Davis: Latest Star Trek brings life back to the franchise

With Star Trek into Darkness, J.J. Abrams and his crew play with the canon again.

Zachary Quinto (left)

Although The Great Gatsby failed to take number one away from Iron Man 3 at the box office last weekend (no one expected it would), it still beat expectations by a fair amount, surpassing $50 million over the weekend.

The movie divided critics with some calling it the best adaptation of the novel yet, to a magnificent looking mistake, to the first bomb of the summer season (boy was that critic wrong).

True to form, director Baz Luhrman created a beautiful looking movie, and while emotionally lacking in places, most people I talked to enjoyed it, especially the people who have read the book.

There is not much doubt that the No. 1 movie this weekend will be Star Trek into Darkness. Four years ago, J.J. Abrams and his crew, which includes writers/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (TV’s Fringe and The Transformers) and writer/producer Damon Lindelof (TV’s Lost, Once Upon a Time), re-ignited the Star Trek franchise, which was considered “dead” after the poor box office performance of the 2002 film Nemesis and the cancellation of the last television series, Enterprise, in 2005.

Not only did they restart the series using new actors to portray the original characters, they created an alternate timeline story that allowed them to tinker with the Star Trek canon.

With Star Trek into Darkness, they play with the canon again. While I was preparing to write this I was stupid enough to look at a plot synopsis which contained major spoilers. I will not spoil it for anyone else other than to say that, other than Leonard Nimoy, all the cast members from the previous movie are back in their iconic roles, plus Benedict Cumberbatch (Britain’s newest Sherlock Holmes), Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League, Men in Black 3) and Peter Weller (Robocop).

Also, the movie is getting great reviews (90 per cent favourable on Rottentomatoes.com).

After what Abrams and company have been able to accomplish with Star Trek, there will be high expectations for the next franchise they are taking over—Star Wars.

Star Trek into Darkness opens tonight at Landmark Cinemas Grand 10 Cinemas, Paramount Theatre and Landmark 8 Xtreme.

One small spoiler: Watch for a cameo appearance by original Scotty James Doohan’s son Christopher in a transporter room scene with new Scotty Simon Pegg.

Star Trek will be getting some competition starting next week with The Hangover 3 opening next Thursday with a special advance screening next Wednesday at 10 p.m.  Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are back as the Wolfpack, along with Ken Jeong and Heather Graham.

In this one, there is no wedding and no bachelor party. What could go wrong? Advance tickets are on sale now for both Wednesday and Thursday.

The Hangover gets some competition itself a day later with Fast & Furious 6 opening next Friday, with an advance screening Thursday at 10 p.m. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson are back in the driver’s seat for this high octane action movie.  Tickets are on sale now for the advance screening.