BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Movie Reviewer
BOUNTIFUL — We can’t make the economy stronger, bring the soldiers home, or even keep our kids feeling safe at school. But maybe, just maybe, we can help save the world from an extra-terrestrial evil.
J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” is coming out this Friday, the sequel to the 2009 reboot that helped give audiences hope that big-budget science fiction still knew how to be awesome. It’s a heroes’ journey on a grand scale, as concerned with friendship, sacrifice and noble causes as it is dramatic fight scenes and crashing spaceships.
Summer blockbusters have a tough time getting respect these days, seen as shameless studio spectacles designed to dazzle audience’s eyes so they won’t think about things like plot. While Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies are the worst offenders at this, even more entertaining fluff such as the latest “GI Joe” is considered empty movie calories. They’re the visual equivalent to eating ice cream all summer instead of more nutritious movies like “Lincoln.”
A real blockbuster, however, is meant to feed the imagination. The best summer blockbusters are crafted with the same kind of care and attention to detail as any independent film, all in the name of making the audience believe in the power of the story. Movies such as “Iron Man 3,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness” or “Man of Steel” are heroic epics for the modern world, granting phenomenal powers to very human hearts and sending them out to defeat evil.
When we were kids, all the best stories worked like this. They taught us that even heroes have moments when they’re afraid, but if they keep fighting they’ll be able to rise up and save the day. Sometimes people die, but they usually do it to help save the world. Bravery is honored, and good men and women always have the power to help make things better.
As an adult, we realize that life isn’t ever this cut and dried. Terrible things often happen for no reason, and there’s nothing most people can do about it. But for a few hours, a true summer blockbuster can make us believe that there’s a reason to keep fighting.
In the newest “Star Trek,” Captain James T. Kirk and company face nothing less than the destruction of their entire world. All the odds are stacked against them, and it seems impossible that they’ll be able to save the day. But they keep fighting, because they know they’re fighting for something important.
Since the preview was held after we went to press, you’ll have to check out davisclipper.com this Friday to see my review of “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The adult inside me knows there’s a chance I’ll be horribly disappointed, and if that happens, I’ll fulfill my critical responsibility and warn people away.
My heart, though, holds out hope. Abrams’ first “Star Trek” gave me a new group of heroes to believe in, and I’ll carry that faith with me into the movie theater.