Star Trek: Into Darkness.
When it comes to the ancient and honored Civil War of Geekdom, I’m afraid that my flag is firmly planted in the Star Wars camp. That’s not to take anything away from Trekkies or the object of their cult-like adherence to Starfleet, but rather as an explanation of where I stand in the eternal debate. I enjoy Star Trek, I think it’s a well worthy science-fiction series with memorable characters and it deserves the fandom it has. But it’s just a fun series of movies for me. It was a decent television series that I would watch on occasion, never with any sort of regular devotion that I reserve for a few other projects in existence. I’m not as versed as some with the subtle nuances and scattered trivia. I’m simply not as attached to the series as I would be to the Jedi or Luke Skywalker. I can complain for hours about how Han shot first, but I really don’t care about the difference between Romulans and Klingons. So I’m not heavily invested in the success or failure of the Star Trek series on the whole, which may be one of the reasons I really enjoyed the reboot.
I’ve seen what J.J. Abrams is capable of with recreating the franchise and doing so from what is basically ‘scratch’… he reset a number of characters, he dashed known “Trek” history out the window, and he created a brand new series out of the franchise with familiar and yet vastly different characters. We do get a number of the stereotypical moments with Spock, Kirk, and McCoy and the interaction between the three we come to expect. On the other hand, the characters have new histories, backgrounds, and motivations to propel the plot and Starfleet in an entirely new direction. People are happy with a few of the changes, but some fans are up in arms over a number of issues. Fair enough.
Okay, I geeked out a bit when I saw “Mickey” from Doctor Who take on a small role in the very beginning of the film. It wasn’t really much of an impact other than to start the plot moving forward and introduce us to the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The star of BBC’s “Sherlock” arrives in full force as the movies’ primary villain, a former Starfleet operative whose identity is a tightly held secret that fans of the series will thrill to discover. When he flees to Klingon space after having attacked a number of Starfleet targets (leaving a number of higher ranked officers dead or wounded), Kirk and the Enterprise are tasked with a secret mission to bomb the heck out of the Operative. The results will more than likely spark a war with the Klingon Empire, so Kirk ultimately decides to forego vengeance and attempts to capture the Terrorist instead.
The plot plays more like a Mission Impossible sort of film, with spies and intrigue and heavy action pieces all thrown into space. It doesn’t really feel like a Star Trek movie when it comes down to it, and that’s not necessarily a negative thing. Loyalties are questioned, Starfleet’s “prime directive” comes into play, and questioning when it’s alright to “break the rules” is a constant theme throughout the film. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto continue to drive the film as Kirk and Spock, their chemistry works quite well and we see how the two continue to effect one another.
4.5 out of 5.