Back in 2009, the Star Trek franchise got a swift kick in the rear end with the release of J.J. Abrams’ updated take on the franchise. That film gave us an alternate take on the NCC-1701 crew’s origins. It is now 2013, and Abrams returns to helm one more adventure for the Enterprise and her crew, lead by Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto). Star Trek Into Darkness is a fun ride from beginning to end. There were many rumors concerning the story that would be told, especially in light of the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Commander John Harrison, the film’s villain. At least, that was what was officially announced. [I will warn you one more time – HERE BE SPOILERS]
If you are still reading, you likely already know by now, or simply don’t care, so I will come out and say it: Harrison is Khan.
Into Darkness is exactly what Abrams, the writers, the producers, and Paramount were saying it wasn’t – an updated Wrath of Khan. That being said, I understand why there would be (and is) nerd-rage over the decisions that were made in the depictions of certain moments in this film, but ultimately, none of those nit-picky issue distracted me so much from this film to make me not like it. In fact, nothing in this film detracts from Star Trek II – hell, there is a small scene that is devoted to reminding you that Star Trek II happened.
Overall, the action is stunning and beautifully presented on screen. The drama is effective when it needs to be even though every major “twist” is telegraphed rather blatantly. The acting is fine, the comedy is perfect, and the heart of Trek is ever present despite the escalated Star Wars-y flare. The only negative I would say is worth mentioning is that none of the stakes ever feel high enough, nor are any of the consequences recognized or lasting.