Cinema has had so many incarnations – a constant reinvention to draw in audiences and recreate the magic of that first time, the first snapping of a reel through projector. We’ve had smell-a-vison, digital, HD, 3D, and Dublin has even seen IMAX in its previous form…though those achingly beautiful nature shorts are a far cry from the awesome power that is the new IMAX 3D. This immensity was fully realised in the sneakily-released prologue of Star Trek: Into Darkness in jaw-dropping 3D, and on a screen so big it fills your eyes and brain. Keeping with JJ Abram’s original tone and palette, Into Darkness is bright and shiny – the sharp colours and crisp CGI lend themselves perfectly to the IMAX’s awe-inspiring visual experience. Add to that the pure excitement of the looming wall-to-wall presence of Benedict Cumberbatch’s mysterious villain, a dash of perilous life-or-death action, and the result was almost 10 minutes of edge-of-the-geek pleasure.
The prologue offers a similar introduction to the 2009 reboot, featuring salient characters and introductory peril in which to visualise an entire movie. It’s succinct and relentless, marrying action and emotion as seamlessly as its precursor – tantalising with hints of further story, but cutting short of confirming anything. It’s safe to say that fans have more than enough to be getting on with, but newcomers to the experience might need to watch the first of the series to ensure that the ride is as entertaining as it is exhilarating. While the 3D is post-production, the realisation of movement seems close to flawless – choice interaction rather than overflowing visuals. The result is a teasing example of how good it might be – it remains to be seen if the full film in May can live up to its steadily growing hype.
If nothing else, the IMAX 3D will provide a visual treat to rival Avatar – but if these early indications are anything to go by, we can also look forward to an excellent narrative addition to the Star Trek film family. Set phasers to seriously impressed!
The USS Enterprise warps into cinemas on 17th May 2013.