I still remember watching Star Trek series on local TV back in the 90s. I believe it was not even the original series, but The Next Generation one (distinctly remember pale-faced data and the prosthetic-wearing klingon, Worf). Since then i’ve only heard about Star Trek from pop culture references (mostly coming from The Big Bang Theory). When the first J.J Abrams reboot came out in 2009, i’m genuinely excited by the cast alone (Zachary Quinto made a hot Spock!). That being said, i believe i’m still not included in Trekkie fandom niche, so the following rambles are just my opinion as a movie enthusiast :)
Star Trek will start wide release screening from today (May 15th 2013). It’s be available in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D format in cineplex 21 and blitzmegaplex, advance tickets purchases available from both movie theater chains. The midnight sneak peek is available last saturday (May 11th), and i was brave enough to go and watch it then (my second midnight movie after Looper, woots!). So last weekend, i opted to watch it in 3D format at Blitzmegaplex PVJ.
this review may contain spoilers, be warned!
Plot Summary from IMDb:
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.
If you watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) on IMAX late last year, you must’ve remember the Star Trek teaser attached to it, which was the opening scene of the film itself. Where we see Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) running through a red forrest away from the white faced, yellow-hooded natives of a foreign planet (the colors reminds me of something from Singh’s The Fall and Yimou Zhang’s Hero) . As if the scene were not intense enough, we witness Spock (Zachary Quinto) being dropped inside an active volcano, much to the distress of Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), trying to prevent the eruption that will lead to the destruction of the planet. The scenes ended in a cliffhanger, that guarantees movie-goers excitement and abundance of curiousity for the upcoming release of Into Darkness. My excitement only heightened when i saw and heard the trailer, Benedict Cumberbatch (my favorite Sherlock, sorry RDJ) is the villain of the film. While totally unrelated, this slightly amused me seeing several of my favorite brits had been cast as villains lately: Tom Hiddleston as Loki in The Avengers and Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises).
As the story progress, it became increasingly rapid and sequences became more intensified. Fast pace does not even begin to describe it. The plot goes from threats to twists, chaotic to catastrophic in mere seconds; developed as if to keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the whole movie. There’s almost no dull moments here, that being said, there’s no chance to breath either, which can get a bit tiring for my personal opinion. In between the intensive thrills and actions, comedic quips and puns were thrown coming from the bromantic banter between Spock and Kirk, Bones panic and mugging expresion, and comic relief from Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott (Simon Pegg).
Worry not, our bromantic duo Spock and Kirk still kicks ass in this film. The impetuous Kirk still leans on his instinct and spontaneity (and a ridiculously perfectly set, Ken barbie hair) still challenged Spock nonpareil logic, assertion, and unflappable obedience to rules. Zachary Quinto probably is my favorite actor here, portraying the emotionally constricted vulcan, learning the ways of human interaction, and dealing with emotions (
i believe he must’ve quote someone like he did in the first film (Holmes), but i can not be sure apparently he did say the exact same thing Leonard Nimoy aka the original Spock said in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: ‘the need of the many, outweigh the need of the few”.
Benedict Cumberbatch strolls in all tall, smoldering and dark in long black coat and sleek hair like he walks straight out of GQ as the main adversary of the film John Harrison aka Khan Noonien Singh (the name sounded hindi don’t you think? I tried not to laugh when he utters ‘My Name is Khan’ OMG my mind immediately went to Shahrukh Khan there). I learned that this is the same villain featured in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, which was said to be the best feature films of its original series. Our very british actor perform very physical combat actions (i have never seen him doing it before) and intense performance as the cunning, multi-layered villain. Showing the crew of the enterprise his vulnerability as well as oozing menace dripping in each syllables he spat. While i feel the character is slightly underdeveloped, i think Cumberbatch still give one stellar performance.
The look of the set still have similar retro-futuristic atmosphere as the one shown in the first reboot, a modernized yet faithful to its original TV series in style and flair. It amused me to see the landscape of futuristic London, which kinda look like Dubai on speed, dark with skyscrapers with odd shapes and angle. My favorite set is still the red forrest in the foreign planet of Nibiru, though. Since this i watched it on Real D 3D, i have to say that it looks bright for a 3D movie. For a movie that was converted to 3D in the post production, it looks slightly better than others. The picture got a good depth in several scenes, this is most evident in the earlier scene (red forrest Nibiru chase). Like in the first installment, this one also have problems with flare (maybe even more frequent) which probably come from the glass/plastic set decor. It became quite annoying since it disturbs the scene unfolding on screen and giving me a little headache.
So in summary, yes, i still enjoyed the characters of the series immensely, but something about the rapid intense sequence of the story threw me off a little. I guess the story will be better if they allow it to breathe a little. All in all, it’s still carries a sizable punch and would be enjoyable flick to watch. Of course this is coming from a non Trekkies. What would your verdict be?
Star Trek: Into Darkness is screening in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D format. (I recommend the IMAX just because of the opening sequence alone!!). Check their respective sites for further information and screening schedule!