EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (director: J. J. Abrams; screenwriters: Alex Kurtzman/ Damon Lindelof/Roberto Orci/based on “Star Trek” by Gene Roddenberry; cinematographer: Dan Mindel; editor: Maryann Brandon/Mary Jo Markey; music: Michael Giacchino; cast: John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Benedict Cumberbatch (John Harrison/Khan), Alice Eve (Carol Marcus), Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott), Chris Pine (Capt. James T. Kirk), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr. Leonard McCoy), Peter Weller (Starfleet Admiral Marcus), Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov); Runtime: 132; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: J. J. Abrams/Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci/Damon Lindelof/Bryan Burk; Paramount Pictures; 2013)|
popcorn sci-fi movie."
by Dennis Schwartz
now film director J. J. Abrams ("Star
Trek"/"Mission: Impossible III"/"Super 8") follows up
his well-received 2009 reboot of Star Trek, the movie
that gave new life to the classic 1960s TV series,
with a popcorn sci-fi movie shot in 3D Imax. It looks surprisingly flat in
this medium. Abrams messes with Star Trek purist
Trekkie sensibilities to keep it as a crowd-pleasing
action pic that touches on topical issues of domestic
terrorism. Its plot line builds around a conflict
among the Enterprise crew and of the good guys
overcoming their differences to re-unite to save the
world from the brilliant, elusive and dangerous
villain John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch, Brit actor), one of theirs gone bad.
The script is by
Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.
The returning young new stars
include the risk-taking brash captain James Kirk (Chris
Pine), the unemotional mission
conflicted half-man, half-Vulcan philosophizing
first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) and his girlfriend,
the fiery communications lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana).
Kirk was removed of his Enterprise command by his mentor
boss, Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), for
insubordination when on an exploratory mission on the volcanic planet Nibiru and
is reassigned to the Academy. The USS Enterprise crew
also includes ship doctor “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban),
chief engineer Scotty (Simon Pegg), Chekov (Anton
Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho).
We're in 23rd-century London and
learn that a Starfleet intelligence archive has been
sabotaged by the brilliant doctor Harrison. The hawkish
his leaders together in their San Francisco
headquarters to discuss the threatening situation,
when a bomb by Harrison tries to wipe them all out.
Almost all are saved by the intuitive Kirk's last
second warning, which earns him back his captain
position on the Enterprise. This time the Enterprise,
armed as a warship, treks to the warlike Klingon, the
home planet of Kronos, where Harrison
retreated to after the bombing. It's up to the
Enterprise, involved in overblown starship battles, to
stop the terrorist. It results in the destruction of San
Francisco. But with the help of Admiral Marcus's sexy weapon expert
daughter Carol (Alice Eve ), a stowaway on the Enterprise,
all is seemingly well by the end of the third act.
pic jettisons gravitas for an absurd, confusing and
disheartening story line, as it fails to keep intact
the Utopian ideals of Gene Roddenberry, Star
Trek's original author, by making it instead a
simplistic blockbuster action pic that is too readily
applauding military might above all else (though
pretending otherwise) and offering crocodile tears to
the victims of terrorism.
REVIEWED ON 5/16/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ