Star Trek Into Darkness [IMAX][3D]

An entertaining summer popcorn adventure flick that was unfortunately marred by its immense predictability and J. J. Abrams' ridiculous overuse of light flares, with the only great things about it were the incomparable Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Giacchino's epic/heroic, and slightly space jazzy, score. The plot as written by Abrams' frequent partners, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, were a master class in predictability, cliches and overwrought dramatics. The plot flows in a conventional straight line, with nary a side-step, as though the writers themselves were following a Writer's Manual 101. But, typical of these three, when it comes to serious talk/drama, the dialogue becomes clumsy and clunky, and also loopholes abound whenever it suits them, narrative continuity be damned. Although they did give the supporting cast some rather good quips. Other than his obscene obsession with light flares which are annoying at best, but downright distracting sometimes, Abrams handled the direction rather well. Some scenes were executed quite good, and messiness minimised, although editing was rather patchy and amplified in the IMAX. There weren't any big impressive set pieces and only one in-space sequence was truly gripping. As for the cast, they were seriously outclassed, out-acted by the British thespian Cumberbatch who skillfully managed to ellicit sympathy for his villain and his facial expressions and eyes are so much more telling then the clunky exposition handled to him. Chris Pine is a pretty face that recites his lines and run the action sequences, but emotionally a blank, his "growth" from Boy to Man (as per Manual 101) felt more like Child to Adolescent; Zachary Quinto is just, now, trying too hard and his Spock lacked the emotional complexity that his mouth hints at. Pine's and Quinto's bromance which was a highlight and cornerstone in the first movie, now feels tired and repetitive, lacking the initial chemistry that made them interesting. Zoƫ Saldana and Alice Eve were, like Pine, pretty faces and barely memorable, but thankfully, we had Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban and Anton Yelchin to entertain us when Cumerbatch's not on screen. Lastly, from the opening strain to the final closing credits, Giacchino's score is the definite highlight, punctuating every scene and emotional climax with his bracing, rousing strings and horns. In between, you can even detect a slight jazzy undertone reminiscence of his "The Incredibles" work. IMAX and 3D not necessary.


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