If you have not yet seen "Star Trek: Into Darkness," you’re safe here. I’m not handing out any spoilers. I’ll just say that I thought the second in this new series of Star Trek movies is great fun, and if you have any Trekker or Trekkie leanings, you ought to see it.
One of my pet peeves in science-fiction movies is that often they rely too much on special effects and have too little story. Don’t get me wrong: I like things that blow up good as much as the next guy, but I want the effects to be story enhancers rather than story replacements. "Into Darkness" has lots of explosions and fires and thunderous noise, but it’s all in the name of storytelling and I like that a lot.
Because I am a geek and I had some time on my hands this past week, I watched "Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe" on the History Channel. In this program, there are some wonderful bits about the filming of "Into Darkness." For instance, there is a fairly long sequence about the filming of the scenes involving the warp core. They were filmed at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif.
Instead of building a bunch of Rube Goldberg machinery, they used something that looks as though it is a jump into the future but is used in scientific research today. You’ve got to admit ... that’s cool.
In the History Channel program, there are also scientists and science-fiction writers who talk about the science of Star Trek and what is possible and not possible according to the laws of physics as they are currently understood. They all take what they are saying seriously and you never have the feeling they think it’s silly to be talking about science and Star Trek at the same time.
I wonder how many others in the audience for the showing of the movie that I attended knew about the warp core scenes. I confess to having felt a little smug about having that knowledge. Then, I found out that my friend who was sitting next to me knew that Zachary Quinto had running lessons for the movie, which is a fact I had not known. So, my smugness is not all that long-lived. That’s for the best, I imagine.
I won’t tell you how Quinto's running plays into the film, but when you see it, you’ll notice how well he runs and you’ll know why.
This brings me around to the cast who play the Enterprise crew. I love them! They are all perfect for their parts. They make me feel the same loyalty the original cast did so many, many years ago when I was a college student going with the fellow who became my husband to see reruns of “Star Trek” at the student center.
It is easy for me to see them as the younger and alternate universe versions of the original cast. Even the romantic relationship between Uhura and Spock doesn’t seem out of place. The younger Spock could well have given himself over to his human side more often in youth.
Scotty is more wild and crazy as played by Simon Pegg than James Doohan, but the Mr. Scott we knew back in the 1960s was an older man and less agile but he had his mad streak. Remember the “it’s green” scene from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"?
Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Chris Pine get the job done in fine style.
I find myself smiling as I write this.
Yep, “Into Darkness” makes me happy and that’s what I want in a movie. Go see it. It’s really good.