Belated Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Somehow, in my busy teenage life since May of this year, I seemed to have forgotten to write my review for the sequel to the 2009 reboot, Star Trek. The sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, takes place one year after the events of the first installment and focuses on Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), along with the U.S.S Enterprise crew, and their venture into the Klingon homeworld in search of a ruthless Starfleet member-turned-terrorist who has threatened the citizens of Earth and the Enterprise crew. Now that the film has been released on DVD and Blu-ray, I feel that it's as good a time as ever to share my thoughts after seeing the film for the second time tonight.

When I first saw the film in theaters, in IMAX 3D to be exact, I was so hyped for the return of the new Enterprise crew I had come to love in 2009, with Star Trek. Now, with its sequel, I was overly impressed with how it turned out in my first ever viewing of the film, with its sci-fi action to the brilliant talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, the newest addition to the Star Trek cast. Being a fan of sci-fi, but hardly being considered a "Trekkie", I enjoyed the film for many reasons (I'll elaborate later). However, after seeing it again, I began to realize the terrible downside to the film, summing it up in only a single word: Cliché. If you're unfamiliar with the word, a cliché is whenever something, phrase or action, gets overused and becomes common among similar concepts. I noticed this tonight, while watching the film, and realized that most of the plot is quite cliché. From the usual "saved at the last minute" cliché to the reuse of famous quotes from the past Star Trek films, this film was built on its use of these common ideas to fuel its blockbuster success. No, I'm not saying that every film is horrible when using clichés, or that reusing famous lines from their own franchise is bad, I'm just saying that in my second look at the film, I've noticed it's not all that good. Aside from that minor rant that was brought upon by my dad, who fell asleep for 20 minutes of the film tonight by the way, I was just looking at the film further than from a fan-boy's perspective, trying to determine if the film is worthy or not to consider a third time. Either way, the film is awesome if you're a "Trekkie", funny if you're a comedy person, and quite entertaining if you like space and starships and you can't wait like four more years for a Star Wars film to show up again (I'll share my opinion on that briefly later because I'm bored).

Aside from the plot of the film, the cast is, and always will be (unless you kill off Scotty), amazing. From younger Kirk, played by the playboy Chris Pine, to the (almost) emotionless Spock (Zachary Quinto with pointy ears), the cast in the film has been exceptional compared to the original Star Trek shows/films. Now, in the sequel, the cast has been greatly improved for the better of the rebooted series, adding more interesting characters and even bringing back a few favorites for the heck of it. The best of the revived characters was probably the villainous John Harrison, who, if you have already seen the film or at least seen the huge news from anywhere online, was eventually revealed as... (Caution: Spoil...ah, who am I kidding, you guys already know)...Khan! That's right: Khan, the ruthless antagonist of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where his character looked mighty different than he does in his younger days. Playing the ruthless bad-ass, was none other than the talented Mr. Cumberbatch, who also played the master detective Sherlock Holmes in BBC's Sherlock. Cumberbatch, whom I've barely seen in anything, proved he had the chops (and the emotion) to play this scarred murderer who's just trying to save his own crew. Witnessing just how frightening Cumberbatch was as a ruthless villain, it got me hooked on the idea as him being perfect for the voice role of the robotic menace Ultron in the Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron. Then, after another awesome actor was chosen (NBC's The Blacklist's James Spader) as Ultron, I considered the choice and said "Sorry, Batchy, maybe next time." and I'm letting Spader bring the bad-assery for the coming future. As for Benedict "Batchy" Cumberbatch, he's still on my #1 list for scariest enhanced human-thing, and will hopefully reprise his role as Khan in later Star Trek films.

The master behind the new Star Trek franchise, along with other amazing sci-fi films, is J.J. Abrams, the true geek-god instead of Joss Whedon (No disrespect there, he did direct The Avengers). However, Abrams might as well earn that title, taking on Star Trek, and then tackling the future evolution of nerds' favorite space franchise, unless you're a major Trekkie, and that's Star Wars. After Star Wars creator and my life-long idol (maybe after Spielberg) George Lucas gave up the reins to the franchise, Disney got a hold of it, and finally so did Abrams. I have the slightest clue of what the future holds for the franchise, but I do know that Abrams has the skills and ideas to revive Star Wars for the new generation. Even if there's an aged Mark Hamill or a relative of Jar Jar...wait, what am I saying? Leave Binks out! That's my only advice to you, J.J. Either way, I'm into whatever Abrams has up his sleeves for the Star Wars franchise and I'm excited to see how good the next Star Trek film will be (and J.J., lay off the clichés for a while).

Well, after staying up past midnight and getting all that off my shoulder and into your mind, I'll leave you with this. Have faith in J.J. Abrams, he's a talented director and he knows his science fiction pretty darn well. Star Trek Into Darkness may be flawed, may be a huge cliché in some ways, however it was a decent continuation of the franchise and is very enjoyable to any action movie fan, Trekkie, or whatever you call a Star Wars fan alike. That's all I have to say because I'm tired and I can't rant about anything else, so check back soon for more movie reviews and other things, and leave comments on whatever you like.

I gave this film a 7 out of 10 because I love the franchise and the cast, and I enjoyed seeing Cumberbatch kick some Klingon and Starfleet butt throughout the film. I have faith that Abrams can stick with Star Wars and bring some fresh new ideas and characters to the big screen in the next few years.               

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