relief of the movie. This movie mixes the darkness and evilness of the villain, and the terrible tragedies that all the good guys go through with just the right amount of great humor (my favorite line: "I'm running!"). This mixture is what Iron Man 3 should have aimed for, more towards the darkness and less towards the dumb comedy. Instead, Iron Man 3 came off as a comedy with a dramatic plot.
|Scottie is pretty great throughout.|
The ever evolving plot of this movie really surprised me. From the trailers, it seems like the whole movie is hunting for Cumberbatch, but the bad guy and the issue at hand changes dramatically throughout, always keeping you on your toes.
The action scenes are all pretty amazing, but there sometimes seems like there are too many of them. Looking back, I don't really see any that could be left out, but at times it felt like last years Total Recall which was basically one long chase scene.
If you're a big fan of the original series, or TNG or have seen the first couple of movies, the ending of the movie, and some parts in the middle will bother you a lot. I won't give it away here, but there are several copy and paste scenes that come off wrong, and THEY USE THE QUOTE. And they use it so weirdly and I'm not sure if I like it.
If you're not a big Trekkie, then the use of "the quote" and the whole scene with it will be a little weird, because it's not as emotional as it should be unless you understand the history behind the quote.
Other, small notes
- I was surprised by the amount of mystery and confusion in this movie. The trailers didn't really mention it at all, and the mystery played out really well.
- The mystery is the same kind of mystery faced in the first half of Oblivion.
- The visuals in this movie are awesome. The beginning scene is so beautiful it reminded me of Skyfall, and the constant contrast between the white/silver starship and the primary colors of their outfits always looked great.
- I have always loved the future that all of Star Trek takes place in, because it is so founded in science and everything seems completely plausible. I hate movies where it's like "in 5 years we will have teleportation and everything will be perfect and everything will be all glossy white and hover and we'll cure cancer and it will be great." Most future movies seem like Apple designed everything, and it's just not realistic. Star Trek has always ridden the line closely, but I think Into Darkness leans more towards the plausible looking future.
- The way people in the 60s pictured 2013 was almost always wrong. They pictured huge round skyscrapers everywhere, flying cars, lots of glass and shiny white, clean things. They were wrong. Most movies take this same sort of view on the next couple of decades, thinking everything will be perfect. It won't be.
- The review may come off as overly negative, but I tend to focus more on the errors and less on what was done right. A lot was done right in this movie, however, and my final score reflects that.
If you like big budget summer action movies, this is amazing. If you love scifi, this is great. If you like 2009's Star Trek, this is incredible. If you're a die hard, "I've seen every episode and every movie" Star Trek fan, several things about this will really annoy you. Depending on your loyalty to the originals, you may or may not be able to get over it.
But most likely, you will enjoy this film very, very much, because it's pretty freaking great.
The IMDB score takes into account over 1,000 ratings and reviews from both critics and regular people.