Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Movie Review: "Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013)

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Movie"Star Trek Into Darkness"
Director: J.J. Abrams
Year: 2013
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

When a rogue member of Starfleet known as John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) orchestrates and launches multiple attacks on Starfleet command, he flees to the Klingon home planet of Kronos to hide. Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) orders Kirk (Chris Pine) and the USS Enterprise to hunt him down despite risking a full-fledged war with the Klingon empire. Loaded with top secret photon torpedoes, the Enterprise heads to the edge of the neutral zone. Kirk, however, decides the best course of action is to apprehend Harrison rather than assassinate him, and he soon finds out not everything is as black and white as he thought.

J.J. Abrams returns to the directors chair for "Star Trek Into Darkness." The entire cast from the 2009 "Star Trek" reincarnation returns, including Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, and John Cho as Sulu. The USS Enterprise faces many challenges in this second film from Abrams, many new problems and threats from within, and even ones between the Enterprise and former Starfleet agent John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. After Harrison attacks an archive building on Earth, Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew are ordered to follow him to an uninhabited area of the Klingon home planet Kronos, so they can destroy him with big freakin' torpedoes. Their plan is subsequently derailed when they realize Harrison is more than they bargained for AND IS ACTUALLY KHAN. Detection or misstep will send the Federation into war with the Klingons. Throughout the movie, there is a "war" between Kirk and Spock as well, pitting doing what they believe is right against following orders and obeying rules.

As was the case with the 2009 film that jump-started this franchise for a new age of moviegoers, even as a non-watcher and a casual fan of the old "Star Trek" shows or movies, we really found ourselves loving this movie. We love sci-fi and fantasy films, and this installment also has something for everyone, even fans of the older incarnations of this series like BigJ. Director J.J. Abrams, or The Resurrector as we've called him in recent years, even said in an interview with Jon Stewart that he made these movies with the intention of allowing everyone to see and enjoy them, not just hardcore Trekkies. Well, he has succeeded handsomely, in our opinion. Each piece of the puzzle fits, from the impressive special effects to the glorious makeup work to the emotionally investing script and the stellar acting by everyone involved in this project. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto get a chance to flex their dramatic chops as Captain Kirk and Spock once again, and their dynamic as both coworkers and friends is solidified more each time we see one of these films. What also caught our eye most of all in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is Benedict Cumberbatch. Obligatory "white guy playing Khan" aside, Cumberbatch serves as one hell of a spectacular villain, albeit dramatic and stoney-eyed. He is the perfect Khan. He looks like a snake in real life and sounds just as menacing the second he opens his mouth. He meshes with the new cast like he's been there the entire time, and we wouldn't be mad if he made an appearance in another installment later down the line.

The story here is great, and we found ourselves invested emotionally the entire time. Cumberbatch for the win, Kirk and Spock's friendship is one you truly feel and believe, and Simon Pegg's portrayal of Scotty adds a bit of much needed humor to this worthwhile, kick ass sequel with awesome direction and a franchise that just keeps getting better.

We're convinced that "our only hope" for the new Star Wars movie is J.J. Abrams.
It's going to be so wicked. (Turns out, we were right!)

**NOTE: This review has been carried over from my other blog, Lolo Loves Scents, and edited to reflect our thoughts upon a second viewing.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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