Video Blog: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Takes Sci-Fi to the Next Level
by Alex Billington
May 2, 2013
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise." They're back in action, and J.J. Abrams has taken sci-fi to a whole new level. Early this morning I was one of the first in the United States to attend a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J.'s highly anticipated sequel to Star Trek from 2009, the reboot of the legendary, seminal sci-fi franchise. For me, this was one of the big moments of the summer, building up excitement and anticipation to finally sitting down and watching over two hours of adventures through space with the crew of the USS Enterprise. Did it live up to my expectations? A big YES.
When going in to a sequel like this, there's always so much of a build up beforehand. From all the trailers, TV spots, footage and marketing, to rumors, early buzz, fanboy hype, and everything inbetween. It's hard to contain all of that and not let it overwhelm you in the final experience. But today, that wasn't an issue. I fell into it and got lost in the sci-fi universe J.J. and his team have re-envisioned. While I liked Trek growing up, he's revitalized this franchise in such an incredibly entertaining, energetic, heartfelt way and pushes that even further this time. It's everything I wanted to see in a Bad Robot Star Trek sequel and so much more.
After the screening, since I'm based in New York, I couldn't meet with any of my colleagues (who are still in Los Angeles) and instead made a solo video blog of my spoiler-free reaction to Star Trek Into Darkness.
There's so much to talk about with Star Trek Into Darkness that I can't really talk about most of it, because it's part of the experience. However, that's why the experience is so key, and why J.J. Abrams makes such entertaining movies. We may know who everyone is and the reveals aren't shocking, but they are exciting to see as they happen. It's all about context, and watching the story of all these characters play out; how they get stuck in these situations, how the environment (on a ship, in space, on another planet) and other people are affecting them, how it causes things to happen, and why. He makes following the story the experience, and here they made it even bigger and better than I've seen before. Bigger ships, bigger fights, bigger stakes.
We were shown the film in 3D and I have to admit, the 3D added to that experience, it looked phenomenal. There are some issues I have with the story in spots and some occasional logic jumps, but they're minor compared to the genuine joy that comes from getting lost watching this two hour space opera extravaganza. I was also, surprisingly, let down by Benedict Cumberbatch, he wasn't as menacing and monumental of a villain as I was hoping, and plays in and out of the story in odd ways. He has some amazing scenes and it's the effect of his actions that count. In particular, I think Zachary Quinto as Spock really stands out, with some of the strongest scenes involving emotion, which may not seem right for a Vulcan, but it all works out.
As much as I'd love to talk about specific scenes and characters, they're best saved for a discussion once everyone else has seen it. But this is unquestionably an entertaining, epic sequel that takes sci-fi to new heights in terms of scope and scale and quality. I wish I could watch it again now. And tomorrow. And the day after. It's one of those movies that I know I'll be making many trips to the theater to see over and over.
Love that Drive poster in the back. Great artwork for a great film.
Uthhbarts on May 2, 2013
Great to hear. I'm going to do my best to tune out anything related to STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS for two weeks. This is a pretty good spoiler-free summary.
Dominic on May 2, 2013
i love that your pumped about it, i had this as my top movie than elysium, and pacific `rim, was underwelmed by oblivian but loved the art style!
Angel Figueroa on May 2, 2013
Alex I am so jealous of you! Thanks for the review I'm pumped now as well!
Fidel Reyes on May 2, 2013
DAVIDPD on May 2, 2013
so fakin envious !!!
Tester on May 2, 2013
Thanks for the review Alex:) can't wait! I love that scene in the new trailer where Kirk see's the Evil enterprise appear in front of him and Kirk saying "I'm Sorry.."
SkyNet300 on May 2, 2013
Uhhh I'm so damn jealous! Can not wait!!!
N. on May 2, 2013
But is it actually Sci-Fi? Or is it just a revenge picture with spaceships? Are there any elements to the story at all that could only take place in the future? Are there any scientific ideas in it that create unique plot ideas? The trailers look so...regular.
Greedo on May 2, 2013
Alex after watching it and beginning to analyze it did it make you more excited for Star Wars or even the future of Trek movies?
N. on May 2, 2013
Hope J.J. can make a movie that actually makes sense this time. The last was an atrocious mess.
Al_x on May 2, 2013
The guy is as overrated as Joss Whedon.
mistermysteryguest on May 3, 2013
So Star Trek and The Avengers weren't up to par for you both...Man, do I feel sorry for the two of you. Enjoy the summer movies of over analyzing reviews and wasted money.
JBrotsis on May 3, 2013
Star Trek wasn't up to par for many, many people. It was, at best, good. When people say they love Abrams ST, I really wonder how many film they have actually seen that haven't come out in the last 10 years.
Greedo on May 3, 2013
But Whedon at least is light and funny. He knows he's making throw away entertainment for the masses. I get the impression that Abrams really thinks he's making classic films.
Greedo on May 3, 2013
Looking forward to watch it in two weeks time.
Luke Cavanagh on May 3, 2013
Thursday 9th, you seem so far away....
David Banner on May 3, 2013
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