A lot of people bitch about STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS but I don’t know why. I’ve seen it now 3 times and every time it works for me. Sure, there are a few minor missteps and a few too many references to STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (more on that later) but for the most part it’s a solid movie that is both thrilling and heartfelt.
Having been reintroduced to the crew of the USS Enterprise in the excellent 2009 reboot of STAR TREK, the intrepid team are now off on their own missions to explore new life and new civilizations. Unfortunately Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) has an ego the size of a warp nacelle and feels that the rules don’t apply to him. This gets him in hot water with not only Starfleet Command but especially his mentor Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and he is stripped of his command of the Enterprise.
Feeling betrayed by his First Officer and friend Spock (Zachary Quinto), Kirk suddenly has bigger fish to fry when a rogue terrorist named John Harrison (a menacing Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks Starfleet and wipes out most of the top commanders. Reinstated as Captain of the Enterprise, it’s up to Kirk and his crew to discover the true identity of the mysterious Harrison and save the federation from going down an inevitable path to war.
Once again directed by J.J. Abrams, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS succeeds in so many ways that where it falls short is frustrating, but certainly forgivable. The cast is outstanding and it is simply astonishing to me that having been a fan of STAR TREK my entire life that I accept each and every one of them as the iconic characters who just a few years back seemed utterly irreplaceable. The visual effects are top notch and the action scenes are creative and exciting.
Other than a few nit picky issues, my only real disappointment is how much the film lifts from STAR TREK II. Believe it or not WRATH OF KHAN is one of my favorite movies of all time and I have seen it more times than I can remember. I just love than darn movie so much! You would think that would make me hate INTO DARKNESS, but it doesn’t. I understand what they were trying to do; I just feel they were a little too heavy handed with it. They should have had the confidence to tell a completely unique story instead of digging into the past yet again, but that doesn’t mean the story doesn’t work. It does. And there are some nice themes about friendship and responsibility explored as well as some great sci-fi action that is out of this world.
It’s easy to be a hater. I choose to concentrate on the positive, which this movie has in spades. Being a fan of the entire film series, INTO DARKNESS is clearly one of the best entries and don’t be bullied into thinking otherwise by card-carrying Trekkers and/or Trekkies. I stand by this film because sometimes the needs of the one, out way the needs of the many…
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)