Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sophie's Film Choice #6: STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS

Having never been interested in 'Star Trek', 'The Next Generation', 'Deep Space Nine', 'Voyager', 'Enterprise' or the... 'Animated Series' (I know. I had never heard of it either, but Wikipedia would not lie to me, surely?) I was pleasantly surprised at the enjoyment I experienced at the new 'Star Trek' film series in 2009, and this instalment is just as exciting as the last.

Before we begin, I will reassure you of some consistencies/ developments from the previous film: Kirk is still smug. Scotty's accent is just as (or even more) hammy. The female crew still wear impractically short skirts. Spock is still an absolute dude. 

IT'S STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS TIME! (Feat. terrifyingly hyperevolved Benedict Cumberbatch)

'Maybe I should have just used the door...'
Having now become an IMAX addict, the glasses were on and the gloves were off for the cinematic event of mid- May. Admittedly, I did feel like I was going to be literally speared in the eye by an indigenous alien culture in the first five minutes of the film (nearly choking on my Ben and Jerry's milkshake in the process); however the special effects and action sequences in 3D were spectacular. The conceptual work behind this film should be applauded- particularly the inventive portrayals of the futuristic cityscapes of London and San Francisco. And then their exploding. Because that's how 'Star Trek' rolls. 
'I flare my nostrils at you, sir.'

The film is true to its title: everything becomes darker, scarier and more violent, with the introduction of the franchises returning villain, Khan. Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Khan, a genetically enhanced superman, is ruthless, intense and unnerving. His stare is the stare of nightmares. And he stares a lot. A bit like when you look at a cat, and it stares at you, and you don't know what it's thinking (do I stare back? Do I ignore it?) Except it's OK with a cat because they generally don't try to crush your skull. 

As if watching Benedict Cumberbatch destroying buildings, punching Spock in the face and fighting off a hoard of Klingons with his bare hands wasn't enough, all our favourite characters are back, bigger and better than before. Watching Spock and Uhura having a quiet domestic was one of my favourite moments of the film (In the words of Kirk: 'You're fighting? What is that even like?'), whilst Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto elevate the friendship between Kirk and  Spock to 10/10 on the 'welling up' scale. Man, that Vulcan has some deep feelings! Respect. 
'Live Long and Prosper.   ...I'll just go make a sandwich.'

With some light gimmicks thrown in, such as Simon Pegg and a small alien enjoying a drink in a nightclub, and Alice Eve valiantly providing the 'girl in underwear for no reason' shot, this film has all the ingredients for a Box Office success. The plot is simple yet contains enough unexpected twists to leave you crying and sobbing at once, like some emotionally unstable maniac. Of course, like Scotty, I kept my cool. (It's funny because he is the only one who, quite understandably, panics a lot.) 

All I can say is, bring on the next one! And I'll leave you to decide whether Cumberbatch has had hair implants...

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