Yes, I know that’s been used on any number of internet memes, but it still works. The Star Trek sequel is possibly the biggest genre film release of the year. Sorry Fe Man 3. (Yes, I’m ignoring the second Hunger Games movie. I don’t want to see it. Really.)
I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free.
I think I’ve made my opinion clear in the past on the 2009 Star Trek reboot. The look, feel, sound, overall aesthetic, casting, and acting were all great. So was the writing, for the first half of the movie. The second half, not so much, and to the degree that it spoils the first half for me. But, with a four-year gap between movies, I had some hope that Into Darkness would be better.
My son and I went to see the movie on opening night. I tried to have no expectations to go along with the high hopes. I am, after all, a lifetime Trekkie and I’ve seen every movie in the theatre. (My son has seen every Star Trek movie in the theatre released in his lifetime, which, granted, is only three. But it’s still a tradition.)
It was fun. Not quite enough story for my taste, but a lot of action and a lot of excitement and most of what there was came across pretty solid. Instead of the writing falling apart half way through, I think it actually got stronger overall, with some weaknesses in the last quarter that I can mostly forgive due to what I perceive as the intent behind them. Unnecessary, but forgivable.
The acting was still awesome (note particularly Simon Pegg who wasn’t quite as over the top this time and awesome as Scotty, but everyone was pretty good), as were the audio and visuals. Dynamics between the primary characters were well done. If none of the principals got as much screen time as they deserved, they all served a purpose (although Chekov was a little oddly placed to me, even if it did mostly work). The story worked better this time with a little bit of twistiness this time and no outright stupidities that I caught on first viewing. Most of the issues I had were small ones and there weren’t as many of those as I was afraid of.
Carol Marcus was only vaguely necessary, mostly present for eye candy this time around but also setting up for the next movie.
Did I mention that I loved the new Klingons? They’re a small piece of the movie, but a fun one, and a potential setup for some future conflict.
My ultimate statement after the last Star Trek movie was that the writers needed to do better. They did. From the opening dash through a crimson jungle to the dénouement (always a nice touch when remembered), Into Darkness is worth watching on the big screen and will be getting added to my bluray collection when it comes out.
With JJ taking over the Star Wars resurrection, I wonder what we’ll get for the next edition of Star Trek.