Tuesday, 13 August 2013

by Akhilan Manivannan, Sophomore 2 Cempaka, Class of 2015



GENRE
Drama, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
CAST
Chris Pine as Capt. James Kirk; Zachary Quinto as Spock; Zoe Saldana as Uhura; Karl Urban as Dr. 'Bones' McCoy; Simon Pegg as Scotty; John Cho as Sulu; Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison; Anton Yelchin as Chekov; Bruce Greenwood as Pike; Peter Weller as Marcus; Alice Eve as Carol
DIRECTOR
J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek, Mission Impossible III)
DISTRIBUTOR
Paramount Pictures
IN THEATERS
May 16 2013

I have to admit, when I bought my ticket for Star Trek Into Darkness, the second space venture by J.J Abrams, I was not expecting a great deal. After all, Science-Fiction movies have come under such scrutiny in recent years, and I am not what you would call a 'Trekkie'. To be perfectly honest, I thought the movie would be a typical high-octane blockbuster with a bland storyline. Thankfully however, I am glad to admit that I was sorely mistaken and proven wrong. I walked out of the movie theater afterwards with only one phrase to describe my expression- completely and utterly mind-blown.

Let’s start with the storyline. As with a typical blockbuster these days (aka Transformers), the plot mainly surrounds a new villain, whose sole existence is to provide a new predicament for the heroes to deal with - naturally. However, Into Darkness soars over the predictability hurdle by weaving subtle intricacies into the plot. These intricacies play off the characters personalities immensely well and it’s these small things that make the movie intriguing for the viewers.. For example, Into Darkness focuses a lot on the character development of Spock. Honestly, that was what really sold the movie to me because of how brilliantly it was done. Furthermore, although the overall outlook of the plot can be seen as stale, certain parts of the plot are very unpredictable and these are spread out evenly throughout the movie so the viewers are always at the edge of their seats.

Now, shifting to arguably the most significant aspect of a movie: the acting. Over the past 5 years or so, I have watched tons of movies spread throughout different genres, and I can honestly say that the acting in Into Darkness puts all others to shame. Every single member of the main cast embraced their role so emphatically that the characters were played to near perfection. This was a huge shocker to me because there wasn’t a very star studded cast to say the least, and bringing Sci-Fi to life is extremely difficult. I would have to say Zachary Quinto (playing Spock) was the shining star of the movie and stood out the most to me. I cannot find a single flaw in Quinto’s phenomenal performance. Facial expressions, movements, delivery of lines, everything was spot on and it is clear that Quinto has taken into account every aspect of Spock’s personality. Another stand out for me would be Benedict Cumberbatch (playing Khan) whom I think played the dark, dubious character of the villain extremely well. 

The only thing I can criticize in terms of acting is that personally I feel Chris Pine (playing James Kirk) could have put a little more effort into it for we get the sense that he didn’t give it his all. Nonetheless, a master class effort in acting overall, by everyone involved.

Even with excellent acting and a great storyline, many movies struggle to keep the viewer interested and well engrossed with the movie. This is usually due to a lack of empathy and emotion. With regards to that, I’m delighted to say that emotion is one thing Into Darkness has in abundance. Sadness, excitement, joy - you name it, Into Darkness has it. The beauty however is that none of these emotions are too overwhelming. On the contrary they balance each other out almost perfectly, giving the viewer a thorough and heartfelt movie-going experience. Another notable thing about Into Darkness is the pace of the movie. Although there were plenty of fast-paced, heart-racing action scenes, Into Darkness follows a very comfortable pace throughout the two and a half hours (I did not even glance at my watch once!). A lot of credit has to go to the director and his backstage crew for the magnificent organization of scenes because even  small things like that are the ones that ultimately make a difference.

Everything said and done, Star Trek Into Darkness is an engrossing, thrilling adventure through the Star Trek universe and it is filled with unforgettable moments, including one enthralling twist towards the end. I do not want to reveal too much but that moment is one that gives me goosebumps to this day and I would watch the entire movie again just to see it. 

All in all, it is a must watch film and I give it a well deserved 4 and a half stars. If you did not manage to catch it in the theaters, fret not! The DVD is set to be released this coming September. 

Rating: 4.5/5

by Amanda Lee Yue Ping 09:59 1 comment | in , , ,

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