SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, AS FEW AS POSSIBLE IN THIS ONE THOUGH
For my movie review of Star Trek Into Darkness, I want to try something different. I want to start doing two-part reviews for movies (well, probably more than likely blockbuster films), starting with the positive, what I liked, and then the more critical end for the second. If it works out, maybe I’ll continue doing it this way. Critical fandom studies and blogs get cut less slack than it already is, maybe this is an alternative way of doing things. We shall see.
J.J. Abrams‘ take on Star Trek emphasizes more style over substance; depending where you stand, you can either live with it or just grit your teeth endure it for the remainder of this trilogy. Into Darkness was filled with action sequences and stunts that had the audience sitting on the edge of its seat. I walked into the fan a long-time (eight years I believe) critic of JJ Abrams, and probably walked out of the theater even less so. Well, okay, just a little bit less so.
Into Darkness passes the Race/POC Bechdel test, which for those unfamiliar is just a way of measuring racial diversity of a film. How so? There has to be one scene where 2 people of color discuss anything but (usually) white protagonist. That simple, really. The Help barely passes. No, I’m dead serious, it was like 90 minutes into that movie before it happened. Into Darkness within the first 2 scenes I believe had a scene with Sulu and Uthura talking about the U.S.S Enterprise. It was a pleasant surprise. Sulu and Uthura did have larger roles this time around. Sulu served as acting captain at one point; Lieutenant Uthura was more than just Spock’s trophy gal-pal. In fact, she saves Spock’s and Kirk’s life not once, but twice, first on Chronos when the Klingons had the our trio in the corner, and then at the end, it was her love that prevented Spock from destroying the one thing that could save Kirk.
I also admit, I Doctor Who fanboyed when Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke_ came across the screen. I just loved Mickeys/Rickey’s story arc in Doctor Who, and it was so much better to have a real black sci legend in a Star Trek movie than ahem Tyler Perry.
As far as acting performances go, I would like to give a shout out to Karl Urban as Bones, Simon Pegg as Scotty, for these two made me want to feel like I was watching a Star Trek film. Benedict Cumberpatch as John Harrison was just complex, brilliant, just awesome.
Thus ends part 1 of my review of Into Darkness. Next time, on the 300 CLUB, we will examine Rod’s issues and criticisms of Star Trek Into Darkness.