Friday, May 24, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS

Before I review Star Trek Into Darkness, I should say up front that I am not a Trekkie. I should admit that I generally find everything to do with Star Trek annoying, I find Trekkies annoying (or Trekkers, or whatever the hell they call themselves), and I never gave a shit about Star Trek until the first JJ Abrams film in the series. I went to see that film reluctantly, and no one was more surprised than I was when I loved that film.

I am not sure just how disgusted long time Treksters really were about the fun, watchable elements of the first Abrams Star Trek movie, but I assume that they probably hated all of the things I loved about it. I assume that they probably also hate Into Darkness for all the reasons that I enjoyed it. And those reasons are:
  • It was fun. There was genuine humor all the way through the movie, some of it goofy and entirely accessible.
  • It wasn't a sci-fi movie in the sense of nonstop dark space shoot-outs involving star ship models against black backgrounds. Oh, sure, there were a few of those, but there were also a number of sequences like the ones that made the first Abrams film so much fun for me... big, loud, brightly lit action sequences that occurred in broad daylight on a mostly recognizable planet earth. These two Star Trek films by J.J. Abrams have as much in common with Die Hard as they do Star Trek. Imagine that, a Star Trek movie with real laughs and daylight action sequences. I love that. I imagine that the Trekiroti hate this movie for those same reasons.
  • There are also relatable characters who express human emotions. Even Spock, the highly logical Vulcan, is presented as a being who is stoic only as the result of tremendous effort, and as a man capable of being overwhelmed by emotion. This version of Spock is likable to me. I think I can relate to him. I think most guys could relate to him.
In fact, there is a lot of stuff in Star Trek Into Darkness that is aimed at just guys. Kirk and Spock have a love/hate best-adversarial-friends relationship (this is basically a buddy movie). Kirk sleeps with foxy alien chicks. There's 'splosions and gun fights. British sexpot Alice Eve joins the cast as a science officer, and gives us one completely gratuitous and pointless and wonderful glimpse of herself in her underwear.

So, between big laughs and chase sequences and the Kirk/Spock "buddy movie" element and Alice Eve's big ol' boobies, Star Trek Into Darkness seems more aimed at me than aimed at the average Trekian. It's an action film, but not a dumb one. There is a villain who is somewhat sympathetic (forcing you to consider morality and politics and etc, etc) and there is a scene or two where manly tears might be shed. I don't know if a Trekanatrix would embrace that or be disgusted by it. But anyone capable of enjoying a fun movie just for being fun ought to get a kick out of this film.