Star Trek Into Darkness – Reboot Continues [# 60 for FQ13]

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Why I Saw It: It’s the second installment in the Star Trek reboot, and its predecessor was highly entertaining. Why wouldn’t I see it?

What Was It About?  “After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Memorable Performances: Though it wasn’t good enough to topple the incredible work he has done with Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job as the film’s villain. Karl Urban was more entertaining as Bones than he was in the previous film, just like Chris Pine better seemed to fit as the captain this time around. Simon Pegg was great, as always, but I wouldn’t say it’s his most memorable role. Maybe after the next film, that will change, because there are certainly all the right aspects in place to make that happen.

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Alice Eve did a decent job, and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character integrates into the cast for the inevitable sequels. They certainly made use of her sexuality, but the character has enough depth that she’s not limited to that type of role.  I was half expecting that the scene where she ended up in her bra and panties was going to be some sort of weak seduction attempt, or an interrogation scene, or the beginnings of a gratuitous love scene. I’m glad to say that wasn’t the case, because those types of characters don’t typically last deep into sequels.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Supporting Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch

Favorite Parts: Having Klingons in the film was cool, even in the limited capacity with which they were involved. I loved how much respect they gave the race and how the characters approached them with extreme caution.

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Just about everything that Simon Pegg was involved with was entertaining. The things they did towards the end of the film, with the callback to an older Star Trek movie, was a very nice touch and they did it in a much more creative way than I would have expected. When Cumberbatch and Pine flew through space to get to the other ship, they did a good job of making it look relatively realistic with plenty of tension from various sources. I even enjoyed the part of the film where they’re pulling the Enterprise out of the docking station and trying to maneuver it. The humor strewn about through a script filled with smart dialogue made the film far more enjoyable than it needed to be.

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The Regrettable Aspects: The fight scene between Cumberbatch’s character and Spock just didn’t do it for me. I did like how they incorporated the Vulcan Neck Pinch, but the rest of the fight just didn’t sit well with me. Spock doesn’t seem like the type of character who should be carrying on in a fight that lasts 5 minutes, and given their backgrounds, Cumberbatch’s character should’ve destroyed him.

Would I watch it again? Eventually this series of films will get to a point where there’s a new storyline arc or the reboot hits something of a second “phase”, and at that point (likely after the next film), I’ll be interested in having a mini movie marathon involving the first three films. At that point, I look forward to watching this one again, but I probably won’t watch it again until then.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  Anyone who enjoyed the first film in the reboot should absolutely look forward to watching this one. Anyone wary about watching this film because of any rumors they’ve heard should watch it anyway, because despite its links to a previous Star Trek film more than a decade ago, this film is enjoyable and lays some good groundwork for future installments in the series.

Other Recommendations:

STAR TREK – I’m guessing that anyone who is watching STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has already seen the reboot, but it’s worth mentioning.

– The entire SHERLOCK series – I usually recommend films here, right? Well as I’ve mentioned on this site before, each episode of the on-going BBC series SHERLOCK plays like a film in its own right, and they’re all very, very entertaining. Benedict Cumberbatch does an amazing job in the role, and if you don’t watch it, you’re absolutely missing out.

– STAR TREK NEMESIS – This movie is from the Jean-Luc Picard set of Star Trek films, and it includes a villain who is just as complex as the one from STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Certainly worth a watch.

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, or for other similar films, let me know!

Next up… Liberal Arts!

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