Into Darkness is simply a magnificent film. It has immense style,… MoreInto Darkness is simply a magnificent film. It has immense style, humour, interesting characters and plot and doesn't fail to stir emotions in the viewer.
Ill start by admitting that I am a fan of the franchise and most of its various incarnations. Ill also admit to being a big fan of JJ Abrams last effort. What I liked about that was its accessibility in that it was a fine action film in its own right and I didnt think you needed to have knowledge of the series to enjoy it. Whilst the same is true of Into Darkness, I cant but help think that you will enjoy it all the more if you are a Star Trek fan as there are more than a few nods and winks throughout but this is not essential.
Having been recently appointed captain it doesnt take Kirk long to fall foul of the authorities with a series of daring (and ultimately dumb) decisions. This leads to Kirk being stripped of his rank which is inadvertently aided in no small part by Spocks unerring honesty in his account of events. This is something that irks Kirk (hah) and drives a huge wedge between them. Kirks mentor Christopher Pike sticks out his neck to get him reinstated on the Enterprise under his command. Soon after there is a terrorist attack on a Federation building in London and all officers of the Federation fleet in the vicinity are summoned to a high level meeting where it basically all kicks off. Its almost impossible to say any more without giving away bits that are integral to the plot. What I will say is that you are encouraged to form opinions about many of the characters that you end up changing in due course. I was more than willing to be lead by the nose in this way.
As with the previous film the casting is simply put, a stroke of genius. Pine as Kirk is firmly believable and dare I say more likeable than the roles original incumbent. He manages to be brash, cocky and aggressive yet at the same time level headed and definitely open to criticism. You just cannot help but warm to his personality. We also have the obligatory British bad dude in Cumberbatch and he has an on screen menace and a presence that is more than convincing. The rest of the crew are also superbly cast with Karl Urban (as Bones) my personal favourite and Scotty (Pegg) less so when compared to the others as he is little over the top but not enough to prove too annoying. And then there is Zachary Quinto as Spock who is outstanding and probably the standout performer. He manages to be an annoying jobsworth whilst at the same time you do see why he his trusted and respected by his colleagues. By no means an easy feat. The interaction between the various members of the crew is both interesting and believable.
The effects are terrific and the action scenes are tense and spectacular but what I like about this film the most (and the franchise in general) is that the bad characters are very rarely just plain evil and therefore do bad deeds. Everybodys actions are done with good reason and whilst you might not agree with the philosophy you can see their point of view and why they act in the way they do. I love this kind of concept in stories and Into Darkness does a magnificent job of blurring this line.