If I had to choose one word to describe J.J. Abrams’ 2nd installment to the new Star Trek franchise, the word would be “spectacular”. Everything about “Star Trek Into Darkness” was extremely well executed…from the plot, to the dialogue, to the brilliant casting, to the great visual effects….Star Trek Into Darkness has it all. This film does great as a ‘stand alone’, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to be a “trekkie”, nor is it necessary to have seen the first Abrams ‘Trek’ to enjoy this one. However, if you are a trekkie, then the thrill ride of this film is only that much sweeter, simply because of the subtle insertions of things that only a trekkie would notice…but I’ll get back to that. First, the cast, old and new, is well chosen. Chris Pine returns and gives a remarkable performance as Capt. James Kirk. In this film, we are given a glimpse behind Kirk’s cocky and confident exterior as he struggles with self-doubt concerning his ability to effectively command his crew. Zachary Quinto also delivers an A+ performance as our favorite Vulcan, Spock! Still, the one casting that I want to make certain to mention is that of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. Never did I think anyone could step into Ricardo Montalban’s shoes and recreate this role with all of its depth of emotions intertwined with pure evil. Oh yes, in this film, Khan is taken to a level beyond that which we saw in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. In this film, you not only come to understand that Khan is a genetically altered super human, but you get to see it …again and again. Believe me, after watching this Khan take down over a dozen Klingons single-handedly, I wondered just how Kirk and his Enterprise crew were going to defeat him. The beauty is that you don’t get the answer until the film is practically over…until then, the action keeps on coming. Also, each member of the Enterprise crew is given an opportunity to shine, giving the film more of an ensemble feel. The visuals and special effects were excellent and flawless. I must say, the sight of the damaged Enterprise falling helplessly into Earth’s atmosphere was quite a spectacle that, added to all of the little trekkie drop-ins like the Admiral’s subtle mentioning of Section 31, a clandestine Starfleet organization first introduced in season 7 of Deep Space Nine, or Chekov’s fear and dismay at being ordered to put on a “red shirt”, not to mention the addition of Carol Marcus, the woman who eventually gives Kirk a son (just to name a few of the things that only a true trekkie would love or even take notice of), was definitely worth the price of admission.
On a scale of 4 stars, I give “Into Darkness” a solid 3.5. The only complaint I have is that the film had to end. J.J. Abrams does it again. I’m anxious to see what he does with Star Wars Episode VII. Anyway, movie goers and blog readers, that’s all for now. Until next time…