(This is actually spoiler free!)
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Star Trek Into Darkness at an advanced screening. I have been waiting for this movie since the day the first Star Trek film came out back in 2009. No, I’m not a Trekkie (I was actually obsessed with Star Wars when I was younger…), but I am a huge fan of the cast and creative team behind this franchise.
I had unfairly huge expectations walking into the movie theater last night and I am pleased to say that not only were those expectations met – they were SHATTERED.
Somehow I managed to successfully avoid spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness and was entirely grateful that I had. I won’t spoil any of the huge plot points for you either (as you should have the same right to walk into that film unspoiled), but I will say that there were plenty of moments where I audibly uttered “Holy shit!” to no one in particular.
Star Trek Into Darkness retained all of the same cast from the first film with a few notable add-ons. Alice Eve plays a new weapons specialist aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise and her role was a welcome addition to the crew as she was a confidant, smart character. Though she was eye candy to some of the fleet, Eve’s character held her own with regard to necessary knowledge and know-how needed to actively play a part in helping to save the day.
Everyone and their mom will be walking out of Star Trek Into Darkness talking about Benedict Cumberbatch. If you see this movie and are not affected by his performance in some way, then you apparently don’t have functioning eyes and/or ears.
I have been a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch ever since 2007 when I first saw him in Starter for 10. My appreciation of him has only grown because of Sherlock. And now, after Star Trek Into Darkness, my love of Benedict Cumberbatch has increased even more. Because holy smokes – what a transformation.
Just from the poster, trailers and commercials you know Cumberbatch plays a bad guy. I won’t delve into just how bad a guy he plays, but trust me – he is evil.
However, this evilness did not stop my jaw from dropping any time he was on screen – if anything, this dark side and raw masculinity only added to the attraction of Cumberbatch up on screen. This was a role unlike any I had seen him in before. And while he did play a bad guy in Atonement, that character was passive (albeit an aggressive passive person, as he did rape someone), this bad guy in Star Trek Into Darkness was full of revenge and animosity – actively trying to make up for lost time with a similar smarminess that comes through in his Sherlock character. Cumberbatch’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness is very smart, to the point where he rivals Spock and his use of logic and knowledge to have advantages over other. However unlike Spock, Cumberbatch’s character is completely human and his emotions get the best of him several times, causing explosions of rage and anger to drive his actions.
There is no denying that the entire cast of Star Trek Into Darkness is attractive. Chris Pine is a handsome protagonist with an equally fine crew. Though apparently a shirtless scene of Cumberbatch was left on the editing room floor (WHY?!), he filled out his form fitting wardrobe quite well and there were definitely some pronounced arm and chest muscles going on that were not seen as such on Sherlock.
As referenced in the title of this post, I claimed that Star Trek Into Darkness was my favorite chick flick since Bridesmaids. I will argue that Star Trek Into Darkness is a chick flick until the end of time.
“Why?” you ask.
To me, a watchable chick flick has stereotypically good looking people and good stories about relationships that punch you in the feels.
As I already mentioned, the main characters on the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise (as well as it’s #1 enemy in this film) are ridiculously attractive. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto make a handsome team and when flanked by the likes of Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban, you kind of can’t go wrong. These actors aren’t just pretty faces, though – they all have masterful acting chops.
I was not a fan of Pine’s before Star Trek. I had seen some of his other stuff, but it was fluff like Just My Luck or Princess Diaries 2, where he was just a handsome face with not too much substance. Pine’s Captain Kirk is a smart alec, but he’s also a determined leader and fierce friend. There is pain behind his eyes and a depth to that character that people might be surprised to find.
When I write about “relationships that punch you in the feels,” I was referring to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock’s friendship.
See, chick flicks don’t have to be about the girl getting the guy. Bridesmaids is one of my favorite chick flicks ever because of the relationship between Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s characters. Their friendship is basically like being sisters and that is a powerful relationship to see crumble and reunite on screen. The same goes for Kirk and Spock. These guys were getting to be friends in the first Star Trek film, but in Star Trek Into Darkness, their relationship is already established and they are closer to best friends or brothers than we’ve seen them before to the point where Kirk expresses his hetero-lifemate feelings for Spock. Though Spock does not vocally reciprocate those feelings, his actions throughout the film do. Spock is definitely more in touch with his human side in Star Trek Into Darkness and that allows him to convey a range of emotions with regard to Kirk’s plot in relation to Cumberbatch’s character.
Seeing men in a meaningful relationship is something that a lot of women I know are interested in when it comes to plot of movies/television shows/books/etc… We might not have firsthand experience having a brotherly bond with someone, but to see men be vulnerable around each other and talk about feelings is definitely something that piques a lot of our interests. This is why I argue that Star Trek Into Darkness is a chick flick – because the amount of emotion, feelings and vulnerability displayed by the main characters is very relatable and something we “chicks” stereotypically love to watch unfold.
People will likely refer to this as a “buddy/action film” whereas I will continue to call it an “action/chick flick.” The action and fight sequences were amazing and highly entertaining. Some of the violence was a little painful to watch/hear, but in the best way possible. I still can’t get over the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is a legitimate badass/action movie star.
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief how much I loved this movie. Rarely do movies like this live up to the hype or my expectation, but this was just great fun and a swift kick to the feels. If you enjoyed the first Star Trek film, you will likely also very much enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness. I need to see it again. And I wish the DVD was out right now so I could have a Star Trek/Star Trek Into Darkness marathon whenever I wanted.