Star Trek Into Darkness: Review

| May 17, 2013

Words by Jo McTavish

Director: J.J Abrahams
Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho
 After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

It’s sad to think 2013 has been down in the box office from 2012, but that being said, we did see an army of blockbusters last year that demolished the box office (and our wallets!) The Avengers, Spiderman 3, Men In Black III, and The Dark Knight Rises all brought in some very impressive numbers; one would never think we would see such numbers again. Although this year has been slow in gathering our attention, the release of Iron Man 3 was an absolute delight both critically and commercially. Hollywood finally got what it wanted with a massive, record breaking hit and I could not agree more. The next film to follow was Star Trek Into Darkness, which serves as the sequel to J.J Abrahams 2009 hit, and saw the director revitalise the broken series to show the world that Star Wars was not the only machine in our galaxy. In 2009, Abrahams gave us a fantastic rendition of the series, and brought smiles to many Trekkies and the rest of us who did not really care about the enterprise. As it has been four years since Star Trek, which is a very large gap for a sequel, does this sequel bring the guns to survive or does it fall in the shadow of its title?

Abrahams has done it again! Star Trek Into Darkness is another healthy addition to his fleet, a truly amazing experience that takes you out of your seat and into a light speed of fun. The film has many highlights that allow it be a solid blockbuster: the script and story, stunning visuals, and an amazing cast that all deliver individually in their own right. If you have not seen the first Abrahams’ Star Trek, I strongly advise you do so before you walk into this – not only for the story – but to see the growth compared to its predecessor. I was never a Trekkie (in fact, I was a Star Wars advocate), but I have come around to love this series. The story is fantastic, a truly engaging film that deserves to destroy the box office and have everyone’s attention.

Stark Trek Into Darkness follows Captain James Kirk (Chis Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the Star Fleet crew who, after returning from their space discoveries, find themselves back and without a ship after some of Kirk’s choices. When an attack against the Trekkies occurs, James and his team unite against one of their own Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) and soon find themselves involved in a fight larger than what they are prepared for.

Honestly, Star Trek Into Darkness is an amazing film, filled with non-stop action and an engaging script that really makes a pure blockbuster experience. Abrahams’ direction is top-of-the-range when it comes to the film in every aspect; at no point will a viewer becoming bored, but more so longing for more. Chris Pine who plays Kirk is once again fantastic in his rendition of the character (Shatner will be proud). The development of his character is strong from the start. Kirk leads not by the rules but more so from personal instinct; as the story progresses, he realises that not only does he need to be everyone’s leader, but he needs to help his crew survive their greatest threat. Pine fully owns the Captain Kirk. Trekkies, I am sure you will be proud.

The film is as much about Kirk’s heroism as it is with Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) conceitedness. In 2009’s Star Trek, it was great to see Quinto take over the role in so much pride from Leonard Nimoy.  Spock is a delight in this film and equally annoying in his own right, and, as any Trekkie fan would know, this is just second nature. Quinto steps up to the legend and truly takes on Spock’s persona. He and Kirk’s chemistry is tense, mature, and not only do they argue and get in the way of each other’s beliefs, but they drive 80% of the film’s action. It truly is amazing what two can do.

As for the rest of the cast, Zoe Saldana, who plays Quinto’s girlfriend Uhura, is wonderful as always and really steps up this time. Many of her scenes with the boys is edgy, full of action, and some emotion. Simon Pegg as Scotty adds some character and fun to the plot – a back and forth relationship he shares with Kirk plays out well and brings some punch. Karl Urban (Bones), John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov) are all equally great, but I guess Abrahams didn’t really have much space for them to move as they are minimal in this one. I only hope for another, as I love them all and really make following the enterprise so much fun.

As much as I love the cast, the real fun is Khan. The man has come a long was since his popularity in Sherlock, and in the film you really see this display of pure talent. Khan, who is no stranger to Trekkies, is once again the villain in this film and is pure evil. Although the antagonist, he is pure genius and so intriguing to watch. Cumberbatch is fantastic as the villain, as you would never picture him to play such a destructive guy (come on, look at his face! So innocent!). Khan would have to be the best villain of 2013 so far and in many years thanks to his use of explosions, skulls, and intelligence. It really makes Star Trek Into Darkness a fascinating film.

I myself would see it again, and highly recommend you do yourself a favour and see it. The fleet are all in top form; the villain, Khan, is both violent and engaging, but the true hero here is Abrahams. A film of love and death, this Star Trek is going to be one of the biggest films of 2013, and really another positive for the respected director. As you all know (I hope), Abrahams has been confirmed to direct the next Star Wars, which is such joyful news especially after seeing this film. However, I can only hope he won’t leave this franchise yet because I eagerly await Captain Kirk’s next adventures as I’m sure it will be truly insane. Don’t hide in the shadows; come out of the dark and make sure you see this film, Trekkie or not.

MM 4.5/5


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