‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: A manhunt to the ends of space

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Chris Pine as Captain Kirk (left) and Zachary Quinto as Spock highlight "Star Trek Into Darkness." The film is the best of the myriad space movies released so far in 2013.

Elizabeth Freda, Reporter

It seems to me that movie themes tend to run in cycles. Last year, it was the supernatural theme. This year, movies about space exploration have been dominating all the previews. I’m not complaining — I’ve always been intrigued by the last frontier, which is probably why I love all “Star Trek” movies.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is no exception.

The movie’s plot line is complicated yet easy enough to follow, which is a clear sign to me that everything about the movie was done well. Scenes vary between quiet and simple, and loud and action-packed. The latter gives the movie a stimulating nature, and the former contained background information that is crucial to the plot.

I also found that the camera shots caught my eye more than those of a lot of other movies. The variety between close-ups and wide-angle shots always provided enough context and at the same time were enjoyable for the viewer.

In terms of casting, I think the role of Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, could have been better. Cumberbatch seemed the perfect villain at the beginning of the film — nailing the accent and cold gaze ­— but never really left me with much emotion. Normally by the end of a film, I find myself with a strong and mildly irrational hatred for a villain. However, Cumberbatch left me with no overwhelming feelings and at no point in the film was I remotely terrified or concerned about his character.

Yet Cumberbatch was the exception to the rule. As always, Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock are a forceful and nearly flawless pair onscreen. Their characters complement each other perfectly and their interactions with other characters make the audience fall in love with the crew of the Enterprise all over again.

Pine in particular thoroughly impressed me. He aptly portrayes a complicated character and brings to light Captain Kirk’s personality flaws, all while still managing to charm the audience. Pine perfectly brings Kirk’s strength, passion and selflessness to the screen while still portraying the arrogant fool we all know and love.

Another highlight of the film was the graphics. Whether it was creating a Starfleet ship worthy of the most intense space battles, brainstorming a beautifully modern city for Starfleet’s headquarters or inventing a desolate hiding place for villain Khan, director J.J. Abrams clearly had a well-defined vision in mind. The vibrant imagination that went into the production of the film was what made it so great.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” was one of the better movies I have seen this year. Captain Kirk and Spock remain some of my favorite characters, and the space exploration aspect of the movie was exciting and timely. The film has already roped in millions at the box office, surpassing “Iron Man 3” by a fair amount. Whether you’re already a Trekkie or have never seen a “Star Trek” movie before, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is sure to win you over.

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