Not following the marketing on this one – I usually try to avoid the marketing from the film industry as a rule – really pays off as there were a lot of surprises along the way. Surprises which I was fortunate to view on a ginormous IMAX screen.
Director J.J. Abrams tosses you into the action right from the get go and it sets the standard for the insane action found throughout the rest of this headlong rocket ride. Have things changed much from the first J.J. Star Trek episode? Not at all, and perhaps it rings like a bit of a redux in ways that he intended and obviously, even when you are operating in a parallel universe from the one we started the journey back in the sixties, the sign posts are numerous and apparent.
I think some of the Star Trek high brows could easily take exception to this revisiting of old stories even done in a new way. But that’s okay, if they did they would miss the simple joy that this film targets. Lets just give it its tagline; ‘Summer tent pole rip roaring popcorn munching extravaganza.’ Now is that all it is? Not by a long shot. It is the funniest movie I have seen all year. And I will wager that is not something people would expect sitting down to watch “Into Darkness!”
Do you have to be a trekkie to get the humor, mostly yes, and is it funnier the more you know about this iconic franchise? Undoubtedly! But even if you don’t have that much history and liked the last one, you will like this one just as much. Right from the beginning Kirk is in trouble and loses the Enterprise early on. When the villain makes his presence known and goes about his terror oriented attacks on the federation with an eye to war, he leads the Enterprise and its crew on a dangerous mission into the Klingon empire to kill this villain.
What they find and what they do is the meat of this movie and it takes interesting turns and tests everyone to the utmost. Of course the chemistry of this cast is all the tighter this second go round and the delivery is even maybe a bit more polished. I will say that not having seen Benedict Cumberbatch before I had little faith that he could measure up to the awesome evil that Eric Bana was as Nero, but when his identity is revealed and the subtlety of his motivation is delivered he really rises to the occasion. Is this the great summer movie you would look back on at the end of the year wistfully recalling the action? Absolutely. But when I look back I will think about how much fun this was and how it is probably the funniest Star Trek film ever made and that with all the other superlatives attached to the film, set it in the pantheon of Star Trek movies.
With chuckles and a mischievous grin I bow with a flourish to you mighty Enterprise!