ON DVD & Blu-Ray: September 10, 2013

When I walked into 2009's Star Trek I'd never seen anything prior that had anything to do with the beloved television series and the several movies it spawned. I grew up a child of the 90's and was first introduced to Star Wars and simply stuck with it as by that point Trek had grown into the Patrick Stewart/Next Generation series that was by all accounts, beyond me. Still, walking into J.J. Abrams re-booted take on the Trek franchise with no idea what to expect, no pre-conceived notions of the characters, or any idea what the story might revolve around I was pleasantly surprised to learn how accessible it was and how much I enjoyed it. I didn't know if the original series had ever taken the time to tell the origins of the crew that made up the Enterprise but I assumed if they had it was not to the depth this film did. That due to this it would be extremely exciting for fans of the original series to be able to see some of their favorite characters in the younger stages of their lives and for those that were new to the world it would serve as a fitting introduction to everyone. Now, with the second installment in Abrams series, Star Trek Into Darkness, he has crafted a film with compelling characters and an adventurous story that is all beautifully shot with plenty of lens flares (get over it!) and has another stellar soundtrack from long-time Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino. It also offers an interesting commentary on real world issues and genuine human complexities though as I'm told the original Star Trek series did. From the beginning there is the issue of Kirk disobeying the "prime directive" and not thinking logically as he exposes a primitive culture to his starship in order to save Spock, while Spock argues with the actions that saved his life because he is only able to think in terms of logic. This throughline of wrestling with moral and ethical decisions and what actions to take is reiterated several times in the film by having Benedict Cumberbatch's villain become a somewhat mirror image of our main protagonist. Star Trek Into Darkness may have a few faults here and there and may not hold up as well as it should throughout, but it is a fun, dazzling, suspenseful, and enjoyable film that also wants to be about something. I don't know about you, but I'll take that as a win. B+

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