Summer blockbuster season has begun! Each new movie that opens each week in cinemas will be greeted with much anticipation, none more than Star Trek into Darkness which is 4 years in the making. With J.J. Abrams at the helm, one would expect that the popular director would be very meticulous and take his time in developing the perfect sequel to a franchise that many fans around the world hold dear.
After Star Fleet had been attacked from within, Captain James Kirk leads the USS Enterprise on a manhunt into enemy territory to capture the man behind the attacks. As the crew partakes in such a dangerous mission, they are challenged to make sacrifices, in a battle of life and death, as they face an unknown superior enemy.
“Thrusters On Full” said Spock Prime at the end of the 2009 reboot which sets off the sequel! Right off the bat, two mysterious men sprint across an uncharted land and a volcano erupts. J.J. Abrams’, second take at the reboot of the franchise grips you hard and leaves you at the edge of the seat with almost nonstop action and anticipation.
The action is well paced, always climaxing at the very end, with all the near death deliverance from the crew of the USS Enterprise. But this film is not just about the action, as it explores what it is to be human, to what extent a man would sacrifice what he has to save what holds dear to him. Apart from expecting an internal conflict of half human half vulcan young Spock, it ventures on what makes good intention turn evil, with cameo appearances from 2 actors of the original franchise.
The on-screen chemistry between Chris Pine’s quick witted and spontaneous James Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s prim and proper, by the rules Spock is amazing, as they have their awkward moments together, lay down their lives for each other and debate on the right course of action and the “right” course of action. Also, a scene towards the end involving them pays tribute to an earlier film in the franchise, albeit with a swap of roles.
Among the cast, special mention has to be given to Benedict Cumberbatch aka Sherlock who plays the villain John Harrison to absolute perfection. I’m not going to give away too much about his character but I will say that Cumberbatch brought sinister to a whole new level. Heck, you could probably give this guy a nursery rhythm and he could make it sound more terrifying than Pin-Head from Hell Raiser.
The visuals are stellar, being shot on IMAX as well as Panavision cameras, with effects provided by Industrial Light and Magic as well as Skywalker Sound. The camera work is block buster worthy, with effective focus pulls and pans to direct viewer attention at just the right moment. All these certainly drew me into the film more and for once, the 3D assisted that intention of putting the viewer in the film.
All in all, the sequel lives up to the first installment of the reboot of the Star Trek franchise, with just enough plot twists and action sequences to keep the audience at the edge of their seats, while having just the right amount of intellect and emotions poured into the characters so that the audience gets to explore the story and how each member is interlinked to one another more.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
The icing on the cake? Oh that so awesomely animated warp jump!
By Nicholas Kwan
Star Trek Into Darkness Opens in cinemas May 16
Images courtesy of United International Pictures Singapore
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