Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dear Charlie:

I am just a blogging fool lately. Dunno what's got into me, but I'll take it. Better than the pitiful barely-one-post-a-month thing I was doing, right?

Anyway, I gotta blog about Star Trek: Into Darkness. Remember how much I swooned over the first JJ Abrams Star Trek? Yeah, well, I was again prepared to be let down by the sequel, but I was also again quite pleased to be wrong. Into Darkness is just as fan-servicey and awesome as the first.

And this time, they managed tribbles.

Can you tell I've been catching up on the summer blockbusters I missed over the summer? I guess I tend to do that this time of year. Not that I noticed this trend before. ANYWAY.

I dunno what all the fuss was about Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. He did an amazing job of showing both sophistication and rampaging brutality, as that role requires. Khan was always one of the most dangerous adversaries, not because he was so deadly (although he was), but because he was so brilliant that he was deadly in ways the peace-loving Federation couldn't dream of. Cumberbatch pulls that off with ruthless sincerity.

The rest of the principle cast are all in fine form. Karl Urban just is Bones. There's no other way to put it. He grumbles. He's pessimistic. He's a doctor, not a torpedo technician. I love it.

I'm also finally fully sold on Chris Pine's Kirk. I know, I know. But I usually try to reserve judgment. Retractions suck (although I'm fully willing to make them when I'm proven wrong, like in my Pacific Rim review about Charlie Hunnam). So while Pine definitely had Kirk's devil-may-care attitude, I just wasn't completely sold.

It's not that I didn't think Pine could play Kirk well. I thought he might play Kirk a little too well. Hell, maybe he does. Nothing will steal my affection for the original series or for the flamboyant and over-the-top way Shatner portrayed James Tiberius Kirk, but I gotta admit that Chris Pine adds a... sincerity... that makes Kirk very compelling. His evolving friendship with Spock is compelling -- in many ways, more so than in the original series, though that might be blasphemy coming from an acknowledged Trekkie.

And don't get me started on Simon Pegg as Scotty. He's just glorious. I love it. I love him. He's perfect. Although I think the '70s might want back the shirt he's wearing in the bar.

Anyway, I haven't watched The Wrath of Khan in longer than I'll admit to, but even so, it was fannish good fun to pick up on all the little fan-service bits thrown out for us. It was even more fun to watch how the events twisted to unfold another way so the same thing happened, but opposite (I figure it's still soon enough that these might be spoilers, so I'm trying to be vague, but I may just be being confusing). I can't wait to see how they continue on with this series. I said before that this alternate universe tactic is just the epinephrine this cardiac-arresting series needed, and I still think it is. This second flick manages to take the torch the first one lit and just go hogwild with it.

Forget running. Into Darkness took that torch and jumped off the edge of the world with it.

I do have one question, though. It's very important.

Can a lens flare be sarcastic? Because I think a couple of those lens flares might have been "ha, in your face!" lens flares, aimed directly at the folks who dared to suggest Abrams might have been a teensy bit too liberal with those eye-gouging flashes in his earlier outing.

Either way, I love this flick. It's a worthy successor in a long-loved series. As soon as there's a collector's edition with special features available, it will be joining its predecessor on my pride-of-place shelf.

Good times.

Oh! Also, one more thing: Robocop is in it. Robocop is in a Star Trek movie. I just... thank you.

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