Diehard fans of the original Star Trek series and for that matter the movie versions featuring the original cast can be a particularly tough crowd to please when attempting to forge a new direction to the Star Trek franchise. Yet that’s exactly what J.J. Abrams did in the 2009 critically acclaimed feature film “Star Trek” with his spectacularly ambitious lens flare laden action packed adventure. The key to his success? A clever time travel plot line which effectively altered the future of the main characters leaving an open ended journey. In Mr. Abram’s latest movie, “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, we witness how the crew evolves in this unfolding paradigm of uncertainty.
How’s the Story?
Intense. The friendship of Kirk and Spock provides the emotional center of the movie. There are parallels to “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” which should either infuriate or thrill Trekkies. The dialogue is smart, snappy, and fast paced moving in tandem with the adrenaline fueled storyline. The development of the new Starship Enterprise crew continues to flourish. They have all been elevated in stature injecting a humanity, strength and tenacity needed to thrive in a volatile universe. Echoes of the original Starship Enterprise crew’s dynamic exists but in large part, this new crew has firmly begun to establish a unique identity. One can’t help get giddy witnessing Spock (Zachary Quinto) unleashed in assorted action sequences. Or relish in the reckless rogue behavior of the young maverick Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) trying to find his way out of seemingly impossible situations. In short, the movie sets the foundation for the crew to embark on a 5 year voyage of exploration.
How are the special effects?
Phenomenal. Yes, the lens flares are still prominent but that’s okay. The aesthetic of the first film carries over and continues to captivate. What’s more, although futuristic, the science fiction based technology seems more organically interwoven in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” allowing the character driven storyline to remain the primary focus of the movie. That being said, fans will still be treated to the awe inspiring visual wizardry one would expect in a rollicking big budget summer blockbuster. Translation? A geek factor of 10.
What age range would be appropriate for this movie?
Although not necessarily graphic in nature, the violence can be quite intense and gritty. I’d recommend ages 10 and up depending on the child.
Any bathroom break moments in the movie?
It’s a difficult call. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” has a rapid pace and much of the dialogue actually matters in this movie to understand the plot. Yet if one really has to go, I’d suggest to do so shortly after the attack on Star Fleet command in the first half of the movie.
The Summer of 2013 has its first legitimate blockbuster. Go see it. Then see it again. Keep the popcorn coming.
Overall Rating: A-
Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Pros: Smart, snappy dialogue. Fast paced action. Rousing adventure. Top notch performances.
Cons: The ending is somewhat anticlimactic.
Watch the official “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Trailer