This is the second installment of J. J. Abrams’ “Star Trek – For Dummies” or “Star Trek for Peepz who Hate Star Trek”. I can feel the shit-in-yer-pants trepidation that the Bad Robot chief must have faced when he – an apparent non-Trekkie – was given the responsibility to shepherd Gene Roddenberry’s franchise.
The result was Star Trek – a viscerally satisfying reboot established upon a distinctively different continua from the Roddenberry canon. You have both Kirk and Spock trying to prove their worth in their respective ranks, then eventually meeting up aboard the Starship Enterprise.
I myself have long been indifferent toward the Star Trek universe…found the original TV series a bit of a drag at times, and I just didn’t have the patience to sit through the convoluted mythology of the multitude of spin-offs.
I may as well be among the “Dummies” Abrams was pandering to in this present installment. Say what you want about the excessive lens-flareage in the first film, the casting of young talent to fill in these classic roles was a masterstroke (double that having Leonard Nimoy – original Spock – passing the torch over to Zachary Quinto)
That’s my Spock!!!
And those fight scenes…oh my!!!
Spock, you naughty dog!!!
Star Trek: Into Darkness, is thankfully, no slouch in picking up where the predecessor left off. Abrams manages to amp the violence and sexuality up a bit at this one (saw it at a nearly-full Greenbelt 5 theater – with kids running up and down the aisles. WTF) Like I give a shit about the crew violating the Prime Directive, but I found the opening sequence quite awesome (especially when they run through that white-and-orange forest) – though at hindsight, it smacks much of Avatar.
Sure enough, the Nibiru misadventure costs Kirk his command, but he gets his redemption after literally saving the asses of the Federation’s top brass from a brazen attack by the mysterious John Harrison. He, his ship and crew are then dispatched to the planet Qo’noS in search of Harrison, armed with Federation-supplied photon torpedoes (and a sexy-as-hell weapons specialist played by Nicole Kidman dead-ringer Alice Eve).
That does not sit well with the pacifist Scotty (Simon Pegg), who leaves in a huff, leaving Kirk no choice but to assign Chekhov as chief engineer. Qo’noS, however, turns out to be a trap set up by the Klingons, who then corner the Enterprise and her crew. Next thing we know, the on-board weapons specialist happens to be the daughter of a renegade Federation bigwig who also happens to be playing Harrison (or, should I say, Khan Noonien Singh) all along – and pays the grisly price for that.
The action sequences are, undoubtedly, stunning, with Zoë Saldana’s Uhura getting her fair share of lumps alongside Kirk and Spock (Scotty’s no slouch either). Benedict Cumberbatch, who kinda looks (and sounds) like he might have stepped off a Matrix rip-off film, delightfully
chews rips scenery like a T-rex as Khan/Harrison. The money shots here have to be Spock’s attempts at subduing Khan with his patented Vulcan Death-Grip – in the middle of the (airborne) high-speed traffic of a future San Francisco.
But wait…there’s more!!! How about Spock, a Vulcan whose culture is renowned for their suppression of emotion, shedding a tear? Hah, looks like Uhura’s taught you good!!