Thursday, June 6, 2013

Movie Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

With Star Trek: Into Darkness J.J. Abrams treads a fine line between honoring the history of the franchise and moving things in a new direction.  The results are merely satisfactory.  Once again the film is centered around the Kirk/Spock relationship.  Kirk is coming into his own as a Captain of the Enterprise, while Spock acts as his trusted first officer. Zachary Quinto is growing nicely into the role of Spock. Abrams brings the right combination of a jokey script with solid action scenes bordering on overkill at times. Unlike most sequels, which usually take chances, the writers played it safe and stuck with the winning formula of the first one: an emphasis on action and character development - in this case another Kirk/Spock bromance.  New characters are introduced: Dr. Marcus (Alice Eve) as a possible love interest for Kirk, her scheming father Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), and Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch).  All trekkers cannot forget Ricardo Montalban in the original series episode "Space Seed" and the the 1982 film, Wrath of Khan as the genetic superhuman.  As a villain, Khan's cunning flamboyance proved a match for Kirk.  Cumberbatch, known for portraying a 21st century Sherlock Holmes, turns Khan into a colder, and even a sympathetic antagonist at times.  Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek envisioned a future with humanity overcoming conflict, racism, economic equality, and most importantly - man's warlike nature. But, ironically, nearly every episode involved violence (usually against an "other" alien civilization).  But everybody's kicking ass in Abram's Trek universe.  In the new version it looks like the Federation will act more like a scared superpower instead of Roddenberry's multinational utopia.

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