Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 28, 2013

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ enterprises on improvements

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Despite an overall dismissal and thumbing of the nose of science fiction by the major award circuits throughout the history of film (and beyond if you throw in years of geek bullying from print or radio), one element that has not been denied ultimate glory quite as often is the musical force behind them. Whether proven through legends like John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith or even more recently through the non-traditional likes of Daft Punk, there is no denying how the impact of said scores continues to leave an impact both culturally and on the overall human psyche.

This film is the latest example in what I predict could be the most crowded nomination field for musical score in decades with yet another impressive entry (this time by Michael Giacchino) in what is turning out already to be a banner year for cinema conductors. With a story that is already a significant improvement over 2009’s reboot, it becomes downright brain numbing in the joy department. As one embarks on the journey that is “Star Trek Into Darkness,” there’s no one moment where the audience feels abandoned and warps ahead to something that captures classic as well as refreshing.

Consider part two of the adventures of Señor Jump into the Frying Pan, more training on the job for the young crew of USS Enterprise, who have learned some lessons from their first fray, but still have a way to go in their early careers. Case in point, the actions taken by Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) on a mission that should have been to just observe a primitive planet in the Nibiru system, but instead violates just about every rule in the book from likely rerouting history for an entire people by being seen in their super sleek starship to saving Spock (Zachary Quinto) after a plan to secretly save the species there spirals out of control.

Punished for being such a nimrod, the only reason Kirk isn’t thrown into space prison for life is due to the grace of Rear Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who speaks well enough of Kirk to only have him demoted back to his first officer again. Yet, this also seems short lived when several terrorist attacks initiated by Commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) , a star league officer gone rogue, forces our lead hero back into the commander’s chair and initiate a series of events that seems to put the fate of the Federation in question. It is all wrapped up in character development that is off the galactic charts including a villain taking diabolical deeds to delicious heights, hilarious antics by Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg), the strength of resolve by those like Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), diving further into Spock’s human side and adding up to how survival depends on each of the smaller roles making decisions for the greater good.

For those open to a different angle in this alternate universe, it’s really quite clever to see how the futuristic Earth copes with being in the crosshairs of an epic undertaking such as this. However, being the latest chapter in a series passionately followed for about five decades, if one is unable to accept the changes that took place in the first J.J. Abrams film, they may want to keep sitting it out for this one as the fan boy rage will continue to go un-pacifiered.

All I know is that as someone who appreciated Star Trek for its social commentary of what our species can do to overcome its failings while growing up with the Next Generations model, I was more than satisfied and thrilled with the end result. I did not feel the impact came with any insult and place it as one of the best action entries of the summer. In the end, I’ll sleep just fine at night and give “Star Trek Into Darkness” four out of five photon torpedoes.