Written August 20, 2014
After rebooting the Star Trek Universe with 2009's "Star Trek", JJ Abrams and team are back for another round. But, it seems this time, they started writing the script after marathoning TOS and the movies, since much of the ground covered in Into Darkness is VERY familiar.
The Good: The effects are great, Benedict Cumberbatch gives a masters class on acting, action is good, and the pacing does well to keep the film moving.
The Bad: The plot is very predictable, the characters are old hat, and the 3rd act plays like they're reading it from a "how to make an action movie for dummies" book.
All in all, this is a descent showing of the actors and does well in taking the over-arching plot from a Universal scale to a very personal one for the lead characters, but in the end, it falls short of the greatness that fans had hoped for. A fun, but forgettable addition to the new canon.
Written May 16, 2013
Aside from the slight lull towards the beginning of the movie, this show was beyond expectations. This sequel rivals Die Hard 2 (late 80's sequel). It is a fast, building 2 hours. Movie of the year so far by my book (yes, I saw Iron Man and Oblivion).
Characters from the first installment maintain/improve upon their personalities and performances. The writers and designers did a solid job of incorporating the parts effectively and allocating the involvement of the specific roles. Also, they didn't tarnish the experience by making adjustments to the costumes or overall feel of Star Trek (why I reference Die Hard 2 and not The Matrix Trilogy).
The emotional feeling conveyed draws you into the movie (what the notebook does to your date, but Star Trek style). The story is rather unpredictible, yet flows along quite well. The bad guy is one bad dude, and I now know who Alice Eve is...
Written May 17, 2013
Abrams has struck just the right chord with these new treks. The characters turn in "essence" performances while bringing something genuinely new to the material. They constantly nod to the canon, but never parody it. The action sequences are unrelenting without overreaching. I enjoyed every single scene and heard no sharps or flats in the characters' performances. Pitch perfect!
This trek is a worthy sequel, and exceeds the 2009 reboot.
Even trekkies will appreciate that actual Klingon is spoken in the movie.
Cumberbatch is obviously going to be a future threat, and I can definitely see the possibility of a future "wrath of cumberbatch" that will indeed rival the movie that many believe is the gold standard--The Wrath of Khan. This movie moves us dramatically in that direction. But not by fits and starts, but by leaps and bounds.
Wonderful job. There must be another sequel. This series is just too rich with possibilities to leave it at 2.
Written May 18, 2013
A great movie starts with a great trailer that can get you excited yet give away as little of the actual plot as possible. Kudos to J.J. Abrams for the excellent set up and execution!
This movie had the right amount of everything...drama, comedy, seriousness, cheesiness, action, acting, cinematography, costumes, action (deserves a double mention), special effects, set design...everything!
As predictable as some parts were, other parts seemed to warp out of nowhere to great effect. Into the Darkness seems both familiar and fresh. Some elements definitely echo The Wrath of Khan even though this story takes place parallel to that one in an alternative universe sort of way.
This movie shows that the Star Trek franchise has legs and plenty of room to stretch them into future amazing movies.
The beginning of the credits has cool planetary scenes (especially in 3D). There's nothing after.
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Written May 20, 2013
Newbie Trekkies will enjoy this and everyone will enjoy the special effects. But veteran Trekkies will find this all too predictable because they have seen it before. The role reversal of Spock and Kirk in their mirrored, alternate universe when experiencing the final solution to this conflict with Khan was almost imaginative. Casting really makes it worth watching.