"}
Film

Star Trek Into Darkness

The bromance continues

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Director JJ Abrams has followed up his sensational 2009 Star Trek reboot with a sparkling 3D sequel.

The core of the earlier film is present and correct: Chris Pine as the unfeasibly handsome junior Kirk; Zachary Quinto as the fringed logician Spock; Zoe Saldana—her status subtly enhanced after her leading role in James Cameron’s Avatar—as the lissome Uhuru; Karl Urban as grandstanding medical officer Bones; and Britain’s Simon Pegg as engine-room supremo Scotty, gamely approximating a Scottish accent about half the time.

Abrams also maintains the glistening visuals of his earlier film; Into Darkness is slathered in so much lens flare it looks like a Kylie Minogue video. And the flashes of crackling, knowing comedy have been retained, punctuating the shuddering fight scenes and chase sequences that are the very currency of the action blockbuster.

The film picks up shortly after its predecessor left off. Kirk is firmly installed in the Enterprise chair, Spock his first officer, and a mission is in progress. Abrams orchestrates an opening scene that mixes all the above-mentioned ingredients in a 100-proof cocktail, designed to get the audience instantly drunk.

Still burdened by the destruction of Vulcan, Spock is attempting to prevent a planet’s incineration by a giant volcano; Kirk flouts the Starfleet prime directive by allowing the primitive inhabitants to clap eyes on the USS Enterprise as it rises from the seabed to deliver Spock from the point of death.

This conflict between military regulation and personal loyalty is allowed to run through the story; it becomes a wedge driven in the overt Kirk-Spock bromance that was such an entertaining feature of the first film. After Spock sends in an official report that exposes Kirk’s fibbing, the rupture is worthy of a tycoon’s divorce. Kirk, furious, is deprived of his command, while Spock is transferred elsewhere. But they can’t stay mad at each other for long, and fortunately a murderous cataclysm erupts that has the happy effect of reuniting them. Benedict Cumberbatch essays the latest in a long line of British supervillains as he arrives, seemingly out of nowhere, to lay waste to a Starfleet base in future London, and follows it up with his own sequel, devastating a military conference in San Francisco. Within seconds, it would seem, Kirk and Spock are reinstalled on the Enterprise bridge, vowing to take Cumberbatch down.

At this point it’s necessary to draw a veil over the plot’s subsequent revelations, though plenty of rumors have been swirling as to how this Star Trek film—the 12th, incredibly—locks together with a much earlier entry in the sequence. Suffice it to say that it’s not actually all that interesting—one supervillain, these days, is very much like another, whatever their superficial attributes may be.

The real grit is provided, as ever, by the emotional politics, always Star Trek’s strength. Abrams threw everyone a curveball by getting Spock and Uhuru together in the first film; here, their relationship is knottier, thickened, while Kirk aims his bee-sting pout in the direction of newbie Alice Eve, as a not entirely convincing science officer. (Perhaps Kirk’s lack of success with the ladies will become a major theme of a third Star Trek reboot; despite his puppyish eagerness, and occasional bout of bedroom action with an alien chick or two, women never seem as keen on him as he is on them.)

There’s consequently a palpable air of world-weariness about this Star Trek; it’s as if Abrams and his writers concluded they couldn’t replicate the cockiness and bounce of the first film, and opted instead to allow their characters to grow up a little.

Everyone is a little more battered, a little less dewy-eyed. People are unlikely to charge out of the cinema with quite the same level of glee as they did in 2009, but this is certainly an astute, exhilarating concoction.

SVCR Don McLean
More Film...
Human Rights
New documentary focuses human rights film festival

For 17 years, the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival has explored far corners of the world, documenting injustice and hardship, but always with a bittersweet tang that the human spirit will endure and in some cases triumph. The festival’s overarching message is that we must approach…

more »
Neruda
Of history and legend

The conflicting forces that shape the Chilean national identity have been an overarching theme in the work of Pablo Larrain, whether it’s the festering chaos and violence of the Pinochet regime in Tony Manero, Post Mortem, and No, or the moral bankruptcy of the Catholic church in The…

more »
Julieta
A mother’s love

Julieta is a departure for the great Pedro Almodovar. There’s not a laugh in it. Instead, there is an engrossing story about a mother’s fractured relationship with her daughter, seen through a long arc, from conception to—well, you have to see the film to find out.

Is lack of humor a…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Community Coffee and Tea

9:00am|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Garden Design Class

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Handmade Pasta Class

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Kombucha and Kefir

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Frankie Gavin

6:30pm|Leopold Crystal Ballroom

Unsettlers

7:00pm|Village Books

Nothing simple about it

7:00pm

Mike Allen Quartet

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Panty Hoes

9:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

MBT Rovers Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Incognito

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Pasta Faves

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Between Two Worlds

7:30pm|Make.Shift Art Space

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Trove Bellingham Technical College
Friday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

IGN Cascadia Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Bellingham Technical College Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market