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Sunday, May 19, 2013

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS REVIEW



About The Movie:

The USS Enterprise has been sent to the planet Nibiru to observe a primitive civilization. Captain James T. Kirk violates the Prime Directive when First Officer Spock's life is jeopardized, exposing the Enterprise to the planet's civilization during the rescue. Called back to Earth, Kirk is demoted to first officer of the Enterprise, with his predecessor, Admiral Christopher Pike reassuming command. The two attend an emergency meeting at Starfleet Command to discuss the bombing of a secret Section 31 installation in London, perpetrated by former Starfleet agent John Harrison. The meeting is attacked by a small gunship piloted by Harrison, who kills Pike. Kirk neutralizes the gunship, but Harrison escapes. With Pike dead, Kirk is reinstated as the Enterprise's captain. Discovering that Harrison has fled to the Klingon homeworld of Kronos, Kirk receives special permission from Admiral Alexander Marcus to hunt down Harrison. The Enterprise is supplied with 72 long-range prototype photon torpedoes, and is ordered to fire them at Harrison's location once he is found. However, Scotty, Spock, Bones and Uhura convince Kirk to capture rather than kill Harrison.

Arriving at Kronos, an away team comprised of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura land to find Harrison, but are surrounded by Klingons. Harrison wipes out the Klingons and confronts the away team, but surrenders after learning the precise number of photon torpedoes aimed at him. Returning to the Enterprise, Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan, a genetically engineered superhuman who was awakened from his over 200-year cryosleep by Admiral Marcus to develop advanced weapons for war against the Klingon Empire. The torpedoes are found to contain cryogenic pods with his colleagues inside, held hostage by Marcus.

The Enterprise is soon intercepted by an unmarked Federation dreadnought, the USS Vengeance, designed by Khan and commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus demands Kirk hand over Khan, but Kirk refuses. The Enterprise warps to Earth to have Khan stand trial, but is attacked by the Vengeance mid-warp, exiting 237,000 km from Earth. With the Enterprise severely damaged, Kirk offers to hand over Khan and the 72 pods in exchange for the lives of his crew, but Marcus refuses and orders the Enterprise's destruction. The Vengeance suddenly suffers a power outage caused by Scotty, who had infiltrated the ship after following coordinates given by Khan to Kirk. Kirk and Scotty ally themselves with Khan and board the Vengeance, where they take the bridge. Khan betrays the duo and takes control of the Vengeance, killing Marcus.

Khan negotiates with Spock, beaming Kirk and his boarding party back to the Enterprise in exchange for the 72 torpedoes, planning to destroy the Enterprise. Spock instead beams armed torpedoes to the Vengeance, keeping the cryo-pods on the Enterprise, having learned from Spock Prime of his experience with Khan in his parallel time-frame beforehand. Spock Prime reveals that Khan is 'mad' and cannot be trusted. The torpedoes incapacitate the Vengeance, and both damaged ships start descending towards Earth. Kirk re-aligns the Enterprise's warp core, enabling the crew to regain control of the ship, but contracts fatal radiation poisoning in the process. The Vengeance crashes in downtown San Francisco, where Spock pursues Khan on foot. Bones' experiment on a Tribble has revealed that Khan's blood may save Kirk. Meanwhile, Uhura aids an enraged Spock in subduing Khan.

In the aftermath, Kirk is revived and returns to duty as captain of the Enterprise. Khan is sealed into his cryogenic pod and stored away with his colleagues. As the film ends, a restored Enterprise is re-christened and departs for a five-year mission of exploration.

What Is Good/Bad About The Movie

Overall, the movie benefits from a much more focused storyline than its predecessor since the franchise is no longer saddled with bringing the crew together, establishing each person’s respective duties, while also juggling an inter-connected time-traveling arc. Surprisingly, the film actually evolves key themes and character dynamics, via a journey that includes engaging riffs on the classic source material.

Chris Pine once again delivers as a young Captain Kirk, continuing to find a good balance between the traits and disposition that made the William Shatner character so memorable, without relying on imitation or caricature. Kirk’s story arc once again serves as a motor for the narrative, drawing heavily on his reckless “impulsiveness.” Thankfully, Pine is also given plenty of room to develop and grow the Captain throughout the course of the film, allowing for the kind of sincere insight and thoughtful evolution that makes this Star Trek reboot more than just a standard Hollywood cash-grab. Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) is equally enjoyable this round – especially when the filmmakers probe the ongoing conflict between his Vulcan and human emotions.

One of the sequel’s biggest strengths is its management of the large ensemble cast. Every core Enterprise member – Dr. “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Ensign Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg) – along with side characters like Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) all have their own individual arcs (as does the ship itself).

Newcomers Alice Eve and Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Carol Marcus and John Harrison, respectively) provide memorable performances in the movie. Harrison and Marcus might not quite live up to the pre-release hype, but moment-to-moment they’re both quality additions brought to life with nuanced performances.

J.J. Abrams has delivered a true follow-up in nearly every way imaginable, successfully exploring the iconic characters and expanded universe of his alternate timeline. The film is bigger and more personal than its predecessor, presenting another fun Trek adventure with captivating character drama that draws from the foundation established in the 2009 reboot (not to mention larger Star Trek mythos). The result is another bold voyage for the Starship Enterprise, one that will likely wow most moviegoers.

Overall Grade: B+



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