Friday, May 31, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness: The Re(al) - view

James T. Kirk: Why would Starfleet ask a three-hundred year-old frozen man for help? 
Khan: Because I am better. 
James T. Kirk: At what? 
Khan: Everything. Alexander Marcus needed to respond to an uncivilized threat in a civilized time, and for that, he needed a warrior's mind - my mind - to design weapons and warships. 
Spock: You are suggesting the Admiral violated every regulation he vowed to uphold, simply because he wanted to exploit your intellect... 
Khan: He wanted to exploit my savagery! Intellect alone is useless in a fight, Mr. Spock. You can't even break a rule, how can you be expected to break a bone?
Before the heap of praise begins, I must confess that Star Trek Into Darkness is not on par with its predecessor, Star Trek, but that is not a bad thing at all. This was one fun, amazing and action packed Sci Fi experience with the twists placed at the right spots (unlike this HUGE disappointment).

There are very few names that I see attached to a movie and immediately get on my must-see list; like Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, David Fincher, The Cohens (about three others) and J.J. 'the genius' Abrams (who is just directing his fourth feature film). I must confess once again that I am not a trekkie, but I think I am gradually becoming (thanks The Big Bang Theory!). The team (Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Abrams) behind this move already amazed me in the prequel and they did not cease to amaze once more, albeit on a lower scale.

The plot for Into Darkness lacks the punch of its predecessor; the promotion lets us know that we have a one man super-villain on our hands but as the movie progresses the villain (Khan excellently portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch) sort of turns out to be the good guy, and you sort of feel for his plight only for him to go full scale baddie. For trekkies the casting choice maybe an issue given its deviation from the original series; but for new-comers like yours truly, its a breath of fresh air seeing a villain that is a match for the group of protagonists in this case. Sort of like Loki in The Avengers.

Special effects wise, Into Darkness is spectacular, the destructions were not over-the-top, but they delivered beautifully. But I'd like to note that the space jump here may have seemed much dangerous with debris all over the place, it was not nearly as awesome as the space jump in its predecessor; this is because the first space jump (visually & audibly) made me feel like I was the one in the suit (you  could only hear the breath of characters - which brought reality to a yet unrealistic situation).

While the direction and production were great, it's the actors who deserve all the praise - most of all ... you guessed correctly, Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch's portrayal of Khan was absolutely brilliant! His elocution and charisma amped up the IQ on-screen each time he spoke. His brilliant interactions with the dynamic duo (Kirk & Spock) was a beauty to watch; something any fan of Sherlock would be familiar with. With this performance, Cumberbatch has truly cemented his portrayal of Khan as a one of the finest villains in recent times. I hope to see his re-occurrence in a later sequel.

The protagonists - Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) & Chekov (Anton Yelchin) - were like a well oiled machine. The way the characters seemed to effortlessly bounce off one another was a joy to watch with lots of guaranteed laughs. The new addition to the Enterprise, Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) provided more depth to the characters' relationships on the ship, and I look forward to seeing her develop with the franchise.

My favourite scene was where Spock went full human (emotionally), yelling and angry. Wow! That was a climatic scene for the franchise, and it projected exactly what the makers were going for - Loyalty, Honour and Friendship. This was a lovely and intellectually exciting film! Thanks J.J!

Opened: May 16, 2013 Runtime: 2 hr. 12 min. Genre: Sci Fi, Action, Adventure Rated: 12A