Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch!
Better get used to it; you’ll be hearing that name a lot in this review. And that’s because the man is one of my favorite actors right now. He has everything: looks, talent, charm, and a voice like no other. He’s the great detective from the BBC series Sherlock, a mathematical genius in The Last Enemy, England’s youngest prime minister in Amazing Grace, and the soon-to-be voice of Smaug the dragon from The Hobbit trilogy. And now he’s a villain in a Star Trek movie. Do you even have to ask why I’m reviewing this one?
Star Trek Into Darkness picks up where the last film left off: due to some business with wormholes and time travel, the Star Trek universe has been rebooted and now follows an alternate timeline in which anything can happen. Even Sherlock Holmes can be the Hannibal Lecter to Captain Kirk (Wow, that’s some mash-up). Is it as awesome as it sounds, or just a waste of money? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out. (To follow along, go to YouTube and watch “Star Trek Into Darkness – International Trailer (HD)”)
The film maintains the original cast from the first movie, including Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura, as well as Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho. They’ve even brought back Leonard Nemoy as Spock Prime from the previous Star Trek universe. One notable newcomer is Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus. In the past timeline, she was the creator of the Genesis machine and the mother of Kirk’s son. Alice’s other appearances include She’s Out of My League, Men in Black 3, and The Raven. And of course we have Benedict Cumberbatch. Most exciting of all, if IMDb is to be believed, he will be playing the character of Khan. That’s right, the most memorable of Kirk’s foes from possibly the greatest Star Trek film ever made is returning to this new timeline! Feel free to resume reading when you finish geeking out.
J. J. Abrams returns to direct the sequel to his last groundbreaking Star Trek film. In the first film, he took a serious, slow-paced space drama, ratcheted up the action, and modernized the cast of characters without losing the spirit of the original films and television shows. It seems safe to assume we’ll see more of the same great things here, only with bigger action and more lens flares.
We open the trailer to BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!!! Okay, breathe, just breathe. Sorry, but he looks so awesome with his collar popped like that. Anyway, he’s talking about how safety is an illusion and how we should enjoy these last moments of peace. And then a building explodes. I hope everyone enjoyed those last 0.002 seconds of peace.
As what I assume is a memorial to the victims of the attack, Starfleet has fighter jets fly over the city. Amazing that we still have the same fighter jets two hundred years in the future, especially since they have those saucer-like spaceships. Meanwhile, members of Starfleet gather to discuss the attack, and some political official says the bomb was set by one of their top agents. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think he’s one of your agents anymore. Oh, and maybe it’s just the angle of the next shot, but it looks like Benedict Cumberbatch just punched a guy into the air. Awesome!
Ben declares, “Your commanders have committed a crime I cannot forgive.” They made my fandom wait two years for the return of Sherlock. Curse you, BBC! “None of you are safe,” he adds. Great, he’s brought Steven Moffat into the picture. He then proceeds to shoot up the Starfleet war room from a shuttle just outside the window. Guys, if he can get that close to your building while he’s fully armed, your air security needs a little work. “Have I got your attention now?” Ben, you had my attention from the moment you opened your mouth.
But Kirk has had it with the terrorist. “This could just be the beginning,” he says. No kidding; if this were the end, there wouldn’t be a movie, genius! He requests permission to go after Ben. “Starfleet isn’t about vendetta,” one of his superior officers tells him. “Well, maybe it should be,” Kirk replies. Um, no, it really shouldn’t. If Starfleet were about vendetta, the universe would be chaos caused by everyone’s grudges now being backed by photon torpedoes. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do,” Kirk tells Bones, explaining why he never follows orders. “I only know what I have to do.”
Kirk and crew fly a small shuttle through some kind of mechanical city, barely squeezing through a crack between buildings. “I told you we’d fit,” Kirk brags. “I am not sure that qualifies,” Spock replies. Why is it that so much of the humor from this show comes from a guy whose race is devoted to pure logic? Must be his human side.
As more explosions go off, Captain Kirk finally faces off against Benedict Cumberbatch. Oh, it is on now! Kirk tells Ben he will have to answer for the murder of innocent men and women. Ben replies, “I will walk over your cold corpses.” Yeah, who do you think won that argument? And Benedict Cumberbatch just stomped on someone’s face. It’s his movie, right? Tell me this is his movie. It can’t be about those wimps from the Starship Enterprise as much as they’re showcasing Ben.
We move into the trailer montage, which includes ships flying around, Dr. Marcus in her underwear (You know, by this point, I’m convinced that every woman in the Star Trek series is contractually obligated to appear in her underwear at least once), and Kirk and Spock dressed as monks running through a red forest and jumping off a cliff. Huh. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Uhura says they’re outgunned and outnumbered. Yes, when you’re up against Benedict Cumberbatch, you are automatically outgunned and outnumbered. In his own words, “I am better.” “At what?” Kirk asks. “Everything.” ‘Nuff said. And the trailer ends with the Enterprise crashing into a major city. The end! Ben wins!
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Absolutely! It’s action-packed, fun, and visually impressive, yet it still stays true to the spirit of the franchise. The crew of the Enterprise is as close-knit as ever, and the actors are still top notch. Oh, and did I mention Benedict Cumberbatch plays Khan in this movie? Because he does! The film is of course very violent, and Kirk is still the same womanizer he always was, so you might want to think twice before showing your kids this film; maybe start them off on the original television series. But for teens and adults, I say check this film out. Chances are you won’t be disappointed. I know I’ll be seeing it as soon as I can. Mainly for Benedict Cumberbatch.
Star Trek Into Darkness is owned by Paramount.