Friday, December 14, 2012

Review of the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX

I just saw the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness that was attached to the IMAX version of The Hobbit. Here's the review. There are spoilers so if you don't want to know about the film until it comes out in May, stop reading.

Okay the first scenes of Star Trek Into Darkness start out in London. A couple is visiting their sick daughter at a hospital. It's clear that she's terminally ill. A distraught father is comforted by the movie's villain, John Harrison, aka Khan I believe, (Benedict Cumberbatch) he says he can save her. We then flash to an M class planet Nibiru. Kirk (Chris Pine) and McCoy (Karl Urban) are being chased by a primitive alien humanoids. It's a strange world as the vegetation is red. Meanwhile, a shuttle is flying into a nearby volcano with Sulu (John Cho), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock (Zachery Quinto) aboard. We find out that Kirk is trying to lead away or distract the aliens while Spock will be lowered down into said volcano to stop it from erupting and killing the aliens. The Enterprise is underwater because they can't reveal themselves due to the Prime Directive which prohibits Starfleet from making contact with alien species without warp drive. Everybody makes it back to the Enterprise except for Spock who's going to save the aliens. Kirk is now stuck with a terrible decision. Save Spock by exposing the Enterprise and violate the Prime Directive or let him die thus obeying the law.

Director J.J. Abrams visual style is mesmerizing. I found the camera angles and color palette to be arresting. However, like Star Trek (2009), his pacing would appeal to those with ADHD. Fast cutting. Warp speed pacing. Dialogue flies by like an Aroldis Chapman's fastball. Zone out and you might miss something. I would like to hear a non-Trekker see if he could explain the Prime Directive. As far as the 3D, Star Trek Into Darkness is a conversion from 2D. Most conversions are too dark. This clip does not suffer that much. However, it lacked pop that a film shot in 3D would have.

I like this ship! You know, it's exciting!

Does this criticism mean that I disliked this clip? No. I have similar feelings as I did for the 2009 movie. It's made for an action craving audience; most likely teenagers. That being said, it was exciting and made me want to see it again. I also want to see how they get Spock out of that situation. I'm guessing that they're not going to kill off Spock in the first few minutes.

I also was delighted that writers, Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof channeled an important Star Trek concept. The Prime Directive. Hiding the Enterprise so the primitive aliens don't see the ship reminds one of the Next Generation's episode Who Watches Watchers and the movie Star Trek: Insurrection. I've complained that Abrams Trek movie lacked ideas so it's encouraging that in the first nine minutes embraces two Trek ideas. The Prime Directive. Explore strange new worlds.

The nine minute clip was thrilling. It was thought provoking. It's a good start to Star Trek Into Darkness. Let's just hope the rest of the film can be declared Star Trek. The grade is B+.

1 comment:

Spockchick said...

Hey Bernie, sad news from Connecticut. I think it has made me less charitable.

I agree with you on the pace, perhaps I am too old :-( but there were bits of dialogue that passed me by, and the audience I was with were very quiet. There was a bit of destroying things in a rather cliched CGI way that has become endemic in modern movies. I liked the beginning with the family, it was poignant. I fear some of the things that led to the shuttle problems echo the script of 'Prometheus'. Wouldn't they know what temperature things were at? Couldn't they fly a drone into the volcano? All these things echo a lot of what annoyed the heck out of me plot-wise in Prometheus. Heck, I bet you can fly a camera-drone into a volcano now. I am also fed up with the 'splosion-villain, as if the only way to de-stablise or kill a society is by 'splosions and big acts. 'I'm gonna blow up the earth' (Nero) 'What he said' (Harrison). And, I had huge problems with Scotty being treated like a clown.


Sulu was awesome.
McCoy was awesome (but there, I have to say I am biased).
Uhura was very sweet with Spock.
The first scene was excellent.

So, despite my gripes, I liked the trailer, and if it hadn't been Trek, I would probably have LOVED it. I am looking forward to the film very much. And it comes out on the last day of my final year at university - how cool is that?