Thursday, May 30, 2013
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: my review
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is a fun ride with great special effects. I just wish they had had half the budget. Maybe then they would have spent more time focused on the interactions of the characters and less on explosions. Whoever insures these spacecrafts for the star fleet would go out of business in one year even if they insisted on a billion dollar deductible. But my point is the real fun in this movie was the personal bickering, bantering, and ethical discussions among the crewmembers. Spock & Uhara could be next century’s Sam & Diane.
Happily, you don’t have to be a Trekkie to enjoy this film. There are a lot of nods to Trekkie fans, but it’s not like starting to watch MAD MEN for the first time now.
I’m going to say something now that might cause me an avalanche of angry comments but with the exception of Leonard Nimoy, I think everyone in this new cast is better than the original actors who played the parts in the '60s (and later movies). And Zachary Quinto was terrific too but Leonard Nimoy IS Mr. Spock. Here’s the test: When you’re watching this movie, especially during the emotional moments, try to picture a young William Shatner in the part. The hamming would be at warp speed. Chris Pine is a much better Kirk and Simon Pegg practically steals the movie as Scotty.
Action movies traditionally live and die by how good their villain is and director J.J. Abrams and writers Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and LOST veteran Damon Lindelof have selected a great one. Benedict Cumberbatch (Shelock Holmes in the British series, as opposed to the CBS version where he’s just a procedural tool or the recent movie version where he’s Rambo). He’s a worthy adversary and always fascinating on the screen. He’s evil but you’d love to go out and get a drink with him.
A nice addition to this edition is Alice Eve. She’s very hot and the filmmakers weren’t above featuring a completely gratuitous scene of her in her underwear. I thought I heard one Trekkie in the theater say, “I am getting such a hard-on” in Klingon.
The plot of this TREK was a lot of “let’s do this” and then “let’s go here” and then “now that we’re here let’s do that.” I hope the crew is well-paid because there are always danger sirens going off, pieces of the ship exploding, and unlucky crew members being sucked out into space. For that kind of constant peril they might as well just work for Amtrak. At least they could go home on nights they weren't killed.
If you’re looking for good summer escapist fare STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is just your dish. But I wish the next sequel took place during a gas shortage and the starship Enterprise was stuck on the planet Zeron 9 for two months and we just got to watch everybody hang out. Think of how much cheaper that would be to produce and how much sooner the movie would take to go into profits. STAR TREK INTO BLACK.