Monday, June 10, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness review (no spoilers)

I saw this a few days ago and loved it. It's rare to find something that manages to be a nostalgic thrill and cutting edge entertainment at the same time. Into Darkness channels the spirit of the original Star Trek better than... well, better than just about anything since the original series. It also manages to combine the optimistic spirit of Gene Roddenberry with the darker and grittier tone that modern audiences demand. There's not a whole lot I can say without spoilers but if you're a newbie to Star Trek but like intelligently written, fast-paced SF adventure, you should like this. If you've seen the first of the new Star Trek reboot by J.J. Abrams you'll appreciate it more, and if you've seen the original series and the first few movies you'll appreciate it a lot more. The casting is perfect, the villains (and there are plenty of surprises about who the villains and allies are) are excellent. My only real reservation about Into Darkness is the same problem I had with Iron Man III, The Hobbit, and a lot of other blockbusters. The filmmakers are so in love with their digital FX that the characters and the story are overshadowed. Possibly worse, the long strings of impossible things that FX allow you to do makes the world, and the danger. seem much less real. In other words, the rollercoaster thrills can actually undermine the story. I'm looking forward to the day when directors decide that they've been overdoing it with the FX and pull back. Until then, movies like Into Darkness, that have solid storytelling and good characters as well as dazzling effects will are always welcome.