Saw Star Trek Into Darkness today. In short, the movie was awesome. I'll need to see it a few more times to be sure, but I think this might be the best Star Trek movie ever. In my top 10 list of all-time, Star Trek II still holds a place. This one might replace it.
I'm a little surprised by this admission. I still have mixed feelings about J.J. Abrams's first installment. The main thing that bothered me about it was the whole changing history into a new time-line. I understand why Abrams did it, but that motif has been used and overused in the Star Trek lexicon already. I don't know how many Voyager episodes never actually happened because everything was changed and no one but the viewer remembered. I'm also a little nervous about Abrams taking over Star Wars. The two are such different animals. But this movie settled some of my concerns.
Now as far as Into Darkness, they did a great job of not giving too much away in the trailer. There are some awesome twists in there that I don't even want to hint at. Suffice it to say, I think people who are not familiar with Star Trek lore will enjoy it, but people who do will get an extra special kick out of it. The only hint I will give is that for a while, I thought Abrams's third Star Trek film would be subtitled, 'the Search for Kirk'.
There were a couple of dire situations that I accurately predicted how they would get out of, but I think that is partially due to me being a writer. Things have to be set up to avoid the dreaded 'deus ex machina'. I don't mind the predictability of those things, though, since there were so many pleasant surprises to counterbalance.
Also, this movie was more about people than some kind of geeky cast reunion. We get to see some character development in Kirk, as well as another side to Spock. I wish they put a little more McCoy in there, though, because Karl Urban knocks his portrayal out of the park every time. I also wish they would do some cameos of the old series actors. Have them play other roles, of course, but for a long-time trekkie like me, it would be fun.
There was a little bit of language in this one, plus a couple of very brief 'scantily clad' scenes, so be warned if you want to take kids. I would suggest screening it if you are concerned.
I give this movie two big toes up. Way up.