A super spectacular space opera
Daniel Dercksen reviews Star Trek Into Darkness
With the mind-blowing Star Trek Into Darkness, master storyteller and visionary J.J. Abrams travels beyond the frontier of the imagination, delivering a super spectacular space opera.
Offering total escapism and ultimate entertainment, Star Trek Into Darkness encapsulates the sum total of Abrams' consummate creativity as filmmaker and producer: he plunges us into the mystery of his TV series Lost, explores different realities and extreme fantasy as he did with Cloverfield, and offers a nostalgic journey into the past as with Super 8.
Reuniting with his team that created the fun, the humor, and the spirit of 2009's acclaimed hit reboot of the beloved franchise, Abrams knows what entertainment is all about, and ensures that his audience will be on the edge of their seats for the entire journey.
On this second voyage, they've amped the action, raised the emotional stakes and launched the Enterprise into a high-wire, life-or-death game of chess with an unstoppable force of destruction. With everything the men and women of The Enterprise believe on the line, love is challenged, friendships torn and sacrifices are made for the only family Captain Kirk has left: the crew he commands.
Abrams takes Trekkies and adrenaline junkies on an action packed adventure that delivers what is promises, and more, thanks to a crackling script by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who have been writing partners for 18 years and also wrote the reboot of Star Trek), and
Damon Lindelof (who is also a producer on the film).
It's a vibrant odyssey into space that is filled with suspense, humour and tons of explosive action, with composer Michael Giacchino perfectly heightening the emotional impact with his powerful music score.
The overall performances are superb, particularly Chris Pine reprising the role of Kirk who must face his inner demons in outer space as he comes to grips with both his power and his vulnerability; Zachary Quinto is his First Officer, Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human who grapples to keep his logical side on top of his peskier emotions as he is compelled to look at himself as he never has before.
Equally memorable are Karl Urban as the ship's Old School Medical Officer, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, who believes Starfleet is at its best when it's about peace and exploration; English actor and comedian Simon Pegg returns as the ship's boisterous engineer, Scotty; Anton Yelchin comes back to Enterprise as the Russian prodigy Pavel Chekov; and Zoe Saldana also returns as Uhura, the no-nonsense xenolinguist who puts her skills for listening and interpreting to vital use as the Enterprise's Communications Officer.
If there is one performance everyone will be talking about, it's that of English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who delivers a mighty blow as an intergalactic terrorist, a one-man army of doom who becomes Captain Kirk's target and whose destructive instincts seem to know no earthly, or cosmic, bounds.
Another major contribution to the visual splendor is sensational production design by Scott Chambliss, who has been a frequent collaborator with Abrams but did some of the most awe-inspiring work of his career on the first "Star Trek", re-imagining the Enterprise through the prism of our present-day modernist design, cinematography by South African-born Dan Mindel; and visual effects by Roger Guyett, the Industrial Light & Magic visual guru who returns to the team as well.
You don't have to be a full blooded Trekkie or sci-fi fan to enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness; if you've got a pulse, you'll enjoy it.
It is a relevant story with social resonance that is insightful and meaningful, looking beyond the stars at what happens when our friendships and family are threatened by unseen forces.
If you are looking for first rate entertainment that won't disappoint on any level, make sure to board this voyage.
Also, experience it in its 3D format; every frame bursts to life as you are drawn deeper into its mystery and awesome adventure.
If you want to relive the adventure, watch the DVD of the 2009 Star Trek with fantastic audio commentary by J.J.Abrams and his team; it guarantees to heighten the experience you've had with Star Trek Into Darkness.
This is definitely what going to the movies is all about.
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