The Liner Notes

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)


“Shall we begin?” I honestly don’t where to start with this review…I was totally enthralled with this film from start to finish. JJ Abrams exceeded my already high expectations for this much anticipated sequel. From the casting, to the writing, to the photography and even the 3D; everything was handled with precision and care.

I will keep this review as spoiler free as best I can because I want everyone to have the best viewing experience possible. We join the crew of the USS Enterprise mid-mission at the start of the movie. The end result of this mission causes major conflict between Capt Kirk (Chris Pine) and Starfleet, but more importantly with his first officer, Spock (Zachary Quinto). During all this, we are introduced to the enigmatic Commander John Harrison (a spell-binding Benedict Cumberbatch) who clearly has a deep vendetta against Starfleet. Kirk and his crew go on a mission to find Harrison and…this is where I’ll stop. If I go any further I will surely give something away.

You all probably remember how emotionally powerful the prologue is in the first film, right? Well that same gravitas is throughout this film. I’ll admit it, I teared up more than once…ok fine…I cried. This is all due to the work of the screenwriters (Orci & Kurtzman), who wrote the 2009 film along with fellow Bad Robot alum Damon Lindelof, and the actors. The performances are top notch and when you have such a strong actor as Benedict Cumberbatch stealing the show, you can tell that he elevates the rest of the cast to match his presence. The other welcome addition to the cast was Robocop himself, Peter Weller. I had no idea he was in it and seeing him on the big screen was quite a treat.  This film focuses on two major themes (there are others obviously), relationships (specifically the crew of the Enterprise) and hubris. With this type of film and it being a sequel to a huge box-office and critical success, the impulse to make it bigger and better would have been the logical choice. Instead, the creative team pulls it back and focuses on the characters. The first film gave us the introduction into this universe, now they the freedom to show who these characters are and how they will evolve throughout their journey(s).

That’s not to say that it’s all character driven, the scope is more expansive this time as well. We are taken to other territories in the universe that Trek fans will know very well. The action sequences will knock your socks off and take you an awesome ride. I do want to note that the 3D in this film is excellent. I have seen 3D film after 3D film and they are terrible. The post-conversion process done on this is consistent and adds atmosphere and depth to the film. It doesn’t distract you from what is going on, it immerses you. I was so impressed.

I could ramble on about how I loved this film (blows Iron Man 3 out of the water), but you should go experience it for yourself! I do recommend that if you can, go see it in IMAX because there were key scenes shot on the IMAX film format. If you can’t, at least see it in 3D-it is actually worth the money.  Trek fans will have PLENTY of fan service in this movie and even those who aren’t will still enjoy this amazing filmic frontier! Live long and prosper.


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