Thursday, May 16, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness
More than half century after the birth of
Trek" series, director J.J. Abrams
successfully rebooted the "Star
Trek" franchise with his 2009 film "Star
Trek," the first film of a planned trilogy. His
"Star Trek Into Darkness"
(USA 2013 | 133 min.) adds more fuel to the
Trek fever, in 3D. The film's spectacular visual and engaging
characters offers exciting entertainment for Trek fans as well
as Trek novices.
Set in the 23rd Century, while the beautiful starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) continues to fly among planets "to explore strange new worlds and to seek out new life and new civilizations," war is far from over. After a bomb attack in London, USS Enterprise becomes a war machine and is deployed to pursue the one who is believed to be responsible—John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Led by its Capitan Kirk (Chris Pine), the USS Enterprise flies out of earth with a crew on board including a few familiar Trek characters such as Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).
That's how much I am willing to say about the plot, even the plot is not usually the most important aspect for a film like this. But in comparison to other action sci-fi movies, the film's story is reasonably rendered.
For Trek fans, it must be an exhilarating joy to reunite with these characters and to join their thrilling journey. However, even for non-Trek fans, the film's characters are strikingly engaging and they are not just props for the film to deliver earth-shaking special effects.
Benedict Cumberbatch's brilliant performance creates a chilling and mesmerizing villain. But Zachary Quinto stands out for playing the lovable, funny, even sensitive half-human Spock, who triggers most laughter in the film. The film cleverly lets Spock speak his logical mind about the ethical principle behind their war mission, which clearly references to the current debate about the U.S. drone attacks.
Despite the spectacular computer generated visual effects in the film, the imagination about the 23rd Century seems to be limited to our current hand-held device reality. For example, Scotty still uses a flip phone which remarkably resembles a Motorola phone (even the logo); Kirk zooms-in with his two fingers on an iPad-alike device during a meeting; soldiers still need a rope to come down from a flying ship; and a battle must be ultimately settled by a good-old-fashioned fist fight.
On the bright side, it's comforting to see that in the 23rd Century, the Golden Gate Bridge still stand beautifully tall with the new skyline in San Francisco, and the cable cars are still moving, slowly.