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Star Trek Into Darkness– Movie Review

Submitted by on May 18, 2013 – 10:22 amOne Comment

I’ve heard that when screen testing the original Ghostbusters, director Ivan Reitman showed audiences a version without special effects to see if the film would work on it’s own. If the same thing was done with Star Trek Into Darkness, I think the film would remain (almost) as awesome. Though beefed up with a lot of CGI and sci-fi twists, the latest Star Trek is at its core a gritty loose-cannon detective story with some depth and powerful acting.

It’s hard to offer a synopsis without spoiling the movie. Starfleet is attacked by rogue commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Kirk (Chris Pine) and the Enterprise pursue him to the outer reaches of space to bring him to justice. From there, Kirk begins to realize that things aren’t as they seem.

Yes, I said it’s a detective story. Or maybe a spy story. One set in the Starfleet. You could almost trace all of the tropes through the film: Kirk and crew defy orders and make a mess of a mission; he’s called in by the angry captain (here, Admiral Pike) to be chewed out; emotional loss of allies; witty, sexually charged banter; then, the bad guy WANTS TO BE CAUGHT! And it goes on.

Not that the special effects detract from the film; with such a solid foundation, it’s just the opposite. JJ Abrams clear vision allow mindbending perspectives and camera work to make the screen busy, without being confused. (Again, I can’t say too much without spoiling.)

Thematically, beneath its flashy futuristic surface, STID raises questions about terrorism and the lengths society will go to to preserve itself. I don’t know yet how I feel about the 9/11 echoes in a sci-fi film, but Abrams certainly handles them better than some recent movies. A dedication in the credits to post 9/11 veterans is sweet, but perhaps made the connection too direct; I don’t think the story of a genetically engineered supervillain and corrupt authorities would exactly work as a one-to-one allegory of the War on Terror.

Did you see Star Trek Into Darkness? What did you think?

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