Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Review - Star Trek Into Darkness

Yesterday afternoon Agnes and I and our friend Nadja visited the local multiplex cinema (are there any more single, freestanding movie theaters any more?) to see "Star Trek Into Darkness." Bottom line up front (or "BLUF," as we say in Pentagon shorthand): I loved it, and the negative reviews are all from doo-doo-heads who don't know how to enjoy a movie.

As you know from previous posts about movies, I don't like to see movies in theaters much any more. There are usually too many ass clowns who want to yak or text on their cell phones, film the movie surreptitiously with their minicams, or carry on their noisy conversations that are more important than the film they paid $10 or more to see. Movies in theaters are also far, far too loud ... we always leave the theater feeling like we've been in the front row for the 1812 Overture, in front of the cannons. There are, however, some movies that I think just need to be seen on the Big Screen. The first installment of "The Hobbit" was the last one. I think "Ender's Game" will be the next. "Star Trek" was this one.

Okay, here's your spoiler alert - if you've been avoiding movie reviews and spoilers until you can see the movie yourself, stop reading now and come back after you've seen it so we can compare notes. Otherwise, read on.

Basic stuff: the special effects were wonderful, the acting workmanlike, and the volume overwhelming.

Viewers who are long-time Star Trek fans will either love (as I did) or hate all the references back to (and alternative timeline twists on) episodes and events in the original TV series (tribbles, anyone?) and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Yes, actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays a character who turns out to be famous Star Trek villain Khan Noonien Singh, and he does it with a brilliantly-calibrated degree of both subtle menace and carpet-chewing intensity ... a terrific  performance. I'll never be able to watch him in the BBC update series "Sherlock" the same way again.

The other cast members were, I thought, superbly selected. Christopher Pine perfectly captures the cocky attitude of the original William Shatner version of Captain James Kirk, and Zachary Quinto does a wonderful version of Mr Spock. The actors playing Dr McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Chekhov (Anton Yelchin), and Sulu (John Cho) were all great, especially Karl ("Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!") Urban. Pegg and Yelchin perhaps played Scotty and Chekhov a little too much for laughs, but were superb in their roles; John Cho was an excellent Sulu (Dr McCoy had the great line, "Mr Sulu, remind me never to piss you off!"). I didn't think the romantic relationship between Lt Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Mr Spock was all that believable in context, but it was well-played.

Were there plot holes, strange scenes*, and occasional script weaknesses? Of course. But I don't go to the movies to look for reasons not to enjoy the show. And I really enjoyed this one.

Bilbo gives "Star Trek Into Darkness" two thumbs up.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* Such as the Enterprise hiding on the bottom of an ocean, and Alice Eve (as a PhD weapons scientist) peeling down to her bra and panties for no apparent reason ... although both were entertaining images.


The Mistress of the Dark said...

My nephew the Trekkie will like this one then...

Leslie David said...

I liked it too--saw it opening night as a double feature with the first film which I hadn't seen on the big screen since it came out. It's amazing all the things you don't see on a smaller screen when you watch the DVD. You didn't mention the (for this series) the obligatory woman in her underwear scene and of course, Kirk continuing to boff every alien babe he comes in contact with. For me the most unbelievable scene was of the Enterprise in the ocean, aren't starships too big to land? Isn't that why they always take shuttles or beam up to the ship? While we've seen starships blown up in space, the ship falling out of the sky was awesome, including the doofus people who are too stupid to get out of the way of a large falling object.

Duckbutt said...

Another Star Trek movie is always welcome!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Maybe we'll give it a try!

Mike said...

Saw it and loved it. Graphics just keep getting better.

And although I hear stories about noisy people in theaters I just haven't encountered that here. They tell people upfront to turn off the cell phones and say they will be escorted out if they use them.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Sounds like a great movie!

The theatres in several places play the trailers excessively loud, I opt for earplugs while viewing the previews.

Wanted: some nice rom-coms.

allenwoodhaven said...

I liked it too. The tv show references were many and enjoyable. I thought Scotty was very good but couldn't warm up to Chekov. I was surprised when Khan was revealed but it made good sense. His fight with the Klingon warriors was inspired.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Hey.....tribbles are awesome :)