"You didn't expect to find me"
Somewhere over the course of this weekend, a ten-year-old child will go to a movie theater to watch STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. He or she will absolutely love the movie. In fact, it will become the youngsters' all-time favorite movie. Said youngster will grow up to be a filmmaker and thirty years from now will be in charge of rebooting the Star Trek film franchise yet again. The first iteration will do well at the box-office and be critically acclaimed. When it comes time to make the second Star Trek film in 2043, our intrepid filmmaker will plunder his or her past and remake STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, just as their cinematic hero J.J. Abrams based INTO DARKNESS on STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. I won't be alive to see this movie for a third time but I hope to hell it doesn't have all of those damn lens flares.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, which I saw this afternoon, is not a bad film. In fact, it's a very entertaining one, full of action, suspense and humor. The special effects are spectacular, the set pieces breathtaking and the cast uniformly excellent. It's a fun, thrill-ride of a movie that rings some neat changes on established Star Trek canon while re-imagining one of the most beloved Trek adventures of all-time.
But I've seen this movie before and I liked it better the first time, when it didn't have all of those annoying lens flares. If you think J.J. Abrams' overused lens flares in his previous film, SUPER 8, you haven't seen anything yet. Rumor has it that his first STAR WARS film will be subtitled THE LENS FLARES STRIKE BACK. Please. Enough already.
Still, there's a lot to like in INTO DARKNESS: a tribble, a Mudd namedrop, Carol Marcus, Klingons, a dreadnought class star ship, "damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not a...","the needs of the many.." and the death of a major character. But we won't have to wait for the third installment in the series for his/her revival as that plot point is taken care of in the third (or was it the fourth? the fifth?) act of this very long but never dull film which nicely sets the stage for a certain "five year mission".