Star Trek into Darkness, the latest iteration of Gene Roddenberry’s creation, hit the screens last Wednesday. Finally a rollicking good movie in 3D, albeit a post-production conversion. Ah, well. Maybe next time. And IMAX which I have not yet seen.
It opens with a chase scene—Kirk and another member of the Enterprise crew being chased by spear-chucking aboriginals intent on doing our boys harm, while Spock is busy trying to save these self-same natives from the destructive forces of nature on their undeveloped world.
Chris Pine does an excellent job of Kirk. Gung-ho flyboy, arrogant with a touch of innocence that comes across as vulnerability and caring.
Zachary Quinto is a commendable Spock, much better looking than the real Spock (Leonard Nimoy.) But I miss the voice.
Zoe Saldana as Uhura speaks volumes with those flashing eyes when her significant other, Mr. Spock, behaves irrationally. What kind of Vulcan behaves irrationally?
The rest of the cast is fine. They interact with each other in spot-on Trek fashion. Argumentively independent, yet always loyal and supportive in the end.
And Benedict Cumberbatch. I’ve saved the best for last. He has the looks, the voice, the bad guy role. Or is he the bad guy?
I liked the movie. I will see it again. So visually stunning, in fact, that I am seriously toying with paying the extra money to see the IMAX version.
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE MOVIE, STOP READING HERE AND GO SEE THE MOVIE THEN READ THE REST OF THIS POST.
Oh, yes, I know. Unoriginal, predictable, completely lacking in any hint of the next big thing. I don’t care. I enjoyed it. Star Trek is my generation’s fairy tale. Fairy tales retold, must always be recognizable, therefore, originality and surprising turns of event are not only unnecessary, done to excess they can be disturbing.
Oh, dear. But wasn’t that the point of the original Star Trek? That it be original and disturbing? In a time when sixteen of these United States still enforced anti-miscegenation laws and women weren’t allowed to wear pants in most schools and work places, didn’t the Enterprise crew include members without regard to race, gender, or specie? Of course the women didn’t wear pants. Perhaps that would have been too disturbing.
That original Star Trek dealt with two opposing super powers, The Federation and the Klingons. Not unlike Earth during the late sixties. In later TV series, the Federation and the Klingons found ways to work together. It seems America’s relationship with the former Soviet Union has not yet reached that level. Although this production is set prior to that kinder gentler time in Federation/Klingon relations, these Klingons seem more like pests on the periphery than real threats. Harrison/Kahn is the true ‘other’ super power.
I’ve read statements from cast members and PR flekkers who say what they think the overarching themes of Into the Dark are. Terrorism. The danger from within. Kirk’s crisis of faith in the hallowed concept of leadership.
Perhaps, had they spent time developing any one of these themes it would have been more than a fun afternoon at the movies. But the overarching themes were chase scenes, battles, noise, flashing lights, and ACTION. Certainly fills the time and probably less expensively than the additional writing necessary to give this excellent cast more story to work with.
I want another Star Trek. I want new communicators, not the old flip phones. I want tomorrow’s music in the night clubs and bedrooms. 3D from the get-go. If some fool mentions the loss of gravity on the ship, I don’t want to see folks falling all over the place. I want to come home thinking about the universe and humanity’s place in it in a new way.