Monday, June 03, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I went to see the latest Star Trek movie, "Star Trek Into Darkness".  Not to spoil anything, but if you're wondering what's in the darkness, it's action.

Someone bombs a secret Federation installation in London, leading to a manhunt for a rogue Starfleet agent.  The agent transports himself to an isolated region on the Klingon home world, likely to escape incarceration.

Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise have orders to approach the Neutral Zone and fire photon torpedoes at the agent's location.  Rather than complying, Kirk chooses to go directly to the Klingon world to apprehend the rogue agent.

The agent reveals his motives, and the crew soon finds themselves in mortal danger. 

Throughout their plights, the crew faces one action sequence after another.  There are countdowns to explosions, a chase through warp, and massive destruction.  There are also a number of references to the Star Trek series/movies that fans would enjoy.

I liked the movie, but it felt like there was too much action.  I would rather have had more character development.  I had some sense of who the characters were, but part of that is based on my familiarity with the Star Trek franchise.  Spock probably had the most depth, seconded perhaps by Kirk, but there wasn't time to see too much beyond that.  I was a bit confused by the references to the friendship between Kirk and Spock; I didn't really see much evidence of a friendship, other than their light banter.

The first part of the movie felt surprising, but the latter half became more predictable.  It was good, however, to involve the Klingons (they do look cool), and I'm sure they will become the focus of the next Star Trek movie.  That would be better than trying to remake the horrible Star Trek IV movie.  (If that's the only idea on the table at some point in the future, that's the point to stop.)

Seeing this action flick from the Star Trek universe makes me cringe a little because I'm concerned the next Star Wars trilogy may be similar.  I don't want a hyped-up, hollowed-out version of Star Wars.  Forget the prequels, I'm talking about the original trilogy; those had a great story, and though there was action, it wasn't all about making 3D viewers ooh and ah.  Sure, a 3D light saber is probably going to be employed, but there has to be a good story as well, especially over the length of three movies.  I hope Lucas can go back into his 1970's mindset and that J. J. Abrams can draw upon some of the magic from Lost.  Combine that with modern technology, and it could be a really cool trilogy.  Or it could be like Star Trek and just be some good action films.  But even that would be better than the prequels, so maybe that's not so bad.

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