For once, yours truly is going to embrace the “I” review for “Star Trek Into Darkness.” And here’s what I’m talking about…
I thought the 132 minute script penned by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman for the 2009 remake was pure brilliance. Dabbling with time travel is usually a death blow for a movie. Yet these guys enabled it to be one of the flick’s biggest assets.
I have high expectations for just two films this year and this sequel was one of them. And once again, the brainpower of the above mentioned scripting duo (along with the addition of Damon Lindelof for this go-around) , the in-tune nature of director J.J. Abrams, the sound special-effect gurus, and the pitch-perfect cast, my expectations were not only met…they were surpassed.
Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is officially at the helm of the Enterprise and is supported by all the usual suspects: Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Zulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Life is good for the crew until one of their own (Benedict Cumberbatch) wages an audacious one-man terror assault on Star Fleet headquarters in London. After leaving a path of destruction, the rogue commander then flees to the Klingon home planet where federation jurisdictions prevent a vengeful Kirk and Co. from pursuing. Under the orders of Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), a tactful mission to stop the cunning super-human-like defector is executed, where the goal is to avoid starting a war with the testy Klingon armada.
First off, this is the best sci-fi action/drama product I’ve seen since, uh, the initial reboot. Abrams balances out every element (action, gizmos, eclectic characters/worlds, etc.) to please all whom takes pleasure in the genre. And with the legions of Trekkies, he knows exactly how to caress their respective geek bones to the point that even if he tweaks something major from the source material, he’ll still earn an approving nod.
The exhilarating opening, where the mechanical tone is articulated, preps you for an entrancing cinematic voyage that boasts both smarts and impactful visual stimulation. When it transitions to following a charismatic, yet subtly brooding Captain Kirk, his interaction with all the key players brings out the character development one needs to willfully care about each component. Sure the camera is predominantly on Kirk, but the script weaves him through the entire scope of the Star Trek universe and you naturally become fascinated by the important and the trivial aspects on display. And I thoroughly enjoy how Abrams will take time to showcase the worlds and/or atmosphere he’s created, which also play a part in telling the story.
When J.J. Abrams shows off (i.e. watching a space craft fly into a loading dock, and then see the unloading of characters onboard, all in one continuous shot that it appears “real”) is spellbinding. Let’s just say he gets my approval to helm the next batch of Star Wars flicks. I just can’t get over how he and his team were able to match the genius of the reboot. Seriously, the only nitpicking thing you can say about this is that it had to end. The reason it had to end though is because I now understand what it means to shoot a complete and technically sound movie (i.e. don’t get greedy and leave the audience salivating for more).
And now is the time to end this “I love everything” review due to the twisting nature and surprises the script unleashes at key points. I’ll never write a spoiler folks or write another “I” review for a long time.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is rated PG-13 and opens in the Tampa Bay market on Wednesday.