star trek into darkness

Paramount
2013
PG-13

“I surrendered to you because, despite your attempt to convince me otherwise, you seem to have a conscience, Mr. Kirk.  If you did not, then it would be impossible for me to convince you of the truth.”

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

In 2009, I was blown away by J. J. Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek.  I went in a jaded fanboy, skeptical that any “reboot” of the franchise would do things justice, prequel or not.  I emerged from the theater with a rare gleam of optimism for the future of the beloved franchise, and began counting the days until the inevitable sequel.  And after a four year wait, amidst rumors, speculations, and mouth-watering set photos (“mouth-watering”…hmmm), the wait was over and I broke one of my long-standing rules pertaining to just-released movies: wait a week or two to avoid packed seating, and saw it immediately after getting off of work the opening night.

So then, the question remains: Does Star Trek Into Darkness live up to all the pre-release hype, or is it yet another case of Sophomore Slump?  Well, I don’t know about you, but my first text about it that I sent to a friend after the movie let out included the words “righteously AWESOME.”  And after a couple of days chewing on things, I stand by that original exclamation of mine.

I’m just going to come right out and say that there’s absolutely no way I can really go into any depth with the story without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet (for whatever reason).  And trying to figure out how to type out this review without going on with spoilers like the giddy fanboy I am is what has kept me from an immediate review post.  But, here goes, bear with me.

Star Trek Into Darkness takes the action, character development and premise from the 2009 predecessor and movies it forward in a bigger way.  I hate to have to compare from another sci-fi franchise, but Star Trek Into Darkness really is the Empire Strikes Back of the rebooted Star Trek series – the story is darker, the characters mature individually and gel even better as a whole, the overall scope is bigger…yeah, “righteously AWESOME” would be rather apt.

Mind you, the movie has its moments where you realize it’s not a perfect movie.  Any long-time Trek fan like myself would have accurately guessed the first big twist well before the movie was released (and not due to spoilers either, just logical deduction…or an educated guess), but fortunately it happens midway through, and it’s not really detrimental to the story.  The bigger point of contention, though, may lie with the final half hour; and depending on your disposition, some may consider it a clever tribute to a classic scene, or derivative hack writing.  Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle – especially with the final resolution.

But enough.  Star Trek Into Darkness is the big movie to watch this summer.  Great story, lots of action, fantastic visuals; sci-fi fans, casual action fans, die-hard Trekkies (deal with it), all must watch this post-haste.  I watched the regular 2D showing, and have no desire to check out the 3D version, but either way catch this on the big screen while you can.