Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Daq HurghtaHghach

Sequel to an extremely popular reboot, today's film looks back to where it originated. Bringing back famous characters, nerdy languages, and adding a sprinkle of dashing British acting talent. It makes sci-fi sexy (or upholds sci-fi's sexy reputation) and throws in plenty of action, jokes, and lasers. It is Star Trek Into Darkness. (Yes, the title of this blog is in Klingon.)

After a bad decision on a mission, even though the choices he made saved Spock (Zachary Quinto), Captain J. Kirk (Chris Pine) is removed from his position of captain of the Enterprise. But, after an attack from within Starfleet, he takes his ship back and, with his crew, he goes on a manhunt to track down the man responsible. In risking everything by heading to the Klingon homeworld, a chase throughout the whole of space begins.  The attacker (Benedict Cumberbatch) raises Kirk's interests in the secrets of Starfleet leaving the crew of the Enterprise in the middle of an inner conflict: do they stick with their commands or trust a killer in order to uncover the truth?

Baddie in a glass prison. A great, unique idea.
Into Darkness, like its predecessor, is truly an ensemble piece of film making. Where is Kirk without Spock? Where is Chekov without Scotty? In the same way the characters work together, the cast work together, making it impossible to draw any of the Enterprise's crew out above the others. Whether you look at Spock's honest moment on descent Qo'noS, Sulu's aggression in the captain chair, or Kirk's bravery and selflessness in order to save his crew, they all have aspects that make them great. Cumberbatch as the big baddie is fantastic. To say he is the star of the show might be a bit of an exaggeration over the wondrous crew of the Enterprise, but he certainly brings a whole new level to the film. Bouncing brilliantly between being likeable and detestable, he is epitome of a charismatic killer. A very internet-generation friendly antagonist - a little bit sexy, evil, but completely likeable. See also: Loki.

Ship's a wee bit small, isn't it Cap'in

The issues with the film are small on the surface but comparatively huge. Some forced emotion here and there can always be a problem, but not enough to influence the entire film. However, there are some writing issues that need to be pointed out. The main problem comes from a single scene. When Kirk realises that everyone in a room is in danger, he decides he is to shy, awkward, or embarrassed to mention it. When the authorities finally get it out of him, they twiddle their thumbs for a little bit longer despite knowing the imminent danger. It is the scene that spurs forward the entire film but could all be avoided if anyone acted like a normal human. This is not the only issue in terms of writing. The second major issue, but tiny in terms of the overall film, is a moment of pointless sexism. It is like the creators sat down and said, 'hey, we should have a smart independent female character. But let's cast her as a really hot girl and get her naked for no reason.' More annoying than bad writing; the film tips its hat to a lot of the old series but the liberal world we live in now has no place for gratuitous nudity. Female's like Sci-Fi too, let us not target it only to lonely teenagers.

Apart from some needless or stupid moments in the writing, Into Darkness is a thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride. No thinking is required, a true summer blockbuster. Wonderfully exciting, lots of tributes to the original series to keep old fans entertained, and great acting throughout.

Best Bit? Sulu's speech to the now cornered attacker of the Starfleet bases followed by Bone's wonderful, 'Mister Sulu, remind me to never piss you off.' Brilliant.

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