Star Trek Into Darkness
Directed by: J J Abrams Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof Based on the TV series "Star Trek" by: Gene Roddenberry Cinematography by: Daniel Mindel Original Music by: Michael Giacchino
Premise: An act of terrorism followed by an unexpected attack on Star Fleet Headquarters sets James T Kirk on a path to hunt down the man responsible. Armed with new top secret, untrackable torpedoes, he's to follow John Harrison into Klingon space and destroy him before the Klingons discover them and drag the Federation into a full interstellar war. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Thumbs Up: I believe this is probably one of Chris Pine's best performances. The great chemistry between the characters comprising the core of the crew is definitely there and a lot of funny moments come from Zoe Saldana's and Zachary Quinto's interactions. While Karl Urban was one hundred percent Dr. McCoy and funny as always, it was Simon Pegg who pulled off the most comedic bits this time around. The only real disappointment in the acting area was the lack of use by the scriptwriters of Benedict Cumberbatch's awesome range. (If you've not seen the fabulous series "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, go do it now!) Peter Weller also did great, but lacked support in the script for his motivation.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: From the belly of a volcano to the crashing of spaceships, all the special effects work was 'top notch'. I especially liked the work on the mini-story at the beginning of the film - it truly felt like an alien world. The Klingon Birds of Prey actually flew like a bird when in atmosphere, which I found fascinating. This made the appearance of the dreadnaught and its almost 'cookie cutter' appearance to other Federation ships, despite its being a totally different class, rather odd.
There was also something they did that I couldn't figure out if it was on purpose, mostly because it wasn't consistent. John Harrison looked bigger than a standard human during the brig sequences and a couple of other places, but when standing next to Kirk or other characters, he was normal sized. Totally odd.
Lots of new aliens show up in this film. All humanoid, but definitely interesting. Watch for them in the background and not just inside the ships.
3) Plot/Story - Neutral: There was some great stuff, there was some awful stuff.
For some of the bad - the science got in the way, so it was pitched out the window. Even traveling at maximum warp, it takes more than five minutes to reach the Klingon Empire, let alone their main planet of Cronos. The same applies for the trip back.
Transporter beams cannot beam you onto something that's moving. Since regeneration of the person on the other end is not instantaneous, it wouldn't move with the object being beamed onto. Also if the person you're trying to transport tries to run for it, the beam would not be able to keep a lock as it does not move.
Earth does have stations and other ships in orbit. They also have sensors. (This will make sense when you see it in context.) (There's more, but I will restrain myself.)
Another major issue was the motivation for one of the characters (not John Harrison). The total turn around of said character had nothing to substantiate it whatsoever. Not to the extreme used - it just wasn't believable. And with such a flaw, it took away from pretty much everything else that happened after, at least to me.
On the good side - lots and lots of in-jokes and acts of homage for the second of the original Star Trek movies. They even took several familiar scenes and twisted them for the new timeline. (Some worked really well, others not as much.) They also snuck in a "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor not a 'insert occupation here'!" which made my hubby very, very happy. A lot of the little moments were a lot of fun. Watching Spock being befuddled by the actions of those around him and vice versa, never gets old.
There were actually a few unexpected twists and surprises. One I'd told hubby my suspicions on six months or more ago after seeing the first trailers, so it made me giggle when he looked over at me in surprise when my guess did come to pass. Loved that Uhura got more screen time and was pivotal more than once. You go, girl!
I still want to know why the heck McCoy had a dead Tribble sitting around in sickbay.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The hand-to-hand fight on Chronos was great! Wonderful intro for the Klingon race into the new universe.
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: From the futuristic city of London to the ruins on Cronos, everything looked pretty amazing. The cloud field shot when Enterprise goes back to Earth was lovely.
Strangely, the only place that seemed not to fit was the Enterprise's engine room. The style and how it was set up clashed with the look of every other section in the ship. Very odd.
6) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up: Overall the costuming and makeup departments did a marvelous job, especially with the new aliens, and giving Klingons a new yet old look. No green tinting at all on Spock's skin, making him less Vulcan, though Kirk got plenty of it in a scene towards the end.
The uniforms on ship were reminiscent of the original TV series uniforms, and they even had a few 'red shirt' jokes, but they clashed with the new gray and black uniforms worn Earthside. For Starfleet and the Federation being dedicated to peace, the hats and dark clothes gave the opposite impression and made Starfleet members look very militant. Seemed very out of place.
Conclusion: A fun thrill ride as long as you turn your brain off and not look at anything too closely. Lots of jokes and homage to the original series and movies, so in that respect, it was a lot of fun. The very end before the credits will make many very nostalgic.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price To See Again!)