I love the Star Trek franchise. Love. When I want to relax and be entertained, I watch the original episodes (you remember: when William Shatner was hot). The original films are hilarious, due to the time period in which they’re made and the crew’s overwhelming affinity for getting fat and old. The TV show and original films are different animals, but I love them both. Same can be said for the newly realized JJ Abrams vision.
The first Abrams film came out in 2009 and featured a revamped, youthful Enterprise crew. Not only did I find the casting to be impeccable (Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are the perfect Kirk and Spock), but the movie itself was one thrill after another, with comic quips to keep the tension at least somewhat lessened. However, much like Into Darkness, I watched the first modern Star Trek curled in a little ball. Abrams knows suspense, man; no joke!
When I saw the first trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness, I was concerned, because the movie looked so serious! How could Star Trek be so serious?
I wanted to see the movie no matter what. I had to see it, because I knew Benedict Cumberbatch played the villain. Ever since my introduction to BBC’s Sherlock, I’ve been a self-admitted “Cumberbitch” (or member of the “Cumber-Collective;” the name has been changing ever since Ben revealed that calling ourselves “bitches” sets feminism back a few decades). Regardless of what we Cumber-fans call ourselves, I couldn’t wait to see him play a bad guy—and a super bad guy at that. The skinny Brit went up two suit sizes due to an extensive work out regiment and eating “like a foie gras goose,” as he put it. Sexy. Mmmmmm … What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, the MOVIE.
Although the trailers do try to make Into Darkness something serious, it really isn’t. I laughed just as hard, if not more so, in Abram’s Star Trek, part deux. The actors nailed their roles. I must apologize to the original Star Trek cast, but you’ve been replaced by the modern cast—because they, each and every one of them, are perfect, especially the leading men, but also background character Scotty in particular (Simon Pegg), who was a repeated source of comic relief.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Cumberbatch does actually play Khan (it’s been rumored for, like, a year). He is one creepy dude, and good old Benny has now joined the ranks of Javier Bardem: versatile, talented men who can play heroes, yes, but their mastery is in evil.
The fight scenes: stupendous. Action shots: wonderful. Jake and I often complain about action films moving too fast. I hate when you can’t tell who’s punching who or who’s shooting at what. Abrams did a good job of keeping everything clear. When Khan blows up a bunch of Klingons, you know. When Spock tosses guys onto their backs in crazy Vulcan flip-moves, you know. However, the film isn’t only action, action, action.
The film has feelings. The film has emotion. The film has character development, and at times, you’re not even sure who you’re rooting for. I love the actors in this movie. Love them. And although sitting in fetal position for two hours isn’t exactly comfortable, my reaction speaks to the directing and impressive cinematography. Into Darkness is a well-made film, and if there was an Oscar for “Best Collective Effort by Cast and Crew,” I’d say this movie should win.
I don’t often suggest people spend inordinate amounts of cash, but Into Darkness is one for the big screen. Pony up the dough and go see it in a theater, would you? You can thank me later.