MOVIE REVIEW- STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Might Be The Best In The Series, With One Of the Great Villain Performances In Years

J.J. Abram’s follow up to the 2009 reboot, is the perfect blend of action and drama, thanks to Abram’s smart direction, a mysterious villain and all-star performances from Pine, Cumberbatch, Quinto, and Urban. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS may not boldly go where no one has ever gone before, but it is both bold and beautiful.

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STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Director- J.J. Abrams

Starring- Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve, Anton Yelchin and Peter Weller

Steven’s Quick Review– J.J. Abrams’ follow up to the 2009 reboot is the perfect blend of action and drama. Thanks to the director’s perfect vision, a mysterious villain, and all-star performances from Pine, Cumberbatch, Quinto, and  Urban. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS may not boldly go where no one has  gone before, but it’s a bold and beautiful new entry into Trek lore and one to be remembered.

Steven’s Review-Attempting to follow up 2009’s STAR TREK reboot was a fairly difficult task for J.J. Abrams. He had created a new wrinkle in the STAR TREK universe and needed a villain to top Eric Bana’s Nero. We needed the slick plot of the first one with new adventures for James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the gang.

In STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Abrams and company succeeded in creating a new story line with just as much action, and a number of twists and turns along the way. One of the smarter moves the filmmakers made is not identifying the villain, (We will refer to him as John Harrison.)  Harrison is played with menace and gusto by one of the finest British actors around today, Benedict Cumberbatch (WAR HORSE, BBC’s “Sherlock”). Cumberbatch, who has become one of the most popular British actors in American cinema these days, gives one of his finer performances as the mysterious and incredible hostile trek villain whose big reveal will get all sorts of Trek fans trembling. Cumberbatch gives one of the best performances as a villain in some time, a layered and vengeful turn.

Along with Cumberbatch, who is a newcomer to the STAR TREK series, is a very well assembled ensemble of actors that includes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg. The cast propels the first half of STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, especially the relationship between Kirk(Pine), Spock(Quinto), and McCoy(Urban). All three actors have an excellent rapport, which grows considerably throughout the film. (No small task considering film scenes are generally shot out of sequence.) INTO DARKNESS, in its opening moments, is about the conflict between Kirk and the logical Spock, skillfully played by Zachary Quinto.  An important factor in the previous TREK films was the relationship between the cocky Kirk, the logical Spock and the Sarcastic McCoy – and in this film that dichotomy is put front and center. As for supporting cast, Simon Pegg gives another excellent, scene stealing performance as Scotty, the engineer for the Enterprise. Pegg is spot-on with his comedic timing, and amazes with his perfect impression of the fan favorite from the original set of films. Pegg is not the only one who gets an opportunity to steal scenes. Along with Urban, and Pegg, John Cho (playing Sulu) and Zoe Saldana (playing the Spock love interest, the bad ass Uhura) have only improved upon their characters from the first film.

Abrams has indeed compiled an epic cast and crew for his second and potentially final installment in the STAR TREK series.  A number of new cast members join the fray, including Alice Eve (MEN IN BLACK 3, THE RAVEN), and Peter Weller (“Dexter”, “24”). Weller and Eve play important members of INTO DARKNESS, as Weller is a Star Fleet commander who sends Kirk on a mission of finding John Harrison. Eve plays a new addition to the Enterprise crew who seems to have some questionable reasons for boarding the ship, and maybe a questionable relationship to the Enterprise’s new found antagonist.

TREK begins well after the original ends, with Kirk as the captain of the enterprise and the crew on missions to discover and save new worlds. Yet Kirk and Spock still seem to butt heads, which leads to Spock costing his friend the captain’s chair.  Thanks to acts of terrorism by Cumberbatch, Kirk spirals on to a vengeful mission to find Harrison and bring him to justice. Without giving any spoilers to the events that follow, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is a well-oiled machine of a summer blockbuster. It is both funny and extremely intense in a way that keeps fans guessing.  I thoroughly enjoyed STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS; it’s good, old fashioned summer movie magic at its finest and could end up being one of the best summer movies of 2013.

Thanks in large part to its awesome direction and near perfect performances from Pine, Quinto, Cumberbatch, and Urban.  With a quality supporting cast, an excellent script penned by Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci (TRANSFORMERS, “Hawaii Five-O”) and Alex Kurtzman(TRANSFORMERS, “Fringe”), STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is an epic sci-fi film that should not be missed.

 

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