Lying in bed with a nasty cold that crept up on me last night (it was kinda cold) I setup the downloaded camera print (although one of the best camera prints I have ever seen) copy of Star Trek : Into Darkness. I stopped going to movie theatres back in 2005 and although I really wanted to see this one in the theatres, I didn’t go. But I also couldn’t wait for the dvds to be released and so I finally gave in and watched it today. This is the 12th movie in the Star Trek franchise and the second of the reboot/alternative universe series with director J J Abrahms at the helm and coproduced by Abrahms, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci. The screenplay was written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof. We have the cast from 2009’s Star Trek (or Star Trek 11); Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin & John Cho as the senior officers of the USS Enterprise. Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve & Alice Eve also have huge roles in the movie and Bruce Greenwood reprises his role, although quite briefly, as Admiral Christopher Pike.
So what did I think of this movie? It’s Star Trek and I will love it. No seriously the movie is good and I do like it a lot. It’s an exciting, thrilling, action packed and a great ride. There are some negatives too and I’m laying down my points here:
- Good beginning and it was nice to see some alien landscape in this movie. There is a chase involving Kirk & Bones and a whole village of angry primitive aliens. They showed a bit of Qo’nos or Kronos (which is the initial English spelling of the Klingon home planet) but all they showed is a usually uninhabited desolate sprawl of a province. Atleast we got bird of preys, which looked awesome!
- There seems to be better interaction between the crew of the Enterprise. I certainly liked the bigger role given to Scotty and how he gets involved. I highly doubt if Prime Scotty would have ever given up his beloved ship but since this is the alternative universe, I’m ok with Scotty resigning (albeit temporarily) on a matter of principle.
- I’m really happy that they had Carol Marcus as a character in this film. Although she has only previously appeared in one movie and perhaps mentioned in the second pilot of TOS, she had a big romance with Kirk and bore him a son, David. However I do get the criticism about Alice Eve’s unnecessary underwear scene which wasn’t needed and seemed forced.
- Anton Yelchin aka Pavel Chekov has a smaller role in this film and I wish they would use him for more than just the comedy relief scenes.
- I liked Karl Urban, who is really trying hard & doing a good job of recreating the grumpy doctor that Deforest Kelley did so well, as Dr. Bones McCoy. He imitates Kelley’s mannerisms, way of speaking and walking as well. It really is a good homage for a much loved character.
- Peter Weller plays a good villainous role as Admiral Alexander Marcus, an ambitious head of starfleet who wants to be prepared for war and will do what it takes to have the winning edge. Marcus feels that the Klingons, who have already attacked & occupied two other planets, will head towards earth and wants to be prepared to defeat them. Interestingly, Weller also played a xenophobic tycoon in a two part episode of Star Trek : Enterprise.
- Best thing about the movie is the great role played by Benedict Cumberbatch. I think it was the worst kept secret that Khan Noonien Singh would appear as the villain in this movie. Cumberbatch plays the role of Khan, a 300 year old super human, genetically engineered to be much faster, stronger & more intelligent than ordinary humans. Khan goes by the alias John Harrison an operative in Starfleet’s secret Section 31, a department that Admiral Marcus setup to device weapons & technologies to counteract hostile alien forces. There are some things against that though!
- Everyone else – Quinto, Saldana & Cho did relatively good jobs in the movie. I am still not convinced about Chris Pine as Kirk. Lightyears behind William Shatner. I just wish that Bruce Greenwood had a longer role in the film. It was odd to see Kirk & Spock both being affected by his death they way that they did.
- Nice to see a tribble in the movie.
Now the cons:
- What the fuck is with Jar Jar Abrahms and those annoying lens flares? Ugh, I hate that!
- Once again we have Kirk being demoted & in trouble. Two movies in a row? Come on! Captain then first office, then captain again. Same for Spock and Kirk having big disagreements on the course of action.
- Uhuru acting like an angry girlfriend was annoying. Not what I expected from Spock & Uhura!
- Although I liked Benedict’s performance I didn’t feel that his Khan could be compared to Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. The latter just towers over the former because he displayed so much more depth. Maybe they shouldn’t have had two major villains in this movie with the Admiral in it. Really the role should have just been John Harrison!
- I did not like the death scene which was a rehash of the iconic death scene in Wrath of Khan. Only it’s Kirk who gives up his life to save the ship and crew and dies. The same kind of hands against glass and Spock yells “Khaaan”! Is JJ running out of good scenes & plots?
- And don’t get me started on the Klingons!!! They looked like Mr.T’s relatives!
All in all I do love the movie. I think it’s a good one to watch. There’s a lot to like, enough for me to give it an 8 outta 10!