Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and the rest of the Enterprise crew return in director J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to his 2009 reboot, Star Trek.
While I was a giant fan of Abrams’ Star Trek, I felt that he built off of that film and made an even better model in Star Trek Into Darkness. The cast is just as good with the whole newness to the crew dynamic that was the crux of the development in the first movie for a more friendship, realizing your position dynamic in this one. It made for even greater character development and made the story even more personal having known what went on between characters in Star Trek.
In this movie, Kirk and the Enterprise is sent to capture a fugitive who has bombed London. John Harrison (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is a former worker within Star Fleet and Kirk is asked to take him down and bring him in. So naturally problems arise.
Cumberbatch is wonderful in the movie and gives Kirk a greater adversary than Nero (Eric Bana) did in the first movie. Cumberbatch’s Harrison plays a more reserved, cunning enemy in the beginning before earning Kirk’s trust and creating an even bigger confrontation later on. While I am a fan of Cumberbatch’s from his work in “Sherlock,” it was interesting to see him in the role of a villain but still using that sarcastic, wit that makes him so likable in “Sherlock” as a tool of evil here in Into Darkness.
But what makes this movie so fun is the direction of J.J. Abrams who further shows that he is one of the best in the business at making blockbusters not only fun but fulfilling. It is so easy to put out something that has the visuals and action that everyone may want but leave out story and character development because of laziness or a lack of interest in it. Abrams makes story important and this in turn makes this blockbuster even more fun. For example, we enter the film with instant action. This tactic that is typical of all the great blockbusters is a perfect technique to use to get people hooked into the movie instantly and wondering what will happen for the rest of the two hours (see beginnings of Star Wars: New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Adding to Abrams’ direction is the incredible score by Michael Giacchino. Giacchino is most well known for his Oscar winning work with Up as well as in Star Trek, Ratatouille, and on television with “Lost.” Giacchino carries a very Star Wars-esque score that likes to infuse little melodies or theme songs into parts to add to the scale. Also his piece, “London Calling” which takes place after the first scene is absolutely beautiful and one of the better songs from a blockbuster I have heard in awhile.
I have been raving about the movie but it also comes with some faults. The story has some holes mainly with plot twisting and trying to be smarter than it really is. This probably comes from screenwriter Damon Lindelof (remember Prometheus) and his constant need to outsmart the audience. While it doesn’t detract from the movie as much as Prometheus did, it still is annoying and unnecessary to the plot. The constant turns just make the story more complicated than it needed to be and before they happened it was playing as a very simple, yet advanced blockbuster that did not have a complex story but was still smart enough to grow and make the characters interesting.
Star Trek Into Darkness is easily the best blockbuster so far this year and one that gets me very excited for Abrams’ work in Star Wars. His direction was fantastic, matching beautiful visuals with heart pounding action and a score that brought it all together perfectly. It is well worth seeing and while the 3-D was incredible it was still used well.