Sunday, May 19, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness * * * 1/2

Star Trek Into Darkness has a secret that isn't revealed until about 40% of the way into the movie.  Up to this point I was pretty interested in the terrorism plot, but then suddenly the movie shifted gears.   I notice that other reviews have not revealed what the secret is except to say that the movie recycles, or pays homage to, some material from previous Star Trek movies.  So the secret is that the movie is a bit of a remake.  Although I enjoyed the movie, all the advance publicity lead me to believe that it was going to follow brand new plot lines.  It would have been a slightly better movie if it had.

The trouble with remakes is that they tend to not be as good as the originals.  Some examples are The Amazing Spiderman, Total Recall, and Planet of the Apes.  Star Trek Into Darkness reminds me of Superman Returns which was a pretty good movie but had a schizophrenic personality because it tried to be both a sequel and remake.  This is what happens when a sequel too closely resembles one of the previous movies.

That isn't to say that Star Trek Into Darkness isn't a terrific science fiction action film.  The movie looks gorgeous.  There are enough action sequences in this film to keep audiences happy and maybe coming back for repeat viewings.  This is likely to be a blockbuster hit for awhile until it gets replaced by other summer blockbusters.

Zachary Quinto is so convincing as Spock that I never once during the movie thought to myself, "Hey, that's Zachary Quinto!"  Chris Pine is mostly convincing as Kirk, but it is not the same as the William Shatner performance.   He is more of a manic Kirk.  John Cho makes for an interesting Sulu, but most of the other characters come across as mere parodies of the original characters.  Karl Urban manages to be half convincing as Bones.  It is the chemistry between Kirk, Spock, and Bones that makes the movie work, although mostly it is just the chemistry between Kirk and Spock that does the job.  It seems to me that in order for this franchise to suceed, the other characters are going to have to step up to the plate and be a little more believable as the Star Trek characters that we know and love.

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