The Miserables Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

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Fallon: Everyone did their movie homework this weekend- and aren’t we glad that we did! Below we discuss Star Trek Into Darkness.

******* This review may contain spoilers*******

Ashley: If J.J. Abrams directs every movie I see for the rest of my life, it will be just fine with me. I really enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkness. It was action packed, funny, and full of heart. Each character’s arc was right on. You know the story, their weakness ended up actually being their strengths, and what saves the Enterprise. This sequel seemed to be more of a bromance than the first. There was a time or two that I thought Kirk and Spock might actually kiss! So did this movie make me want to become a better person? No, but I still recommend seeing at some point this summer.

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Andrew:
When J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek hit theaters back in 2009, it was a breath of fresh air. Not only did it update Trek for fans of all kinds, but it also was an exhilarating action film with a fantastic star-making performance from Chris Pine. The sequel Into Darkness comes a surprisingly lengthy four years later, but the wait appears to have been well worth it. Once again, Abrams provides a thrill ride marked with the trademark Trek humor, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film is its willingness to deal with weighty, emotional themes. Death is prominent in Into Darkness, but not simply because it’s something that occurs. It affects the entire Starfleet crew, as well as villain John Harrison, on an emotional level. While Pine delivers yet another great turn as Captain Kirk, it is Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Harrison that is the true star. One of the lone criticisms thrown at the 2009 film was the less-than-nuanced performance by Eric Bana as the film’s villain, but Cumberbatch ups the ante right off the bat. He’s complicated and interesting, and his intentions are never quite fully known. He even sheds a tear, which regardless of its intention or not, is extremely rare for a blockbuster villain nowadays.

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While the sequel doesn’t sport a narrative ripe with the affecting character development of Abrams’ first outing, it does have an emotional core with its own pay-off. In the first film, Abrams and his writers set up an alternate Trek universe so that they would not feel the pressure of taking on infamous Trek storylines. That is why the storyline of Into Darkness comes with its own surprises. Abrams could have easily shied away from iconic Trek moments, but the film’s climax actually chooses to re-interpret one such moment. It’s shocking and sure to be debated by Trekkies worldwide for years to come. For me, it was exhilarating to see a filmmaker take a classic scene in Trek lore and make it all his own. He’s not just doing it to say, ‘Hey! Look what I can do!’, but rather to give the scene new meaning and to provide layers to a relationship between two legendary characters. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

Star Trek Into Darkness may not quite reach the heights of the previous film, but it comes about as close as you possibly can. Abrams goes all-out with the action, and I’m sure it’s to some long-time Trekkies’ disappointment (they’re intellectuals damn it!). But, that is actually why I am not a pessimist when it comes to the recent trend in Hollywood of constantly rebooting and taking on existing properties. Although we certainly have our fair share of terrible sequels and reboots, the good ones tend to deliver because they are given to filmmakers who aren’t afraid to take chances. It’s safe to say that with Abrams he certainly takes his fair share of them, and for the most part, they really work. I for one am very interested to see his take on Star Wars when Episode VII hits theaters in the summer of 2015.

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Hillari: I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed the Despicable Me trailer that preceded it more, but I was still entertained.  I think this film was just a little too overstimulating for me. I mean, you’re dropped right into the action from the beginning, and from then on, it’s like a two hour roller coaster ride.  The first one did this too, but it allowed more time for a person to breathe — that’s my opinion anyway.  And I thought my job was stressful, try being a Captain  aboard the USS Enterprise (I also just want to add that The Man of Steel trailer looked AMAZING — as did Henry Cavill — cannot wait!!!)!

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Fallon: Thank you J.J. Abrams! *slow clap* Star Trek Into Darkness was a much needed breath of fresh entertainment air. After earlier disappointments this month, you’ve given me something worth my time and money.  How much did I enjoy this film? As soon as I walked out of the theater I had the impulse to go buy another ticket and sit back down again. This sequel hit all the right marks, something that most  fail to do. So good! I liked it so much I didn’t even mind the nerd giggles and general outbursts from the stereotypical Trekkies sitting right next to me ( *giggle* “THE SHIP’S IN THE WATER!” *giggle giggle* “Ohh yeeaah!” *as Uhura kisses Spock*). Seriously, if you see one movie this month in theaters, see this one. 

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