One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.
'Star Trek' One Big Scene: Kirk's Space Jump Will Drag You to the Edge of Your Seat
Only one? J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is made up of roughly 15 “One Big Scenes,” with a vengeance plot weaved between them. Some take place in the belly of a raging volcano. Others take place on the deck of a crumbling U.S.S. Enterprise. And one – my favorite – takes place in the deepest reaches of outer space.
Abrams continues the mission that he started with his 2009 Star Trek reboot – to send a new version of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) on thrilling adventures through the galaxies. We’ll analyze the one scene we think absolutely needs to be seen on the big screen while Into Darkness is in theaters. But first, here’s what the nation’s top critics are saying about Abrams’ sequel.
What Critics are Saying:
“Star Trek Into Darkness may not go boldly back to the archives, but it serves up an exhilarating spectacle, with noteworthy moments of intimacy.”
Claudia Puig, USA Today
“A note-perfect blend of escapist fun and thought-provoking commentary, ensemble drama, comic relief, daredevil action and senses-shattering spectacle.”
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Into Darkness may not boldly go where no Trek adventure has gone before, but getting there is such a well-crafted, immensely pleasurable ride that it would be positively Vulcan to nitpick.”
Scott Foundas, Variety
As mentioned above, it’s difficult choosing only one of the multiple eye-popping scenes Abrams and his screenwriters have constructed Star Trek Into Darkness around. In an homage to Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones series, we open with a breakneck scene set in and around an active volcano. Late in the movie, Spock (Quinto) fights the movie’s chief villain (Benedict Cumberbatch) on rapidly moving space vehicles.
But, in my opinion, they pale in comparison to a space jump conducted by Kirk (Pine) and Cumberbatch’s character.
Here’s the set up. The Enterprise has been pinned down by an antagonistic ship. Both vehicles have been affected by power loss, and they’re attempting to reboot their systems. Kirk has very little time to react – essentially being told that his crew doesn’t have enough power to either warp away or fire back. The only way they can get the jump on their opponent is to enter the enemy ship and attack from within.
But in order to get to the enemy ship, it means Kirk has to essentially free-fall jump from one ship to the other through a field of space debris.
Again, Abrams borrows from Spielberg … creating a large obstacle that the hero must overcome, but adding smaller obstacles as the sequence takes place. The door Kirk must enter on the enemy’s ship is impossibly small. During the mid-air flight, an explosion knocks Kirk off course. Debris hits his face mask, threatening to cave in his helmet and, subsequently, his skull.
Are you on the edge of your seat yet?
This sequence, to me, carried the most consequence because there was severe human risk at stake. There are massive sequences in Into Darkness that deliver on the spectacle of the summer blockbuster. But few in the film were as white-knuckle as Kirk’s space race to the enemy ship. It’s it my One Big Scene from Star Trek Into Darkness, and when you see it, you’ll know why!
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.