“Into Darkness” Delights and Disgusts

into darknessStar Trek. These two words don’t usually evoke images of fistfights and young 20-somethings brooding over drinks at the bar. But J.J. Abrams’ Into Darkness boldly takes Star Trek where no Star Trek film has gone before—into action scenes after countless action scenes, fists pounding and guns a-blazin’.

It’s not that Captain Kirk never pounded his share of alien skulls into the dust in the original series, but I seem to remember a few other scenes breaking up the frenetic action that overpowers this newest film from its opening shot to its final moments. The brief dialogue between the characters allures us with its references to past Trekkie lore and Vulcan logic—with several laugh-out-loud moments—but held up against all that action they are reduced to sound bites, hinting at a lost, Platonic-ideal Star Trek prequel that would be truly enjoyable. Young McCoy, Spock, and Kirk have clearly studied their former selves to perfection (Scotty, sadly, for me is forever ruined by Pegg’s perhaps overly memorable performance in Shaun of the Dead). So many promising elements—slaughtered upon that false idol of Hollywood greatness: Action. Here we are, stuck with yet another OK summer action flick—frustrating because this one could have been great.

By Jen Matteis