I enjoy an independent drama with deep thought provoking character stories, no special effects and budgets as small as my bank account as much as the next guy, but in my book, a good explosive action science fiction extravaganza with hundred million dollar budgets, and young heartthrobs in the leading roles has an advantage that no quiet drama can match up to. That is not to say that any blockbuster is immediately better than any drama, quite the opposite. More often than not the dramas and indie comedies are the ones that turn out better because they rely on quality to make their money back. When a good sci-fi epic comes along though, I myself feel excited and alive. I tend to come off as biased with my taste but I think it’s only natural considering human nature. There is something primaly exciting about watching explosions and lasers and aliens, after all when kids play with each other they don’t play as the struggling writer who is going through a divorce, they play as the Jedi or the cowboy.
I didn't get to see nearly as many films as I would have liked to this summer but the one film that made me feel like a kid ready to play was J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. This film had me hooked from the first trailer, partially because it did not give away any information about the plot which is something I treasure in a trailer. Not only did I feel the film was fun escapism like its predecessor, it also fixed some of the problems I felt were present with it. It replaced a weak and interchangeable villain with a much more memorable foe that gave the film more “Star Trek” credibility as supposed to the previous film which could have just as well been an original science fiction movie if you changed the names of the characters.
It also includes a great performance by an actor who keeps impressing me consistently with his great chops all around. Benedict Cumberbatch is a very versatile thespian and looks like he has a great career ahead of him. He is only the frosting on the cake however as this film is full of fun moments that represent everything I love about movies.
Granted it wasn’t the only movie this summer that was a contender because I was very impressed with Neil Blomkamp’s “Elysium”. I considered choosing it over “Star Trek: Into Darkness” not only because the gritty take on science fiction was an interesting stylistic choice for Blomkamp and that makes him a very unique filmmaker who may possibly be on the road to making the next “Blade Runner”.
I am sticking to my guns with Star Trek though. Never during the summer was I entertained so much as when I was watching this science fiction epic. It is films like these that give me good hope for the upcoming Star Wars movies of which Abrams is now responsible for.
The summer was a little disappointing overall but I find it hard to hate on it because it did give us great movies like this and “Elysium” and I hope that in the future I can enjoy movies as good as these during a summer that can offer me a lot more.