Science Fiction is a bit of a tough sell to an average filmgoer. While films like Star Wars are loved, there less sci fi and more action adventure films in space.
Star Trek is a staple of the genre and over the past few years been turned into a more watered down version of Gene Rodenberry’s vision. This time round the film has tried to return more to the genre.
Star Trek into Darkness is the latest film in the rebooted franchise, directed by J.J. Abrams. The film features the cast from the last film with the addiction of two new main characters: Dr. Carol Wallace (Alice Eve) and John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The entire cast does a good job in the movie. The only problem is with such a large cast, there’s little screen time for all of the crew. No one really gets a chance to shine, as time is limited.
The plot follows the Enterprise going on a revenge mission after a series of attacks caused by Harrison on earth. The crew is ordered by Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) to attack and kill Harrison who is hiding away in Klingon space.
From there the crew is forced to fight for their lives and unravel the mystery around Harrison and his motivates.
It’s very clear that this time round the writers wanted to make the film feel more like Star Trek as many elements from past movies and shows are reference over the films 2 plus hour running time.
While it never really feels like the old Trek, it feels less like the Star Trek/Star Wars love child that the reboot was.
The story this time has more legs. Despite this it does suffer from generic action movie tropes.
Is it as good as classic Trek? No but it’s better than it could have been.
The movie has a number of themes that it deals with which was unexpected. The idea of terrorism, family and lose (a staple of the original Trek films) are used this time round giving the film a bit more depth.
However, the movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel with the themes. The movie doesn’t go farther than, “Terrorism is bad and it sometimes makes us do bad things.”
On the technical side Abrams once again uses practical sets for parts of the movie. While most of the movie takes place of star ships built on sound stages there are some moments that take place on earth, which was filmed on real city streets.
The movie even has a chase scene through the future streets of San Francisco. The scenes add more depth and really stand out in the movie.
One of the notes I wanted to make comes from the movies audio.
While the music was fine, I’ve never been a fan of the Abrams Star Trek theme. It just seems very generic especially when the franchise already has such a memorable theme. The film, much like the last, only uses a redone version of the classic theme at the end of the film. However, this wasn’t the issue.
While I can’t say if this is an issue with every showing, the dialogue wasn’t mixed loud enough during my viewing. This could have been an issue with the particular theater I saw it in but it really affected the movie at some of its action packed parts as characters became difficult to understand.
The main issue of the movie comes from its climax. Without going too much into the plot near the end of the movie characters just seem to run around and do things that don’t really make much sense in a realistic sense.
While I’m aware that this is a film about human’s flying in space, some the final action scene is ridicules and seems out of place. It kind of leaves the view scratching their heads in confusion.
Despite the final action scene, the film is still enjoyable. The story is fast, the characters are good and we even see a Klingon or two. The film and can be enjoyed by average moviegoers and Trekkies alike.
Star Trek into Darkness was directed by J.J. Abrams and is based upon the show created by Gene Roddenberry. The film was made by Bad Robot Productions, K/O Paper Productions and Skydance Productions. Distribution was handled by Paramount Pictures.