May 16th, 2013

Trek Reboot/Pike Hero

Star Trek into Darkness and Back Again

I'm back, and I have updates, but everything will wait for now. What I want to do - indeed, what I must do - is share a few thoughts from my first viewing of Star Trek into Darkness. (These are my first, preliminary impressions; I'll see it again tomorrow, and my thoughts no doubt will develop further.)

General and Relatively Spoiler-Free Notes

* This film is an extended and deeply heartfelt love letter not only to the original Star Trek, but specifically to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. STII is by far the best Star Trek film to date, and one of the best science fiction films of all time, and so I find this to be completely right and proper. I was deeply moved by the generous (and - dare I say it? - beautiful) nods to the previous film. I suspect some of the deeper resonances will be lost on viewers who aren't familiar with Star Trek II, but, let's be honest: I couldn't care less. [See Footnote 1. Yes, this post has footnotes.]

* What absolutely makes this film, immediately, right out of the gate, and then throughout, is the remarkable and textured chemistry between Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. Greenwood steals every scene in which he appears, but he also draws a terrific performance from Pine, one that sells the very heart and premise of the rest of the film.

* Benedict Cumberbatch is, unsurprisingly, brilliant. His performance is exceptionally physical, from the details of each action sequence to the very manner in which he enunciates his words; in this sense, it reminds me most of his performance as the Creature in Frankenstein.

* Simon Pegg, bless you.

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