Reviewed by Sam Robinson
Rated M. Starring Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto. Available now on DVD & Blu-Ray.
Space: the final frontier. Also home to skivvies, bowl cuts and lens flare.
Well, that’s how it seems from the latest instalment in the Star Trek franchise, Into Darkness.
Yes – the second of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek films is a really fun ride. It moves along at a cracking pace, tells a great story, and thankfully allows for non-Trekkies like me to keep up with the adventure.
It’s hard to explain the plot without spoilers, but basically Starfleet is attacked, and Captain Kirk (Pine) and his crew travel into distant space on an epic manhunt to the Klingon home planet of Kronos to hunt down the perp – the mysterious… well, to reveal his character’s name would give away too much, so let’s call him Punching Bag (an otter-esque Cumberbatch).
Visually this film is spectacular. Look past Abrams’ signature lens flare and there’s this incredible glowing colour palette on the Enterprise that kept drawing me in like a moth to a colour-wheel flame. The CGI is top-notch and there’s these extended scenes towards the ends which are both breathtaking and terrifying. Cumberbatch is at his scowling best as Punching Bag.
Abrams has also made a real effort to develop the characters upon the Enterprise across this film, none more so than Spock.
Spock is half Vulcan (alien race, not hot water system) and half human. He’s usually devoid of emotion because Vulcans are purely logic beings. But as Into Darkness rolls along, Spock’s emotions start to show. And he is called to step up.
This got me thinking about our nature. We aren’t purely logic beings, God created us in his image – emotions and all – but due to our sin we are now broken images of Him. But when we put our trust in Jesus, and by nature our union with Him, he makes us new creations and continually grows us to become more like Christ. He is building our character in ways we don’t even realise. Paul writes about his own change of character in Philippians 3:12-14 –
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Jesus changes our character and we are growing every day to become more like Him. And although we are broken and sinful, we have the hope and goal of eternity with Jesus ahead of us because he has taken hold of us and united us with himself, and our future is guaranteed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Despite his emotions (or lack thereof) and opposition, Spock steps up and overcomes his struggles. It’s a challenge for us to do this as well, but we can trust that we have God’s grace to help us do it.
Star Trek Into Darkness is an action film you won’t want to miss. Rent it now. I’m giving it four out of five stars.