For the spoiler hyper-phobic, you need not worry. As this column is called “Five Reasons to See,” it was written with the assumption that anyone reading has not seen it and therefore needs some kind of convincing. If you’d like to learn more about the twists in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” we’d recommend checking out this story.
The critical reception for “Star Trek Into Darkness” has been a complex one to say the least. There are the Trekkies, who have largely dismissed it because this isn’t the “Star Trek” that they know. Then there’s those who say it’s mindless fun. That subgroup is then split between those who think that’s a compliment and those who don’t.
Regardless of which category you think you might fall into, there are good reasons to see “Star Trek Into Darkness,” five to be exact.
Big Scale Sci-fi
See “Star Trek Into Darkness” on the biggest screen you can managed. (IMAX would be ideal, but make sure to sit in the back.) The movie is a spectacle in every sense of the word when it’s applied to movies. The proof is right there as you watch the film, which was clearly designed to be viewed in a theater. The scale of “Star Trek Into Darkness” becomes part of the theater-going experience because of how it used the screen.
J.J. Abrams can direct an action sequence. There are few people who will contest you on that point. The opening sequence of the film and a short jaunt throw open space rank among the best stuff Abrams has ever shot. He understands the architecture of action and can mount a thrilling set piece pretty much out of thin air.
The Enterprise Crew
If there’s one thing that Abrams definitely got right with his “Star Trek,” it’s the new crew of the Enterprise. Each actor has to step into a role that not only has been performed before, but has reached a level of pop culture significance. And yet each member of the crew inhabits the role like it was always his or hers.
When it comes to John Harrison, it isn’t the twist that people will be talking about. (The real identity is surprisingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.) What people should pay closer attention to is the man behind the twist. Cumberbatch turns in one hell of a performance, doing a ton without a lot of time to do it in. He’s by far the most compelling character in the movie, and it should hopefully prove to others that we need much more Cumberbatch.
At some point in the recent past, “fun” became the word used to damn something with faint praise. Plot holes are another issue and shouldn’t be overlooked in the name of enjoyment, but part of the reason that “Into Darkness” is able to move at such a quick pace is that it gets sloppy with the plot and motivation. To slow down to explain the story, as is, would mean sacrificing the pace. It’s not a perfect situation, but it’s worth noting.