Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Rated: PG-13. Science Fiction/Action/Adventure. Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes.
While I’m not a Trekkie in the strictest sense, (i.e. I’ve never been to Comic-Con or a Trek convention), I am most definitely the next closest thing. I’ve seen all the movies, every episode of the original and all of its spin-offs. I saw 2009’s Star Trek and enjoyed it, but for some reason it didn’t stick so well in my brain pan. The only explanation I can come up with is I must’ve been hammered when I watched. So the other night Maria and I cued it up from the on demand list in anticipation of the DVD release of Into Darkness. I thought it was awesome! And subsequently thoroughly enjoyed STID. I know some purists out there have had problems with J.J. Abrams vision, but don’t count me as one of them. Yes, the original Kahn (Ricardo Montelban) was one of the most memorable and best Trek villains ever, but Cumberbatch’s version is his own and fit the movie to a tee. What I really love about these new versions are the character portrayals of all our favorites. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are perfect as the reluctant, opposites attract, lifelong friends Kirk and Spock. While both resemble, and to some extent, mimic the originals Shatner and Nimoy, they also bring their own slight variations with them, making the characters fresh and vibrant. Karl Urban spews a few too many “Dammit Jim, I’m a Doctor not a ……” euphemisms, but he too has captured the essence of Bones’ old country doctor stuck on a starship. Scotty (Pegg), Sulu (Cho), Chekov (Yelchin) and Uhura (Saldana) round out the crew of the Enterprise and the chemistry is easily as good as the original, maybe better. Seeing Spock and Uhura as a couple, not just oozing a bit of sexual tension, is also a hoot. I honestly think this series can appeal to Trek diehards as well as bring a whole new generation on board.
I had seen the 2009 Trek and miraculously had also forgotten it entirely, just as Ross had. I think I watched it on a date and probably wasn’t really invested. This time around I had Ross filling me in on the inside jokes, the correlating plotlines and character attributes. This made both movies a Hell of a lot more enjoyable for a trek-tard like myself. And I realized that I am marrying a nerd. A closet nerd, but a nerd nonetheless. And a giant sweetheart. He was excessively patient with all my questions and extremely helpful. Even pausing several times to explain how the plot of Into Darkness mimicked an old favorite episode of his. I really liked both of these movies, which was a pleasant surprise. And I believe I know what I find so charming about each of these films. The characters are fantastic. Spock’s emotionless and precisely analytical assessments are a welcome contrast to the rest of the crew. He is, by far, my favorite. It is a pleasure to watch his and Uhura’s relationship unfold on screen. One of my favorite scenes from STID is when Uhura is alone with Captain Kirk on the ship’s elevator. Kirk asks, “Are you guys fighting?” Uhura’s silence is enough of an answer for him and the next thing he says is, “What’s that like!?” These types of moments make both movies. The only problem is that I don’t want any of the crew to perish and they always seem to find themselves in the worst life and death situations.
Fret not honey, that’s what the red shirt crew members are for, they do all the dying. Star Trek Into Darkness is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. This crew of NCC-1701 (“No bloody A, B or C” as the late James Doohan once uttered as the old Scotty) is progressing just fine, thank you. Spock maybe a little more in touch with his human side. Chekov is a bit smarter this time around and more versatile. Uhura brings an attitude that Nichelle Nichols version didn’t possess. The Enterprise herself is sleeker, and with the progress of technology, even the beaming process is tighter. All improvements if you ask me. One thing for sure though, Kirk still gets a lot of pussy, and he has no problem if the women are green or have tails. Prefers it actually. That dude would screw a wood pile on the chance there was a snake in it! You gotta love him. I just couldn’t be happier with these movies, and I hope it’s not another four years before they make another one. For fans of the entire series, keep an eye out for a complete role reversal during a crucial point, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” Make no mistake, STID is not a remake of Wrath of Khan. If you keep that in mind you’ll enjoy it so much more. One final note to the creators, please keep those Leonard Nimoy cameos coming. I adore that ancient “pointy eared, green blooded hobgoblin”! Thanks Bones, you quote machine.
It’s easy to become desensitized to our ever changing technology, but this is one time where I truly appreciated the quality of special effects and improvements. The beaming was better, while keeping the integrity of the original vision. It seemed as though the creators were conscientious about paying homage to the old series, while giving the film an original spin. There is a trick to this delicate balance when you revisit something like Star Trek. Impressively, J.J. Abrams and the Bad Robot crew have done this successfully…twice. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I was actually moved to tears during one scene. But then again, I am a sucker for a hardcore ‘bromance’. Perhaps I have become emotionally invested in Kirk and Spock’s friendship because I, myself, am in the female equivalent; a ‘homance’. Please reference link for verification: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=homance. Both of these Star Trek films have entertained me, hooked me and transformed me into a bona fide fan. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Ross’ Rating: 4.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummies.