Film Review: Visual Excess Dims ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

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CHICAGO – The anticipation of experiencing the rebooted crew of the starship Enterprise now may overwhelm any creative team’s ability to deliver to that anticipation. “Star Trek Into Darkness” piles on the space war excess, while lessening the savory humanity and memorable characters.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

After successfully relaunching and rebooting the characters and universe of Star Trek in 2009, the team of screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and director J.J. Abrams have serious “Iron Man 2” syndrome in the follow-up – the tendency to emphasize the larger-than-life gadgets and effects over the smaller-than-life interactions of the humans operating the machines. What makes it a bit frustrating is that they nailed the first one so well, that evolving to the second adventure was an anticipatory slam dunk. There are many fine moments involving the Enterprise crew, but those tasty bits are covered with the fake butter of a franchise summer movie. It tastes vaguely the same but at the same time causes some serious heartburn.

The film begins with the crew of the starship Enterprise doing an exploratory mission on a planet with an barely civilized society. Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is trying to prevent a volcanic disaster, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) are running from the natives. They manage to save Spock from imminent death, but not without revealing the starship to a population who have just discovered fire.

This gets a reassignment of both Spock and Kirk by Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller). Pike will take over the Enterprise for a mission having to do with a terrorist act in London. It is a manhunt for the fugitive Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is part of a super evolved human race that has been in space exile. When Pike is put out of action, it is up to the reformation of Spock and Kirk to stop this predatory being.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is in theaters everywhere. See local listings for 3D show times and theaters. Featuring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Bruce Greenwood and Benedict Cumberbatch. Screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. Directed by J.J. Abrams. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine
Spock (Zachary Quinto), Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Kirk (Chris Pine) in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Star Trek Into Darkness”

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