PG-13, 132 min.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, Gene Roddenberry (TV series “Star Trek”)
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Noel Clarke, Leonard Nimoy
Whenever I award four stars to a film, I anticipate naysayers. People telling me how preposterous it is that I could find this movie to be so good. When it’s a film that was made to be a blockbuster, rather than an award winner, that anticipation is even higher. In fact, that very rarely happens. “Star Trek Into Darkness” is one of the rare instances where a friend questioned my opinion. I think it’s important to point out that I don’t for a second think that the rarity of anyone vocalizing their opinions against mine means that my opinions aren’t constantly opposed. I’m just speaking about opinions that are actually expressed back to me. And this opinion in particular was expressed because so many people were praising the film, not just me.
Anyway, the naysayer claimed that “Darkness” failed to connect on an emotional level with its constant referencing to already existing material in Star Trek mythology, and he had a problem with the fact that San Francisco is virtually destroyed at the end of the movie and there is little reverence held in that regard. I thought he was correct with the second point and I supposed his first point might be valid for people who aren’t familiar with the previous Star Trek material that is referenced by the screenplay. I stood behind my four stars, however because it sure worked for me.
It’s impossible for me to just drop those differences of opinions once they’ve been planted in my mind, so in such cases a second analysis is often required. Well, I finally got around to watching it again, and… frankly, I was right. It’s a great movie. It has all the emotional impact necessary. The only point in all of the Star Trek franchise that has hit me harder than Kirk’s sacrifice here was Kirk’s eulogy for Spock in “The Wrath of Kahn”. Even the destruction of San Francisco didn’t seem quite so off handed as it did the first time.