PHOTO BY PHOTOS COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
Where is it playing?: Downtown Centre (in 2- and 3-D), Park (in 2- and 3-D), Stadium 10 (in 2- and 3-D), Galaxy (in 2- and 3-D)
What's it rated?: PG-13
What's it worth?: $$10.00
What's it worth?: $$10.00
Director J.J. Abrams helms the follow-up to his 2009 reboot of Star Trek. This time around, the crew of the Enterprise discovers evil within their midst, and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a search into a war zone to find a deadly and dangerous man. (132 min.)
Glen It’s clear from both the 2009 Star Trek and this new film that J.J. Abrams did his homework. He obviously has reverence for the original TV series that ran just three seasons, from 1966 to 1969, yet spawned a franchise that seems inexhaustible. Yet I can’t help but wonder if the non-initiated would enjoy this rebooted series as much as I have. While not a Trekkie (I can’t speak Klingon, don’t have a phaser, and have never been to a convention), I loved the original series, and Abrams has done a remarkable job finding actors and creating dialogue and action that’s true to its forebears yet updated enough to seem fresh. But what about viewers who don’t know William Shatner as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Bones, James Doohan as Scotty, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Chekov? There are so many sly nods to these original characters that I assume would be lost on someone who hadn’t seen the original. Then again, maybe this story and these characters can stand on their own. One of the joys of this film is its surprising reveal, which makes it difficult to write about, but I’ll say this much: The action begins with a gripping set piece and rarely lets up long enough to let you exhale.
Steve Glen, you are correct; it’s really nice seeing someone do so much homework to create the feeling that we’re really seeing the prequel episodes to the original series. J.J Abrams and his team have gone over the top to not only give a huge nod to the television show, but also obviously inspire the 2009 movie cast to stay on board to do this follow-up. Two weeks in a row now, we have films that were done right for 3-D, and it was just an absolute joy to see this on the special screen No. 3 at the Downtown Centre Cinemas. Into Darkness was spectacular and immersive with a quick-flowing and gripping story that takes the viewer from cheers to tears within moments. Nothing about the characters seems pushed or fake, and the set pieces are just beyond spectacular throughout. The greatest thing about this franchise and this story in particular is that even though it’s set in the future and in space, the plot doesn’t rely on that aspect to sell itself. You could take this story and make it into an old Western movie or a World War II movie without much difficulty at all. This is one of the reasons why I’d say that if you’ve never watched any of the other series, new or old, you could watch the 2009 movie then this one and feel like you’re in the know enough.
Glen The basic set-up is pretty simple. After being assigned to captain the Enterprise in the 2009 film, the crew finds itself on Nibiru to observe a primitive culture and save it from an erupting volcano. But when Spock’s life becomes endangered, Kirk violates the Prime Directive and allows Nibiru’s indigenous inhabitants to see the starship. When the ship returns to Earth, Kirk’s stripped of his command, but not long after, a terrorist bombing and attack occurs, and the man responsible—former Starfleet agent John Harrison—escapes to Klingon territory, leading Starfleet Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) to reinstall Kirk as captain of the Enterprise and send him on a mission to destroy Harrison with specially designed missiles. Marcus believes war is inevitable, and he seems to want to speed it along. But he’s got a secret, and it begins to reveal itself when Marcus’s daughter Carol (Alice Eve) sneaks onto the Enterprise under her guise as science officer and weapons expert. Like I said, I don’t want to ruin the big reveal, but what follows is an adrenaline-fueled adventure that had me engrossed from beginning to end.
Steve I wonder how many more movies Abrams will be able to pull out of this cast, and I wonder if he’s planning on some sort of last movie tie-in with the first episode of the TV series. Maybe a remake of the first episode of the TV series? The franchise could go on and on, but I know I wouldn’t be too thrilled if, for whatever reason, Kirk or Spock or whomever was replaced by a different actor while the series is still ongoing. I just hope that it’s not another three years in between episodes because that’s just way too long to wait. On one last note, even though this is a superb action movie, the underlying and ongoing (from the first episode) story of the creation of trust between Kirk and Spock is not just a good-ol’-boy backslapping showcase. There are a lot of poignant moments that make the audience believe this relationship is really unfolding realistically. In fact, the growth of the personal relationships in this film touches all the characters to a varying degree and in the end makes the movie all that much better. This is a must-see in the theater.
Glen Starkey is a New Times staff writer, and Steve Miller is New Times’ staff photographer. Comment at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.