For the record, I was never raised a Trekkie. My parents were both familiar with the original "Star Trek," but my siblings and I were far more familiar with "Star Wars." So I admit my opinion about "Star Trek" is somewhat narrow and prejudiced because I was not raised on it compared to other people's. I greatly enjoyed J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot as a good, entertaining movie and still consider it my favorite out of what I have seen in the "Star Trek" universe (which, again, is limited). Last night, I went and saw J.J. Abrams' latest "Star Trek" movie.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
"Into Darkness" opens up with the Enterprise on a planet that has a budding civilization on it. Defying orders to save lives, Kirk is removed from his post and becomes a first officer. After a tragedy in the form of mysterious Starfleet officer John Harrison strikes, Kirk goes off to capture/ kill him. However, he discovers that things are not what they seem, and he and his crew must fight for the lives of many.
The story itself was not overly complex. You have a conspiracy in the movie, but it makes sense and fits in with what you were given. The movie is filled with action, and it keeps you engaged the entire time. The only thing about the ending is that towards the end I kept expecting the end to come, but it seemed a bit dragged out. Another issue I had was roughly the last 1/4 of the film. I understand that Abrams has basically rebooted the series through the use of the black hole/alternate reality, but the last part of the movie was a bit too similar to "Wrath of Khan"; one could argue that the events of this story will replace the original, but I would have preferred them to be more different. Oh, and be prepared to laugh at this movie. There is plenty of humor throughout the film, and most of it comes from character interactions.
The characters were pretty good. The returning crew of the Enterprise seemed to have settled into their roles very nicely, and their interactions were great and felt real. Benedict Cumberbatch did excellent in his role as John Harrison/Khan, and it is making me excited for his role as Smaug in the upcoming "Hobbit" film. Alice Eve as Carol Marcus was only an ok character, and I personally thought she felt more like a tribute back to the original "Wrath of Khan" and not like she really added anything to the story.
The movie's effects were cool and memorable. I liked the little tributes to "Star Wars," "Inception," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I also liked the fact that we saw more of the extended Star Trek universe in a visit to the Klingon home world (with some of their language thrown in) and of a budding alien culture.
In the end, even though the plot may have not been totally original, I found "Into Darkness" to be a fun and enjoyable film. It's making me look forward to what Abrams will do with the next Star Wars movie.
I give it four and a half out of five stars.
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