I have to eat my words here. In my review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which I loved) I said I didn’t care how much they milked the Lord of the Rings franchise. Well I take it back! You’ve milked enough! No more milk for you – I’m cutting you off.
It’s difficult being the middle child in a film trilogy, and Desolation for me felt like a really long set up for Battle of Five Armies. It doesn’t resolve anything by the end, saving it for the next movie, which left me feeling unsatisfied. I have read the book so I feel they could have reached a resolution here whilst still having a cliffhanger and plenty of conflict left for the finale. This would have made it feel more like a complete and satisfying movie in and of itself.
I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness on my Birthday and really enjoyed the experience as did everyone who watched it with me. The core actors really have the bit in their teeth and do an even better job at delivering these well-known characters than they did before which is good because Into Darkness invites comparisons. In some cases they are Chris Pine and Zachery Quinto are delivering the same lines previously spoken by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, but always with a twist. Star Trek: Into Darkness is an ‘alternate reality’ Trek following the new time-line established in Star Trek (2009), so it continues to explore the idea of change and consequence a la the Next Generation‘s episode Tapestry. It’s the same yet different, and we see how the characters differing experiences affect them, shaping their characters and sending their lives in new directions.
Primarily Into Darkness is an action movie; it moves from one fast-paced scene to the next with nary a pause, but they keep it fresh by changing the location and type of action. The scenery and special effects are just beautiful; often very colourful I’m sure they are borrowing from the 1960’s Original Series colour palette. It’s a refreshing change from the often all-too-grey movies we are seeing nowadays and gives it its own unmistakable style. Nicely done!
However, the fact that I liked the film isn’t going to prevent me from ripping it a new one! There’s much to praise but there’s also much to criticise. Into Darkness is an exciting, visceral experience but beneath the action, special effects and lens flares it has more holes than a wheel of swiss cheese.