J.J. Abrams’ latest venture, Star Trek Into Darkness, effortlessly hits the spot with more action packed adventures in space. Immediately finding its feet, the story is a depiction of friendship with the inevitable incorporation of the good vs evil battle. With the initial film out of the way this sequel is free to delve deeper into the characters psyche and explore them the way they themselves explore space.
Photo: Digital Journal
The plot follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they return to Earth to discover that terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) has begun a one man campaign of destruction against Starfleet. Jim Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the crew must battle Harrison to save their world whilst potentially instigating an intergalactic war in the process.
From the opening minutes the banter and friendly rivalry between Kirk and Spock is reignited, the pair bringing many comical moments. Despite the obvious action and adventure that the film offers, at the centre is a gooey, marshmallowy core with Spock’s inability to feel leaving his friendship with Kirk hanging in the balance. The superb relationship between the duo enhances the storyline, brightening it and adding a raw human edge. One particular scene, where a sheet of glass separates the pair, is striking and, whilst utterly clichéd, works brilliantly to move the audience into fearing the worst.
Cumberbatch excels in his role as a villain, with the revelation of his true character clever in its execution. He stuns with his acting prowess, Harrison’s villainy a far cry from Cumberbatch’s previous roles as Sherlock or Christopher Tietjens in Parade’s End. Simon Pegg’s role as Scotty outshines the rest of the cast with much needed comic relief and a hilarious accent to boot; it is just a shame that he is not featured more.
Aside from performance, Into Darkness is a visual phenomenon; its special effects, soundtrack and costuming all forming to create a beautiful aesthetic. Although the action scenes often leave a little to be desired due to their extensive length, the overall cinematography is wonderful.
The film configures into a clichéd yet brilliant package; its predictability is what makes it so fun, as Abrams masters and makes applicable a cliché that would render other films disastrous. For fans of the first, or for those who are yet to see it, the film is enjoyable and may even tug on a heartstring or two, but it does lack the substance that could make it a masterpiece.