J J Abrams is undoubtedly one of the finest directors of this generation. Even when he rehashes some of the known classics of all time, he does it in his own style while keeping it stick to its true origins, be it the decade old Mission Impossible franchise or the Godzilla-esque found footage genre with Cloverfield. He did the same with the 40 year old epic saga of Enterprise and its crew with 2009s Star Trek making it accessible to all audiences all the while giving it a fresh new take. 2009s Star Trek could be considered both a prequel and an origins story letting us know who Spock or Kirk was. It was a wonderful start to a new Trek franchise.
Having already set stage for Kirk and Spock’s adventures, Into Darkness wastes no time in putting you in the middle of all action and its apparent in the very initial scene where Kirk and Bones are chased through a surreal red forest closely pursued by the native aliens. From there on the pace and plot only thickens. The action is relentless and spectacular and along with that the movie does give you time to breath. Kirk and Spock’s friendship is accentuated here. Puppeteering the large crew of the Enterprise to near perfection is no easy feat yet Abrams does it well, making the whole deal as entertaining as possible giving equal importance to each and every crew-member. And that’s essentially the core of the movie, for Kirk the Enterprise is his family and no matter what this family sticks together. Though as entertaining as it is I have qualms regarding the screentime given for each crew member, compared to Star Trek ofcourse. The general tone is essentially dark but then again the calamities that takes place, natural or not, didn’t have any grim effect. It left very less room for humor and as we all know Abrams cant do without humor so even in the grimmest scenes he’s managed to squeeze in some smirk-able dialogues.
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto once again blends perfectly into their roles of Captain Kirk and Spock respectively but clearly Benedict Cumberbatch is the show-stealer here. People, obviously will remember him from his iconic potrayal of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC drama Sherlock. Watching the way he plays an intimidating, cold and remorseless antagonist is well worth your time. Supporting casts of Karl Urban, John Cho and Zoe Saldana did their roles well but as mentioned previously their lessened screentime was missed sorely. Of which Simon Pegg’s Scotty was just impeccably the best. It wouldnt have been fully possible to enjoy the movie without his presence and as a sincere fan of his previous work I loved his scenes.
Michael Giacchino has been composing for Abrams for years now. I remember his wonderful score from Abrams’ Alias. The award winning composer has done it once again in Into Darkness. The original Star Trek theme saturated the movie but he also shifts it to a new level adding bits for tension as well as action.
Oh and btw, get ready for a reveal towards the 3rd act which, the Trekkies out there, would have already guessed by now. Homages to the original series were thrown out in plenty as well for sake of Trekkies everywhere.
J J Abrams once again has done it with Into Darkness and it fits well into the slew of new Star Trek films. It does have its flaws, predictability being the first and foremost, but it never tampers the entertainment value this movie has brought out. With Into Darkness chipping in loads of action and drama, its safe to say that the Summer is off to a good start. All that remains is to see Abrams’ transition from making a wonderful Star Trek franchise to helming the new Star Wars sequels.