drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: Simon Pegg

Into Darkness

Into Darkness

In 2009 Star Trek was rebooted. It is the in-word for taking a much loved series and starting again. That movie took risks changing what was a well-loved brand, universe and let’s face it huge fan base. However, it worked, despite a few niggles and maybe one set that was never quite right. It worked because it did too things; made money and made new fans. So we move on and wait. Unlike other studios, with Trek there is no spin-off here, no solo performances to fill the void. We have had to wait nearly as long as the original 5-year mission for the second installment.

Having said that, much has been said about this second rebooted Star trek movie and then again, nothing much at all. A trailer teaser gave away something. It featured a character, named John Harrison, a Starfleet officer with the ability to help another’s apparently serious ill daughter. It hinted at something, something that could be very dark in the Trek universe. The whole point of a movie is to tell a story. It is supposed to take the viewer from place A to B with goodness knows what in-between. The story should be make you want to watch and become engaged. This hint teased, you did not know where it was within this story. Again we then had to wait. Finally we get to see what all the rumors were about.

Into Darkness opens with a classic feel. The Enterprise, with a very young and ‘green’ Kirk in charge, Spock in danger of course and the age old prime directive about to be compromised. Now there are many fans who felt at the end of the first movie that Kirk had not earned right to sit in the big chair. But, then to tell that story in the first movie would have taken hours and effectively required a whole host of academy films. Fans might have gone for that, the rest of the public never. Film’s these days have to make big bucks to pay everyone off and create the environment for the next. Yes, in theory Kirk should not have been Captain at the end of movie one. If that had been that, it would have been fine, however it gets addressed a little in this movie.

The dynamics between the young crew have yet to be properly seen. Here is one of the biggest dilemmas for JJ Abrams. In the television series we are led to believe the crew are on it’s five-year mission. They know each other, they have spent time together and have history. By reworking the series, this has all gone. So we are left with building the characters from the start. That was very clear from the first film and it underpins this one, the dynamics of how the crew work and trust each other. In this movie Kirk and Spock are still coming to terms with each other as Captain, first officer and the beginning of one of those rare on-screen friendships. McCoy is the slightly awkward third person here, a sounding board to both. The rest of the ‘original’ crew continue to explore their roles. One which does not really fit yet is Uhura. That character should be more composed with the hint of action. I can only guess that Abrams needs to give this character something to do.

Add to the mix a ‘new’ villain, John Harrison, one who disguises his true motives making the audience wait. The action is fast paced, explosive to say the least and in places typical Star Trek. Humour was always thrown in when others feared to smile. Now for what might sound an odd reference – They do it with mirrors – is a line that comes from an Agatha Christie novel. Now that may appear strange but trust me it does say much about Into Darkness and it’s my only clue. 

I wont give away the plot as I don’t review movies that way. What I will say is that it worked for me and very well. Clever one might say. I did get all the hints and smiled when I was right. The cast did grow in this movie, yes there are a few annoying bits but then the movie was not filmed just for me. They never will and the old fans have two options. Get over it or watch something else.

For me JJ Abrams paced this movie just right. It had action, humour, compassion, classic Star Trek. Remember, he has to fit at least 4 major and 5 not so major characters together. Let alone a supporting cast, some of whom steal scenes. Each needs to give the audience there all in order to make the movie work.

This movie ends with a hope of more films to come. Does it end good or bad? Well, you have to go and see for yourself.

Rating 4.5/5

Tagline ‘Hint – Mirror, mirror, remember?’

Star Trek Beyond

Hello Dear Reader

Star Trek Beyond

This year marks the 50th anniversary for this sci-fi series franchise.  This is also the third film in the rebooted or alternative universe of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the crew of the USS Enterprise.

There had been a lot of rumours about this film and given the anniversary, many wondered just how it might show the Star Trek universe at its best. As with all reviews, I won’t give the plot as I hate spoiling things for others. So, what one word would I give this movie after seeing it? Brilliant.

It is the best of the three by far, this adventure for me, goes beyond everything. There has been a subtle move away long title introductions to grab the viewers and hold them like hell for the ride. Star Trek Beyond mixes humour, action, adventure, edge of the seat drama along with character development while not forgetting to carry the audience.

It is very hard not give away anything here. So sort of spoiler alert.

The actors certainly appear to fit ‘their’ version of the roles in this movie, which is sad for one given the well-publicised news of Anton Yelchin’s death.  There was all sorts of ‘drama’ over what was a minor element of the movie, that of Sulu’s partner. It just flashed by, so ?

The plot was good – yes there might be holes as I have said several times before what film has none – very few. It is well put together for my liking it flows, no stopping, just action. One bit I really like was the Enterprise travelling through wrap, that was rather good. There are a number of things in the movie which pays tribute to the original actors and the 50 years that has past. You do have to listen to some lines very well in order to get the in-jokes. Again some sadly delivered by Chekov.  The sadly bit is that we won’t hear those again.

The underlying theme of this movie was unity is strength and to be honest, has always been a central element of Star Trek. Together no matter what, we are stronger. Kirk and Spock realise their true friendship which again, should be clue to people in the real world. It takes McCoy to ‘link’ them together pointing out what they both miss.

Highlights: Very difficult to say anything here without giving the game away. There is one scene which for a Star Trek fan is brilliant and you won’t miss it I am sure. I will be seeing the film again, I almost walked out of one screening and into another, I don’t do that for many films at all. Simon Pegg did a very good job on this film as both Scotty and one of the main writers. I would hope he has a hand in the next script.

Star Trek Beyond runs for 120 minutes, full colour, 3D and 2D, full of sounds and is good.


Tagline: “To boldly go where no-one has gone before”

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