“Star Trek: Into Darkness” Dazzles, Intrigues

(Courtesy Photo)

(Photo courtesy of www.startrek.com)

“Star Trek: Into Darkness” is the sequel to producer J.J. Abram’s 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise. In this installment, Starfleet is terrorized by former agent John Harrison, and Captain Kirk leads the crew of the Starship Enterprise to hunt him down. The plot thickens as Kirk learns from Harrison that Admiral Marcus has been withholding secrets. Surrounded by intrigue, Kirk is left not knowing who trust, and the movie quickly becomes an action-packed thriller filled with suspense and uncertainty.

The film features Chris Pine as Captain Kirk supported by Zachary Quinto as his first officer Spock. The antagonist of the movie, Agent John Harrison, is played by the illustrious Benedict Cumberbatch (a dozen Sherlock fangirls just swooned … I did too).

This movie gets a lot of things right. Right from the start, J.J. Abrams throws you into intense action sequences, setting the tone for the rest of the movie. The action strikes an impressive balance between showiness, innovation and Vulcan death grips; “Star Trek: Into Darkness” keeps you on the edge of your seat. Upon leaving the theatre, I was overcome with a sense of bewilderment from how dull reality is.

Complementing the thrilling action scenes are stunning visual effects. One of the most important parts of a good sci-fi film is the “look-really-cool” factor — a highly technical film school term — and Star Trek does not disappoint. The layout of the Enterprise, the designs of the technologically advanced weapons, the alien planets — everything in this movie looks amazing. Star Trek creates a beautiful futuristic universe that I really wish I could live in.

Good action and stunning visuals alone, however, cannot make a good movie. Star Trek has an intriguing plot line to back them up. The movie is filled with gripping suspense and unpredictable plot twists that make the story interesting and enjoyable to watch. Swept by the quickly moving plot, you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next.

In addition to impressive visuals and captivating action, Star Trek gives you a good laugh as well. The dialogue between characters is funny and clever without getting too cheesy.

However, no movie is without flaw, and Star Trek is no exception. One of my main complaints is that most of the characters are very two-dimensional — and I doubt paying the extra money for 3D glasses would help. Captain Kirk is hopelessly arrogant and foolhardy, Spock is highly logical, Sherlock is manipulative and calculating, and Doctor Bones tries far too hard to be dramatic. And that’s all there is to them. The characters stay exactly the same through the entire movie, and their actions are highly predictable because of it, making them not very interesting to watch.

Furthermore, Starfleet is laughable. The top-notch military organization has the most abysmal security I have ever witnessed. They let a massive, powerful starship fly right next to their headquarters’ huge glass window, behind which sits every major officer of Starfleet. So many things are wrong with that picture. To add to their utter lack of security, Starfleet houses a large amount of corruption and secrecy within itself — a fact that should prove catastrophic for any organization. I was amazed that Starfleet could still function.

Also a bit disconcerting was the fact that there seemed to be more romantic scenes between Kirk and Spock than with either of their ostensible romantic interests. While it detract much from the movie, to me, to use Spock’s words, it was highly illogical.

Overall, while I found some minor flaws, “Star Trek: Into Darkness” was a very solid movie. Whether you’re a Trekkie or not, the great action, stunning visuals and intriguing plot make for a captivating and enjoyable movie. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a movie to watch this summer.

“Star Trek: Into Darkness” is rated PG-13 and runs 132 minutes.

Elliot Cheung
Staff Writer

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