Saturday, May 18, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Let's get this out of the way, I am a Star Wars man, through and through. I grew up idolizing Han Solo and never gave much attention to the crew of the Enterprise. But, like a good sport recognizing the worth of my adversary, I always acknowledged that there were some good things about Star Trek. Although I never really gave a rat's ass, and up until 2009, the only Trek film I had seen was Nemesis. Clearly, it was an uphill battle for me to be hooked by Kirk and Spock. However, when I saw the 2009 reboot, I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. I was kinda dragged into seeing it because my Dad was a huge Star Trek fan and was really hyped to see it and I thought "What the heck, I'll give it a shot". And yeah, I thought the movie was pretty good. It felt like a crash course in Star Trek for those who were unfamiliar with the characters and lore, but it also had some good action to go along with it. Really, the only thing missing was a strong villain and while Nero was a solid villain, he didn't really meet the high bar set by the rest of the movie.

So, when rumors started coming up about a sequel, I felt more inclined to see this one, only because I immensely enjoyed the previous one and had no reason to suspect anything less from this installment. And where 2009 failed in the area of a good villain, it appeared that the makers of Into Darkness wanted to excel. First off, they kept the villain's identity shrouded in mystery, causing people to suspect it would be someone like Gary Mitchell or Khan Noonen Singh. I'm not going to give away anything about the movie itself, but speaking as a non trekkie who has now seen 4 Star Trek movies (2009, Nemesis, Into Darkness and Wrath of Khan), I gotta say that again, JJ Abrams delivered a really awesome movie. Of course the one thing you are going to walk away from and remember the most is the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch who just commands the screen every time he is on and owns every line of his dialogue. In my opinion, he's the best part of the movie, and I don't think I am alone on that. His character has that perfect combination of superior intelligence and strength that leads to some really badass moments, like single-handedly decimating a group of Klingons wielding a rifle in one hand and a BFG in the other and then not flinching or batting an eyelash while Kirk attempts to beat the crap out of him. And just the way that he manipulates and mindfucks people is just incredible. There have been a number of good villains since Heath Ledger played the Joker, and John Harrison is probably the best one to come in the years following, you can quote me on that.

The rest of the movie has it's strengths too. At least I'm assuming it does, I was too blown away by Cumberbatch to even remember the rest. I've got a bit of a man crush on him, in case I haven't made that obvious yet. In all seriousness though, Star Trek Into Darkness is a great movie that, if you can, I would tell you to see it in IMAX, just to behold the majesty of Cumberbatch even more. And, if this film is any indication of what Star Wars will be like, then I am already buying my ticket for Episode VII

Final Grade: A+ See it again, but it on blu-ray