Mixed Up Monday – Star Trek Into Darkness

I started this blog because of my love of reading. Hard to believe but I do occasionally do other things. Like watch television or go to the movies.

Saturday, my husband and I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I’ve always been a fan of Star Trek – the original series/movies, TNG, etc. When JJ Abrams was picked to direct the reboot a few years ago I was more than excited. His work in television included one of my favorite shows – Alias. The first ST installment was action packed and a well thought out re-imagining of the universe. I thought it was ingenious to change Kirk and Spock’s pasts so that he would have more freedom in his storytelling.

STID was a great addition to the series. I’m going to try to stay away from spoilers but forgive me if I give anything away. Kirk is in command of the Enterprise and they are on a mission where they have to be careful about the Prime Directive. He makes a decision that goes against this basic principle and his command is taken away. At the same time, a terrorist blackmails a Star Fleet officer into a bombing. He then coordinates other attacks against Star Fleet. Kirk, along with the rest of his crew must find a way to stop him before it is too late.

Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing as the villain. There were many predictions as to his character and I won’t spoil it here. But, I will say that he is familiar to fans.

Chris Pine shows a darker side to Kirk. His father’s death and then his accelerated path to becoming captain have not allowed him to build the emotional foundation he needs to be successful. As I said to a friend, it’s not surprising that he’s a bit of a jerk. He has the intellect, heart and gut feelings to be the Captain Kirk that we know but he just doesn’t have the experience. I appreciate JJ’s willingness to show that Kirk is a bit of a mess at times. This allows him to grow and come into his own in this new timeline.

Zachary Quinto as Spock is perfect. His casting was probably the most surprisingly successful to me. At first, I just couldn’t picture it but then I saw the bangs, the pointy ears and heard his logical thoughts…I was sold. The expressiveness of his face shows emotion that his words don’t provide.

Some fans of the original may be disappointed. I think this is unavoidable. JJ is making an action movie. Pure and simple. Gene Roddenberry’s original films were about the story. And, he used the films to show us his thoughts on the world. JJ is telling a story but approaches it differently.

There were a few things that I didn’t love. A tribble makes an appearance – why? It was unnecessary and I don’t want these films to be overly campy. One pivotal scene also gave the filmmakers an opportunity to really add a depth of emotion that would have made this film series more special. They kind of chose to take the easy way out and that was a little disappointing. People like to feel some sadness, anticipation and uncertainty. Everything doesn’t have to be tied up with a bow in the end. Leave us with some questions and we will come crawling back for more.

STID is heavily tied into one of the original movies and most of the references worked for me. I liked the twists that they added. But, I do hope that the remaining films in the series stand on their own – not that I don’t want to see some of the characters again but let’s use all new storylines.

Overall, I really liked it. 4/5 stars.

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