Late to the Party: Star Trek Into Darkness Micro Review [SPOILERS]

Spock and KirkBack 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.

Kirk vs KhanOverall, 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.

Image Credits: Star Trek Official Movie Site

I'm an otaku, avid gamer, and electronic "musician." I'm forever indulging in the amazingness that is Japanese tokusatsu.

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2 comments on “Late to the Party: Star Trek Into Darkness Micro Review [SPOILERS]
  1. Niko says:

    I didn’t like the Nimoy cameo. First, anytime the Enterprise crew is in a situation they can’t immediately get out of on their own, they now know they can go to Old Spock. Secondly, it doesn’t feel like Old Spock told New Spock anything he couldn’t have figured out on his own. You can cut that scene and not feel like anything is missing when New Spock unleashes his plan. Thirdly, the exact same thing happens anyway, just roles reversed.

    I don’t think that undermining the dramatic tension and capability of this new crew was worth it for the cameo.

    Maybe if Old Spock said something like, “I have vowed never to tell you anything about your future that could change your destiny. However, I died fighting this son of a bitch, so I want you to take him down. Hard.”

    • Zasalamel says:

      I actually agree to all of that, but I still can’t find it in my heart to knock this movie too much for it. Not as a fan, that is, because the storytelling mechanics behind this particular scene are awfully clunky and, as you’ve stated, it’s unnecessary. That said, Spock Prime died the second time around. This crew is only now meeting Khan, and is only now beginning to show signs of competency in the heat of conflict. This new crew has yet to grow into the crew that we all know and love. Quite frankly, they never will, despite the essence of their characters remaining. That tends to happen when timelines get messed with.

      I think Spock Prime made it very clear that New Spock needs to find his own way, and made the exception simply because of how terrible Khan Prime was. New Khan, however, is nothing in comparison. He isn’t really given time to be the bad-ass that he is supposed to be. At least not in opposition to the Enterprise crew. Nero is a better New Khan than New Khan. And in the end, none of that matters. We get a soft reset, and then the new timeline’s TOS era begins. If anything, a fine opportunity for some dramatic exploration was wasted, but a satisfying action movie that happens to be a competent Star Trek movie was delivered nonetheless.

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