MOVIE: Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

stintodarknesssI feel like I don’t really need to “review” this movie, per se, in that if you liked the first one, you’re going to go see this one no matter what I say, and you’re probably going to have a grand old time.  Personally, I loved it.  I think I liked it better than the first one, in fact, possibly because the relationships between the characters really start to expand and deepen this time around. But even if I had negative things to say about ST:ID, I know they would in no way deter a Star Trek fan from going to see it.  If Star Trek fans threw in the towel every time an installment sucked, the franchise never would’ve survived Deep Space Nine (at a minimum).

That said, I don’t, in fact, have anything (much) negative to say about it (it’s maybe a little overly self-referential), and before you naysayers say nay, let me just throw this out there because it’s the one I keep hearing the most:  yes, it’s very predictable.  NO DOY.  It’s both a prequel and a remake, which, granted, is somewhat confusing, but either way, it’s not like you have to be worried one of the major characters isn’t going to make it home alive, dig?  Nor is it supposed to be an exercise in perfection and/or thoughtful script-writing.  It’s a Star Trek movie!  By J. J. Abrams!  Stop thinking so much!

(Though, okay, I will grant you this much:  How is it that however-many-hundreds of years from now, we apparently have worse radar technology instead of better, and therefore don’t see a ship crashing on us from space until it’s literally crashing on us from space?  I mean, we can see stuff before it falls on us NOW and we haven’t even left our own solar system.  You’d think with a sky full of bad guys, Earth would be paying a little more attention to what was heading its way from above.  Although, since a ship of humans invade Qo’noS in this movie (I looked up how to spell “Kronos” in Klingon for you guys) and all they encounter in response is a coupla Klingon squad cars, it seems as though pretty much nobody is on the ball  in the future, which, whatever, guys.  It’s not how I’d do it, but maybe it’s a job security thing?)

BUT ANYWAY!  Instead of telling you all about the awesomeness of this awesome movie that was totally awesome, I wanted to tell you something more interesting (to me, anyway).  After watching this installment, I went home from the theater and immediately loaded up the first few episodes of the original series.  Have you watched any of those recently?  I probably hadn’t since I was a kid, and I tell you what — after three episodes of season 1, I was already thinking to myself, man, Chris Pine is totally NAILING Captain Kirk.  It was weird watching Shatner after seeing Pine, in fact, because it felt like Shatner was doing Pine (this is all coming out a lot dirtier than I intended, looking back, but you know what I mean).

Also, I always thought the Uhura/Spock romance was wholly invented for the new films, but no-ho-ho, my friends!  Go watch the season one episode “Charlie X,” or, more specifically, this clip from it:  DUDES!  She practically sits in his lap!  How did I ever miss this?  This made me so happy.

As for the other actors/characters, I adore Quinto’s Spock, who seems more complex to me than Nimoy’s version, possibly because of the extra Uhuransity;  Simon Pegg is always a joy no matter what he does, but most especially here; Anton Yelchin is an adorable puppy; and John Cho is. . . er.  . . kind of invisible, to be honest, but hey, maybe next time, John Cho.

Also, Sherlock/Smaug sure is turning into Mr. Ubiquitous these days, and thank god for it because it’s about dang time.  (With a name like “Benedict Cumberbatch,” we knew he’d go far.)

Oh, hey, notice someone I’m missing?  (No, not Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Pike — don’t even talk to me about that.)  Karl Urban as Bones, perhaps?  Yeah, that’s because I CANNOT STAND KARL URBAN AS BONES.  While Chris Pine truly IS Captain Kirk, Karl Urban continues to merely PLAY Leonard McCoy, and he makes me cringe with about every other sentence of his super-awkward DeForest Kelley impersonation.

That said, I appear to be the only person on the planet who feels this way, so perhaps I should just shut up.


[Update:  avoid the comment section if you don’t want to see any spoilers!]

[View trailer | Prequeue at Netflix]

Genre:  Sci-fi, Action
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    (This is Liz) Chris Pine was SO NOT Shatner in the first movie! But in this one he was much better. That little bit about the Spock – Uhura squabble was perfect. In regard to that, I was so on board with that relationship from the start – and I’m a bona-fide Trekkie! I always thought there was something between them!

    Zoe Saldana isn’t really doing Nichelle Nichols, but she’s good anyway. Karl Urban is GREAT – but they gave him nothing to do! Same with John Cho. All the other casting is FANTASTIC – love Zachary Quinto (and I’ve always been a “Spock” fanatic.) We actually were surprised by Scotty in the story (love Simon Pegg). Cumberbatch/Sherlock/Smaug is also great, but his “Kahn” was a LITTLE confusing to those of us who think of Ricardo Montalban. Separate but equal?!

    And hey! There are people out there who LIKED “DS9!” It was my husband’s favorite “Trek.” Anyway, it was a totally enjoyable movie.

    P.S. Pike fared way better in the movies than in the series.

    • megwood Says:

      Dude, spoiler alert! I just added one to the post above, though, so hopefully nobody who hasn’t seen it will read your comment! I have been extremely careful not to reveal Cumberbatch’s identity to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, because being surprised by that was really fun for me (even though in retrospect, I realize it was kind of dumb to have been surprised by that).

      Also, you’re wrong about Pike in the original series. Time to go rewatch “The Menagerie”! Not only does that Pike live to grow old, but he gets to do it with the illusion of perfect health and a hot babe at his side. Beats the hell out of what happens to him in this movie, I’d say!

      • Anonymous Says:

        Sorry! I was trying to be careful about spoilers. It’s just that I already knew who Cumberbatch would be playing before I saw the movie (blame IMDb), so I didn’t think of it as a surprise. Also, I can’t get the image of series-Pike, in that awful box-thing, only able to signal yes and no, out of my mind. I always thought the illusion that he experienced was a sort of prison. Now I’m not sure – you have a point.

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