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Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness


The rebooting of the Star Trek franchise brought excitement into the hearts of many old school fans and accumulated plenty of new ones along the way but that’s not to say that the reboot has been everyones cup of tea. I know people who both love it and hate it and can understand where they are coming from.

Before I jump into this review I have to say I want this review to be as spoiler free as possible, but one of my main points can’t actually be made without a huge reveal. I will give fair warning for readers to skip ahead!

I am, and always shall be a Trekkie. I grew up with Star Trek, watching Original Series reruns and getting so excited for new episodes of The Next Generation. I wasn’t just about the old trek, either. I saw JJ Abram’s Star Trek 4 times the weekend it came out, and I still consider it one of my all time favorite movies. So, needless to say, I was excited about the new Star Trek movie, and had faith that JJ could deliver more gold from the new/old Enterprise crew.

To Boldly Go Where We’ve Been Before

One of the things that impressed me most about the first Star Trek movie is the fact that the writers were willing to write their own story. They didn’t tie themselves down to what happened in the later Trek Universe. It was new, but it was Star Trek. There were references and character traits, but ultimately it made itself its own. That same willingness to embrace new ideas is lacking in this movie. It all seemed too derived from the old TV Show and movies. What should have been references to the old Star Trek ended up being rip-offs of things, or scenes, from previous movies and episodes. However, had I not seen the older iterations of Star Trek I wouldn’t have given them a second thought.

Always going forward ‘cos we can’t find a twist

JJ Abrams is well known to enjoy plot twists, or at the very least keeping the audience guessing to the end. In Lost he almost had an M. Knight Shyamalan quality in his plot twists, revealing new ones almost every episode and keeping the audience guessing. Unfortunately, nothing like that exists in this movie. It was all a bit too obvious what was going to happen. The first Star Trek wasn’t well known for its Abram’s plot twists, but at least the story kept you guessing at least what was going to happen next, but this one lacked even that. There was a moment in the movie that was supposed to be a real tear-jerker moment, but I found myself sighing in my seat as they had already revealed something that would cancel out everything that had happened.

Those who do not wish to read spoilers should skip the next paragraph.

Offered Order Never Restored

My biggest criticism of this film is with one particular piece of casting which cannot be overlooked. Don’t get me wrong, the acting was excellent, the same standard as the first movie. Benedict Cumberbatch delivered a great performance, and there is no questioning his acting ability. But, he is not Khan Noonian Sing. While he excels in the role of an Evil Genius-like character, reminiscent of Ricardo Montalban, who portrayed Khan in the Original Series and the Wrath of Khan, but with none of the physical intimidation. The blame for this rests solely with the writers and casting.

It’s Trek, Jim, Just as we Knew It

This movie has all the feel of the Star Trek franchise, from the very first scene. This is a Star Trek movie through and through. Without giving too much away, there are a number of times where I sat back in my chair and smiled, getting that same feeling as if I was watching a new episode on the TV. The starship designs, though you don’t see as many as in the first, fall right into place of the 23rd century, and even the Klingons managed to make an appearance! There are some great fight scenes, be they in space or with hand-held phasers, some laughs from Scotty and Dr. McCoy, and even some tear jerking moments that had the cinema on the brink of flooding.

Space, The Final Frontier?

I enjoyed this movie. Yes, there were a few annoyances that got in the way, and it’s not the same great movie we saw three years ago, but at the end credits I found myself thinking; will they make another? This movie is definitely worth seeing, but it probably won’t be one you’ll be seeing more than once!