By Bruce Kirkland ,QMI Agency
First posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:01 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013 08:48 AM EDT
Star Trek Into Darkness is a first class ticket into outer space. If you feel the urge, rocket yourself into blockbuster happiness.
This movie is BIG. This movie boldly goes. This movie is intelligent. This movie is a brilliant technical marvel. It even has 3D special effects that go beyond the usual gimmicks employed by Hollywood. In contrast, Shane Black trashes up his summer opus, Iron Man 3, with the gimmicky. The format should enhance our experience, not inconvenience us. In the new Star Trek, 3D actually adds depth to the characters and their dilemmas.
Add it all up and J.J. Abrams has worked a Hollywood miracle with Star Trek Into Darkness. He has made a sequel that is even better than the original. Given that his "original" is a reboot of a 47-year-old franchise, the freshness and vitality of both of his Star Trek movies is astounding.
Star Trek Into Darkness obviously brings back the core cast from Star Trek of 2009. So we get a maturing ensemble built around Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, John Cho as Sulu and the peerless Canadian character actor Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike. They are all absolutely excellent again.
Newcomers include Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus and -- with far more import -- Benedict Cumberbatch as the film's mysterious, secretive villain. With his steely, haughty, arrogant demeanour as the character, Cumberbatch steals every scene he is in. His story calls for empathy; his actions call for revenge, especially with the hotheaded Kirk at the helm. What results is the making of a true starship Enterprise captain.
All these characters, including the added ones, are familiar. At least to anyone who has ever explored the frontiers of the Star Trek universe, going back to the original television series of 1966-69. In spirit, the reboots are remarkably faithful to the origins of the franchise, its characters and its plotlines.
The casting was ingenious. The similarities are uncanny, even when all the new actors do their own thing. The end of Star Trek Into Darkness makes you feel you could slip into the Shatner-Nimoy era with ease. That is true even though the new movies are set in the 2200s in "an alternate timeline" that gave Abrams' team the freedom to make up their own rules.
The plot of Star Trek Into Darkness is credited to the comic book geek Damon Lindelof as well as the producing-writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the Transformers franchise and helped Abrams re-launch Star Trek. Orci and Kurtzman knew Abrams from their contributions to his TV series Alias. Their Star Trek movies have something that their Transformers movies do not: a complex plot that makes sense and scans well on-screen. You do not need a team of Trekkers to track it.
Star Trek Into Darkness is built around Cumberbatch's nemesis -- his terrorist acts, the manhunt that ensues and his distressing backstory. This movie makes it clear why he's seeking vengeance -- and how many will die dealing with it. This is a thrilling story told with warp speed energy. The movie sets a highwater mark for the rest of this summer's blockbusters.
'Star Trek Into Darkness' is a first class ticket into outer space | Movies | Entertainment | Toronto Sun