To Boldly… uh.. Play It Safe and Not Rock the Boat?

Star Trek Into Darkness image from HD Wallpapers

Star Trek Into Darkness is a very good movie. It has great action, great cinematography, great acting, a compelling plot and some funny dialogue. It is a great popcorn movie for when you just want a night at the theater. A solid 8 out of 10.

…and that’s about all I would have to say about this movie. It didn’t blow my mind, but it didn’t stink like a dead skunk in the road. It wasn’t the best Star Trek film ever, but it was far better than some of them.

You know who you are, movies.

You know who you are, movies.

That’s really what makes talking about this film so difficult. I don’t want to bad-mouth it at all; I honestly liked it and will almost certainly get it on DVD when it comes out. It’s just that it is “good enough”. It doesn’t disappoint, but it doesn’t aspire to new heights, either.

What I’m thinking happened was that J.J. Abrams knew that the last film was a huge gamble. The idea of rebooting something as sacred to its fans as Star Trek would not be an easy sell to said fans, and finding actors who can play such iconic characters faithfully was no mean feat. That’s not even mentioning the decision to have Vulcan destroyed or to have Uhura in a romantic relationship with Spock.

To Abrams, this must have seemed like a good time to play it safe, and not take too many risks. He kept what worked about the last film, expanded on some of the ideas in it, and otherwise stayed in familiar Star Trek waters. Pretty much the only risk he took was cramming in a beat-you-over-the-head political metaphor, and even that isn’t exactly “alien” to Trek habits by any stretch.

In fact, I would say this film plays it safe to a fault – one long sequence near the end will, to anybody who is remotely familiar with Trek lore, make eyes roll. While played up as a dramatic and emotional scene, it is such a blatant rip-off of a very famous pre-reboot Star Trek scene that it comes off as corny.

Still, the positives I have to say about this film far outweigh the negatives. Fans of Simon Pegg’s Scotty who were disappointed by his minor role in the first film will be pleased to know that he has a much bigger role here. The relationship between Uhura and Spock is explored in more detail, and Chris Pine’s Kirk is given a much more compelling character arc, as he is forced to truly confront his weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Plus, the opening is absolutely hilarious.

The film looks gorgeous, too. There are some really cool locations and ships to be seen, and it all works well with the pacing. J.J. Abrams is a good director, once you get past his obsession with lens flares.

Needs Moar Lens Flare image from ICanHasCheezburger

Basically, if you didn’t like J.J. Abrams’ take on Star Trek the first time, this won’t change your mind, but if you did like the reboot, you will probably like this movie.

Oh, and there are Klingons in it.

maH 'oH Quch Daq Qoy vetlh!

maH ‘oH Quch Daq Qoy vetlh!

Congratulations to my cousin on her graduation from college! Here’s wishing you the best of luck!

One Response to To Boldly… uh.. Play It Safe and Not Rock the Boat?

  1. Pingback: Pacific Rim is Imperfect, but Rocks! | Cat Flag

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