Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

imagesWe went out to watch the new Star Trek movie tonight, and I have to say I rather enjoyed it.

Now, I admit I’ve been a die hard Star Trek fan from a young age. I grew up watching re-runs of the original show, and started in earnest with The Next Generation. I loved how they mixed a message in with all the action and drama. There were bad episodes, but even the bad episodes were entertaining.

When they did the Star Trek reboot I was a little apprehensive. Reboots aren’t always good, as the new Total Recall and Robocop can attest (though I kind of liked the new Judge Dredd.) Sometimes they fail because they stray too far from the original source, in which case the die hard fans are left forgotten, wondering why they even bothered to stick with the original franchise instead of making something new…or they take the original source material and just grind it up and spit it out in a “modern” movie that is very forgettable.

This Star Trek reboot had some things I liked, and some things I didn’t. In many ways it did make sense to start off by completely rewriting history, and starting from scratch. I was also pleased that in the second movie they had Khan. He was an important character in the first series, and there was a lot of character development in that movie. A lot of things between the three main characters (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy) were established in that episode that needed to happen to further the new series, and Khan was a great backdrop for that all to happen.

I was slightly disappointed that the new series became much more about the action movie style then the character development and subtle commentary on the world around us. While some of the original movies were blatant about it (save the whales?) others were far more appealing. Learning to trust your friends, standing with your crew, putting differences aside in search of peace… All of them very well told, and many you didn’t catch unless you thought about it.

I was happy to see that this latest movie had a moral. It wasn’t in your face about it, and it required some thinking, but it had several morals laced in with the high action plot. I think there are a few subtle morals to the story, the biggest one being to stick with your crew when the going gets tough, and that unity in the face of adversity will see you through. And I saw a one much larger one that I can’t tell you because it would spoil the whole movie.

The other fantastic thing about this particular movie is the character development. Kirk, Spock, and Bones, are all learning to trust one another, and finding a true friendship together. The chemistry between the three main actors really felt like it was coming together, and I loved to see that. The actors are getting to know one another, and seem more natural up on the screen. They are coming into their own, which makes the movies that much better.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the next Star Trek movie. I think they are doing justice to the source material while still making a brand new universe. I hope they continue to weave those subtle morals into the story, to make the story worth telling and sharing, and making it last. Because, lets face it, action movies come and go. We have some that we really love, but there are very few that stick with us for generations. Star Trek has become such an icon of the future because it shows us a future that we want to have. It teaches lessons, and inspires science. It expands the mind instead of just entertaining it for a couple hours. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more.

But I will also admit…I was on the edge of my seat for some of those scenes! The action is top notch.

Whatever reason you go see it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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