Star Trek Into Darkness
Director: J. J. Abrams
Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Noel Clarke, Leonard Nimoy
After a couple of attacks on Starfleet by John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his subsequent escape to the Klingon home planet Kronos, Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are sent there with a new kind of missile to kill Harrison. Even though Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) have their doubts about the legitimacy of that mission, Kirk sticks to it. At first at least.
I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be fun in a not exactly intelligent way. Nevertheless I had my problems enjoying it because it was just so damn dumb. But even that I wouldn’t have minded so much if the pacing had been a little better. It’s still enjoyable, but just not as much as I had hoped.
I really don’t know why people are so enamored with J. J. Abrams and the Orci/Kurtzman/Lindelof writing team. The script was so bad, especially in the plotting department: it’s predictable (even to someone like me who doesn’t have all of Trek history at her disposal), yet full of holes and stupidity. And the ending was so paint by numbers you didn’t care about seeing it unfold, you just wanted it to be over.
And that’s because the pacing plain sucked. The plot moves in fits and bursts, usually at a pretty high speed, to then come at a complete standstill where Abrams is basically shouting, “EMOTIONAL SCENE! TEARS! NOW!” into your ear and you’re actually expected to go along with that. Plus, ALL THE LENS FLARES! You know, I do appreciate the aesthetics of a good lens flare, but that is just too much. I kid you not, in one shot there were three (3!) separate flares. Dude. Get over it.
But apart from that, the film was pretty cool. I really liked most of the jokes (especially when Simon Pegg delivered them). The effects were awesome (we saw it in 2D which I think was the right decision). The best thing about it, though, as in the last film, was the cast. Zachary Quinto did great (even if the script was a little weird with all the bromance emotions) and his chemistry with Zoe Saldana is wonderful. She is generally brilliant. Simon Pegg, as I said. John Cho, in his one real scene, was wonderful (and dammit, if he doesn’t get hotter by the minute). Karl Urban!
But even there there were a couple of things that bothered me. What the hell did they do to Chekhov? Anton Yelchin is such a talented actor, but all he got to do was have a Russian accent. And I know this might be a little neurotic, but it really bothered me that Peter Weller spoke with the most American of accents, while Alice Eve had the most English accent of all the people in the film. Lastly, and I know that this is probably not a problem that can be generalized, but Benedict Cumberbatch… yes, he’s a good actor with a great voice. But honestly all I could think about was: why does everybody and their grandmother (at least on tumblr) think this guy is sexy? WHY? What is it I’m not seeing? I just can’t. There are people other people find attractive that I don’t but where I can follow the thought at least. But with Benedict Cumberbatch I really really can’t and I couldn’t see his character because of all of these thoughts.
Well. I guess I have to work out my own issues. Everybody else can enjoy the performance and most of the film.
Summarising: It’s fine.