Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX 3D – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

star trekStar Trek Into Darkness in IMAX 3D – 4/5 – Summer season; it is what we call the time of the year when the big blockbusters and epic films come out.  This time of the year, it isn’t where we expect the most dramatic, character driven or even most interpersonal films vying for an Oscar, but ones that have big set pieces, awesome dialogue, and from beginning to end, all out entertainment.  This film is the true definition of a summer blockbuster.  J.J. Abrams understands what the audience wants, and he delivers.  Solid action, great characters and all entertaining ride, Star Trek Into Darkness is the official start of the Summer blockbuster season.

Premise: When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they encounter an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization.  With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture this man of a mysterious past.  As our heroes are propelled into an epic game of life and death, there values are challenged, friendships are tested, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

When you speak of this new incarnation of Star Trek, the focus is still on the main two characters from the original material, Kirk and Spock.  Each of these two characters is played by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto respectfully.  In these roles, like the first film, they are fantastic.  They provided two distinct characters, with contrasting styles, motives and personalities.  As Kirk, Chris Pine provides someone who is brash, emotional but always trying his best to do what’s right. In this film, you see he is progressing from the adolescent that he once was, and is learning on how to be a captain in this film.  Through great acting and interaction with everyone on screen, he must learn the truth of sacrifice and the virtues of what it means to command the Enterprise.  As his First Mate, Spock is someone who is calculated, by-the-books and very logical.  Of Vulcan Descent, Quinto provides a great character, which is unique and contrasting to Kirk’s expressive personality.  There clashes are comical, but also dramatic at certain times in the film.  He is the basic ‘brains’ to Kirks ‘brawn’ tactics as leader.  This helps motivate and maneuver the characters and stories in this film.   When it comes to the cast of the crew, we have Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).  These characters are brought to life with lively and unique styles by all the actors/actresses, and they help provide a unique but enjoyable cast of individuals, who all has their own skills, personalities and motivation on this ship.  As the crew of the enterprise, they provide the truth to ‘family’, and helps compliment the main two characters.  In this film, the villain is played by renowned actor, Benedict Cumberbatch.  In this role, he provides someone who is smart, subtle, but truly vile and evil.  His character has a grudge against the federation, and he wants to take them out at all cost.  With the clash of a great villain; as he helps provide a great antagonist to the crew of the enterprise, helping add depth and intrigue to the movie’s story and crew.  It also helps provide a growth to the Kirk and Spock character, as they learn more about being part of a crew, and being more than just mates, but friends.

The direction of this film is a combination of simple sci-fi and Star Trek lore combined with characterization of the main two characters.  In the first twenty or so minutes, you are setup to Kirk and Spock’s troubles with each other and with the Star Fleet.  There is a lot of confliction because Kirk doesn’t always follow the Fleet’s regulations and Spock is ‘by the rules’ kind of mate.  This creates a confliction to their friendship, but enough of a conflict that deepens both characters and show how far their relationship has come.  Along with this, we are introduced to the new villain, played by Cumberbatch.  He attacks the Fleet’s HQ, and it thrust Kirk back into the role as captain, and is sent to chase him down in Klingon space.  This is where the film has a lot of big ‘action’ moments, as Abrams uses his creativity in creating epic sequences (warp drive and alien shootouts) combined with witty dialogue between the crew of Enterprise.  This direction gives the film a mixture of heart and ‘on your seat’ entertainment.  Once the film progresses, and Cumberbatch’s purpose and history come to the forefront, you witness a layering under the Star Trek ‘sci-fi’ universe and a characterization of Kirk and Spock.  This helps provide a greater attachment to him and his crew, helping create great pacing between the character heavy scenes and the action elements.  A lot of familiarity to the Star Trek lore is also introduced through this, causing a lot of predictability to set in.  There are some changes to the lore that happens, and the characterization of the main two helps keep you involved emotionally when the guessing game starts to come to mind.  When the climax hits, you really see a deeper complex into the themes of having heart, honor, respect and friendship.  The humanity that is injected with the amazing action in the ending is both amazing and ironic, because of all the Sci-Fi elements surrounding the themes.  Abrams does a good job in injecting Star Trek lore with great storytelling, helping create a level of humility that progresses Kirk and Spock to the next phase of their relationship.

The visuals of the film are astounding.  As Abrams is a visual aficionado, he creates a vast and deep world that is imaginative, unique but believable.  Set in the future, he provides a futuristic world that is both ‘deep within’ Sci-Fi fantasy, but is raw and real to the eyes of the audience.  He combines real world elements and CGI with ease, as you can never actually tell what’s real and what’s fake on screen.  Outside of the worlds created, the uniforms and ship of the Enterprise is just as deeply arousing as the other visuals.  There is nothing about these items that don’t scream ‘awesome’, as they combine with attractive colors and unique usage of lens flares, providing an emotional attachment to objects that lack emotions.  No matter if you’re stationary or traveling at warp speed, you are engaged through it all.  The 3D element adds another level of awe to this film.  There are typical ‘pop out’ or ‘throwing’ aspects of 3D, but the immersion of everything is deeply gratifying, and brings you closer to the world then normal 2D ratio.  The score is also prevalent, and provides enough value to create the ‘epic’ feel through the action sequences and dire situations in the film.  There are at times when the score invokes an ‘overuse’ feel, but it doesn’t hinder the progress of the story or characters.

Overall, Star Trek Into Darkness is a great summer blockbuster, which provides homage to the original source material but also creates a new story with deeply involved characters.  Kirk and Spock are excellent and created wonderfully by Pine and Quinto, and the villain (Cumberbatch) is truly a force to be reckoned with.  The story is involving, and the set pieces are great mastery of the imagination.  If you’re a fan of Star Trek, or looking for a great summer movie to watch, this is one for you.  You will not be disappointed.

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