Star Trek Into Darkness is a cinematic thrill-ride. It begins with a bang, followed by staggering visuals and witty dialogue while we roller-coaster through a range of emotions. If Star Trek was the perfect setup, the sequel goes into warp speed.
The mythology of Star Trek has a special place for me. As a huge fan of the series, I was more than satisfied. Star Trek Into Darkness is as entertaining and enjoyable as it could have been. It has its fair share of Trek talk and pulsating action. The plot may not be highly original, but the grasp J.J. Abrams has on it, is remarkable.
The three big action set pieces are marvelous. In the previous film, Kirk and Sulu got a thunderous action sequence where they had to plunge into Vulcan in their specialized suits. No ships. Just them. Here, a similar sequence is hurled at us with breathtaking results.
As far as post-production 3D conversion is concerned, this would be its high point. You can see the technical finesse right in the opening sequence. It also helps when a film so heavily reliant on visual effects makes a soluble mix with 3D. It doesn’t boldly go where no one has gone before but the result is more eye-popping than jarring.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays John Harrison, the ruthless villain that would test the limits of Kirk and Spock and become the reason why the film just barely sneaks up ahead of its fantastic predecessor. (SPOILER ALERT) (If you didn’t already know this, that is) His name is Khan and he is a terrorist. He’s also a superhuman. Forget his vile actions, his voice itself is enough to induce chills. (END OF SPOILERS)
A little nitpick. When we saw The Joker getting captured midway into The Dark Knight (2008) only to realize, it was his plan all along, we were blown away. Loki (The Avengers) and Silva (Skyfall) did the same. Yes, we see the same plot point used here. Hollywood, let’s calm down a bit. Please.
My favorite scene in the film includes the rare moment when Spock delves into his human side. Emotions run high, especially when the tables are turned. I loved the nudge to the shocking ending from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) (which could possibly be the best film in the franchise).
Star Trek means many things to many of its fans. For me, it is about friendship. Clearly, this bromantic space opera was right up my alley. This film may claim to go into darkness but what it mainly achieves is surfacing out into the light (with lens flare). It’s strange how I came out of this film feeling joyous. The last time any film in the Star Trek universe achieved that was The Voyage Home (1986). Imagine a cross between that film and The Wrath of Khan (1982). Yes, it is that good.
Can we have the next one soon? I have a hunch we have to wait 5 years. It’s not so much of a hunch than picking up the obvious crumbs the film leaves at the end. I hope when I say “I’m going to miss you”, J.J. Abrams doesn’t give me an awesomely blank stare. I’d rather be stunned. Hold that Star Wars film Mr. Abrams, you’re on to something here. Till then, I’m going to beam myself up into the theater again.