In 2009, J.J. Abrams boldly rebooted the Star Trek franchise in an effort to revitalize a product that really hadn’t gone anywhere new in more than a decade. As a Trekker, I originally felt like he had spent way too much screen time in that film to developing characters who were well known.
After seeing “Star Trek Into Darkness,” I now fully understand the genius of what he was doing.
After the 2009 film, the audience — which has since grown to include folks who weren’t originally Trek fans — can now connect with these characters on an emotional level I don’t believe was entirely possible even in the “original cast” films. The subject matter is timely, as was always the case when Gene Roddenberry himself was involved in the writing.
In the six months since the events of the 2009 film, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise has become more tightly knit. Relationships that were just being forged have begun to fully develop, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not-so-good.
Key among these is the Kirk-Spock relationship, a staple of the Star Trek canon. Apparently, in the six months following the 2009 film, they had enough time to bond that their brotherly relationship has flourished.
Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) pull it off brilliantly, particularly in those moments when human emotion and Vulcan logic butt heads. Karl Urban adds a bit of sophistication to the “three amigos” as chief medical officer Dr. “Bones” McCoy.
Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoey Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) have had their chances to develop, both as characters and as Starfleet officers, as well. And, as a team, they have become the spacefaring “family” we grew to love, both on the small screen and the silver screen.
But, it also is a dark time for the Federation. Vulcan was destroyed in the last film, and the relative newcomers to the Federation’s corner of space, the Klingons, have begun annexing territory and are flexing their muscles in Starfleet’s direction.
War would seem to be imminent.
Enter Admiral Marcus, played by Peter Weller, who is determined to ensure Starfleet and the Federation win that war. To that end, he has employed the aid of “John Harrison,” played by Benedict Cumberbatch, to develop new weaponry to combat new and more powerful adversaries.
Harrison’s “assistance” will come at a price — a very dear price — to both Starfleet and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He is the baddest of the bad guys in the Star Trek universe, and Cumberbatch has proven he knows how to pull off bad.
This film is full of twists, turns and unexpected changes of direction. If you’ve seen the trailers and think you know what’s coming, think again. Much like “Wrath of Khan” in the original movie series, “Into Darkness” has everything a great Star Trek film needs.
For fear of spoiling this film for you, I won’t go into any additional details.
This was the first film shot entirely in the IMAX format and then reformatted to 3D and standard aspect. And while I viewed it in the standard aspect, I can imagine it looks absolutely fantastic in IMAX and 3D. The visuals are incredible, and the CGI is flawless — and the musical score is fantastic, too.
If you’re a fan of Trek, you will love “Into Darkness.” If you’re not a fan, “Into Darkness” may very well turn you into one.