Star Trek: To boldly go where no one has gone before.
I can comfortably call myself a movie buff but when J.J Abrams comes out with a revamped answer to Star Trek fandom, I can say that I’m nothing short of a movie geek and as it turns out… I’m not alone.
The sequel that sci-fi and big budget blockbuster fans have been waiting for (for the last four years) has finally arrived and it does not disappoint.
The cast and crew of â€˜Star Trek Into Darknessâ€™ take fans of the franchise and newbie believers into uncharted territory with familiar faces that pay homage to the classic 80’s plot line. Having already established that these movies are set in a parallel universe, the scriptwriters are given significant leeway to play around with the plot and key characters as much as they’d like. And whilst this means they can play around with key events, it also means they can switch things up a bit with the characters. The plot uses key elements from older movies whilst still providing you with enough clever twists to remind you that this is not the original series. The film opens up with Captain James T Kirk (Chris Pine) and the hilarious Dr Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) running from a group of natives in the hopes of distracting them. All this whilst Spock (Zachary Quinto) puts into action a rescue plan to prevent this species from being killed by an erupting volcano.
As expected, things don’t go as planned and Kirk is forced to break the rules to save his Vulcan friend. Whilst this puts into motion an initial breakup of the core team, it also sets the scene of what will become a consistent bromance that lies at the heart of this film. In the midst of this, we are also introduced to an ominous terrorist, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who through a series of events, becomes the Enterprise’s sole mission to thwart. If you’re a fan of the old series (and even if you’re not), you will find Cumberbatch’s portrayal of an iconic villain commanding and utterly believable. Cumberbatch, who has been made famous for playing Sherlock Holmes, brings with him into this role Sherlock’s clear calculation and superiority complex to create a pretty intimidating villain.
What makes this film different from other cat and mouse plots is the soul of the series: a stellar cast. The heroes are superbly supported by a star-studded cast of Simon Pegg playing the ever-charming Scotty, Anton Yelchin playing the bumbling Chekov who gets the foreboding red shirt and John Cho who plays an out-of-character authoritative Sulu. Unlike its predecessors, the new movies treat female characters as more than just sex symbols with mandatory lines. Both Zoe Saldana who plays communications officer, Uhura and Alice Eve who plays science officer, Carol Marcus play central characters to the plot and prove that the revamp also meant breaking gender stereotypes.
Whether due to audience reception or the script he’s been given, Abrams comes across as having a bit of a big boy crush on Spock and gives him the meatiest role (not that anyone is complaining) and allows fans to fully appreciate a brand new vision which tastefully incorporates an old theme. And it’s because he so easily gives his audience exactly what they want that it’s no surprise that he’s been chosen to direct the most highly anticipated sequel to date: Star Wars Episode VII.
All I can say is that if it’s anything like this, it’s sure to be the biggest movie of the year.