The things you remember from Star Trek Into Darkness: the theatrical dramatic pause before the shitty Khan reveal; Benedict Cumberbatch doing that weird over-enunciation thing he thinks makes bad dialogue sound better; Kirk kicking the warp core like a broken printer; the bit where Bones basically cures death; Tribbles; the platform game level at the end where Spock channels Super Mario. The things you don't remember from Star Trek Into Darkness: the good stuff, I guess? I don't recall it being a terrible film, quite enjoyable in the moment in fact, but a post-viewing breakdown revealed the story to have as much structural integrity as a piss-soaked newspaper. Star Trek Beyond, however, rights everything that Star Trek Into Darkness put wrong. It may not be as polished or as ambitious as its predecessor, but it is far truer to the core themes of what Trek is all about; crucially, it's a film that looks to the future, not the past.
Nobody expected a sequel to Horrible Bosses - least of all the people who made it. However, a $200 million box-office receipt was too big to ignore, so Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis are back with their horrible bosses (that aren't even really their bosses) along for the paycheque. There's a palpable sense here of making hay while the sun shines: some might see Horrible Bosses 2 as the most cynical of sequels, but just as the hapless characters wing their way through each step of their terrible, ill-thought-out plan with a wink and a smile, so do the filmmakers, making sure we know they're having fun while doing so. That kind of infectious goofiness can't be faked, thus Horrible Bosses 2 is a very easy movie to enjoy.
Jack Ryan is unique in reboot terms, in that you could hardly call him a franchise: with four actors playing a single role over five movies, it feels more like a Doctor Who-esque regeneration than an attempt to rebuild the character from scratch. Despite his myriad abilities, Jack Ryan is not the most adaptable of fellows: there are few drastic differences between Chris Pine's interpretation of the Tom Clancy hero and Ben Affleck's take in The Sum Of All Fears. When you consider just how much America has changed in the last 12 years, in terms of global perception, geo-politics and national security, Shadow Recruit has to go down as a missed opportunity. Apart from an early nod to the September 11th attacks, it could have been written in 2004, 1994 or even 1984. It feels intentionally bland; homogenised so it can play to any audience at any time. Except Russians, obviously.
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So you may have seen our official, in-depth Star Trek Into Darkness review posted a few days ago. But what’s that you say? Tl; dr? Right, so what would you prefer? A quick, short review cut down into bite-size chunks and, I don’t know, accompanied by funny moving pictures? (*sigh*) Make it so...
Right from the very first scene, which sees Kirk and Bones sprinting through bright red flora to escape from a primitive alien tribe, Star Trek Into Darkness proves to be a film of relentless adventure. It’s non-stop action through and through, and, once this opening chase sets the pace, the film seems to always be constantly accelerating. As such, the film spends all of its time going somewhere; and it goes quickly, it goes loudly and it goes spectacularly. The only problem is that it never seems to live up to the franchise’s original mission statement and go boldly.