Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

[A Spoiler Review]
by Reymundo Salao

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is the follow-up to the 2009 reboot/restart (and at the same time brilliantly serving as a sequel to the original series), making it the second movie of this generation's Star Trek. Because the 2009 movie was such a magnificent piece of work, it just makes sense that there are certain expectations that should, in one way or another, be satisfied. With that being said, Star Trek Into Darkness delivers with just enough satisfaction to please the mainstream audience. It was fun, explosive, and spectacular. Personally, I (and a whole lot of people who have watched it) really found it enjoyable. But I cannot deny that it is a very flawed movie.

This is a spoiler-heavy review; I will be revealing several plot elements for this movie. If you do not want to be spoiled, read this article only you have already seen the movie.[read the rest of the article after the jump]

Primarily the only mistake the movie ever makes is that it forces upon itself several factors about the old Star Trek movie: Wrath of Khan. To the point that the movie feels less original, and feels like it sacrifices sensible story writing just to make way for references to Wrath of Khan. And why the hell would you want to remake Wrath of Khan anyway? It is the one movie that all Trek fanatics (Trekkies & Trekkers) consider as the one sacred movie of the entire Star Trek series; why would you want to burden yourself with redefining what is already defined as perfect? In addition, this is an alternate universe anyway; why not make something new out of the Khan characters? Instead, the movie tried to recreate their own version of the Spock-Kirk Death farewell, and the literal wrath of Khan itself?

For a moment during the initial portion of the movie, I thought the movie was indeed boldly going where no one has gone before--- by having Khan and Kirk fighting side-by-side. That would have been a unique twist. Instead, it led back to Khan being the main baddie, and diminished Khan from being a complex character into a simplified treacherous villain. The death scene of Kirk was kind of pathetic too; it was a card played too soon in this generations' Star Trek series. Bringing it out now, when these characters still need to be developed long enough like the old Star Trek did, only lessened the impact of a death scene that was not even been taken seriously …because we immediately see Kirk get brought back to life. One might try hard NOT to compare it with Wrath of Khan, but given the film's style and direction, the movie itself irresistibly makes you compare it with Wrath of Khan.
Even though you have not seen Wrath of Khan, you might still notice other inconsistencies in the movie; Khan's superhuman abilities seem to be diminished when faced with the Wrath of Spock, Spock's awkward screaming of the name "Khan", and the obvious plot elements that play into the movie (McCoy randomly experimenting with Khan's blood in order to revive some space gerbil of some sort).

But with all the demerits it has gained, and with all the missteps, the film still does soar despite its mangled self. The film still does deliver solid character development on Kirk's character most of all. It gave remarkable performances from the Star Trek main cast, and villains Peter Weller and Benedict Cumberbatch whose performances are memorable. Plus, the movie was electrifyingly filled with an immense amount of action-adventure that makes it feel less like a Star Trek movie, and more like a Star Wars movie. All the demerits I mentioned are dwarfed by how spectacular the movie is; these demerits are merely nitpicks when compared to how great the movie is; what they do is merely keep it from being perfect; that would probably sum up my verdict of this movie. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS almost was, but fails to be perfect; but it still is a damn good movie.

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