Movies ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Review written by Justin Bolger May 20, 2013 Editor’s Note: The following review contains SPOILERS, so if you have not yet seen the film, you may not want to read this article until after you have gone INTO DARKNESS. The Abramsverse continues with Star Trek Into Darkness. When a rogue Starfleet agent carries out a terrorist attack on Earth, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is ordered to bring him to justice. As the journey to apprehend this new threat continues, Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise discover that things are not exactly what they appear to be, and the threat they face may be closer to home than originally anticipated. By the end of 2009’s Star Trek, James T Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zach Quinto) had arrived at a place of mutual respect, but not yet formed the friendship that defined their earlier incarnations. Star Trek Into Darkness examines how that legendary friendship is formed, as both characters evolve through both shared and complimentary experiences throughout the film. For Kirk, that means learning one of Spock’s essential lessons, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or in Kirk’s case, the one. Captaincy of a starship is a service, not a trophy, and Kirk’s gradual realization of this truth is powerfully conveyed through Pine’s performance. Kirk at the end of this film is not the same man that he was at its beginning, and that character growth is exceptional and well executed. The same can be said of Quinto’s performance as Spock, as that character’s growth lies in his recognition and acceptance of the value of human emotions. If the first film’s Spock was constantly at war with his emotions, this film’s Spock is learning how to explore those emotions and gain strength from them. Of course, the catalyst that sets both men on this voyage of self discovery is the carnage caused by Khan Noonien Singh (Benedict Cumberbatch) in a performance that emanates cold confidence and deadly clarity of purpose while remaining dangerously charismatic. This is best displayed during the scene in which he reveals his true identity in the Enterprise’s brig. The baritone of his voice delivers each of his lines with such deliberation as to communicate that no matter the situation, this version of Khan is always in control. That underlying trait is an effective delineation from Ricardo Montablan’s interpretation of the character as a bit of a hothead, whose tendency to let his emotions get the better of him led to his defeat. Though the performances of the aforementioned actors anchor the film, there are no sub par performances to be found throughout it and every member of the main cast gets an opportunity to shine. Particularly Scotty (Simon Pegg), who provides humorously critical support to the crew during a desperate hour, and McCoy (Karl Urban), who continues to pay tribute to the late DeForest Kelley with a respectful interpretation of the character. The film does go a little too far with the fan service at times, specifically at two junctures in which the nods to what has come before are so distracting that they lessen the impact of what is on screen. The first is when Spock takes a moment during the Enterprise’s confrontation with Khan to seek advice from Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy in a surprise cameo) on how best to defeat him. While it’s always great to see Nimoy, even in this film, it doesn’t quite ring true that Spock would take a moment to contact his alternate self for advice when there is a crisis underway. The second is during the “death” of Jim Kirk. It’s an obvious, almost over the top homage to the iconic death of Spock from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that loses much of its emotional impact because of how similar it is to that earlier scene. Kirk and Spock being separated by glass with their hands against it with many of the same lines being recited before Spock lets out a, “KHAAAAAAN!!!” borders on parody, and this section very much so seems forced into the rest of the film. Despite these shortcomings, Star Trek Into Darkness is a great time of a film. It immediately thrusts you into the center of the action (literally, if you see it in 3-D) and continues at a breakneck pace that doesn’t slow until the credits are rolling. J.J. Abrams and his team at Bad Robot have delivered another engaging, fun, and heartfelt entry that continues to evolve the classic franchise while remaining completely worthy of the name Star Trek. Justin Bolger is a regular panelist and “Gentleman” on the Modern Myth Media Podcast. You can also find more of his science fiction and fantasy musings on his site- Apex Fan. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Review was last modified: February 22nd, 2016 by Justin Bolger Related Star Trek Into Darkness 4 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Justin Bolger previous post Full Trailer for ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ next post New ‘Man of Steel’ Character Posters You may also like Open Forum: JURASSIC WORLD June 11, 2015 BIRDMAN Soars at Venice Film Festival August 27, 2014 Brand New INTERSTELLAR Trailer Explores The Cost... July 30, 2014 Interstellar Goes IMAX April 16, 2013 JUPITER ASCENDING Review February 6, 2015 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Reveals First Poster July 23, 2014 JAWS and the Mostly Forgotten Allure of... June 8, 2015 James Bond: First Image And Video From... February 12, 2015 Pioneering Spirit Meets Survival Instinct In INTERSTELLAR... May 16, 2014 Trailer: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL November 19, 2015 Joe Fornarotto As someone who has never been a fan before the 2009 film, the Kirk “death” scene was a hugely emotional scene for me and i really enjoyed it (especially not knowing if he would survive or not). I absolutely loved the film as a whole and am now looking into checking out the originals. I do understand why established fans may be annoyed by it but Id also like to believe these new films are broadening the gab between “trekkies” and the mainstream. Thanks to MMM for getting me into these films as well. Lookin forward to the roundtable. Justin Bolger That’s the beauty of these films. They’ve brought in a whole new generation of fans. I’m glad to hear the scene worked for you and added to your enjoyment of the film. Nichelle for me, i’m not a star trek fan either, just a person who saw the previous film and enjoyed it. after watching into darkness, i enjoyed that film as well. it’s funny for me because just the day before i saw the film, i watched wrath of kahn so, i was able to pick up on things immediately in what was going to happen. however, i disagree with the kirk death scene. that was a emotional scene, if not the most, but i loved the interaction b/t spock and kirk. it didn’t bother me about spock’s reaction in yelling out kahn. just to see him show that much emotion was great. Stock As for me, I am an old Star Trek fan, born in the year of its own premiere by Desilu. I reviewed the first film last night, and just saw this today. They’re both very good, with good ties to the old Trek, and have enough of the new form of digital fast-paced entertainment to be up to speed for new audiences. As far as what worked best, I think the whole first act was more emotionally satisfying than the middle and the rather rushed ending, (which I also thought was a problem with the first). It seems like Abrams, after making his cuts, has to tie things up without letting the emotional aspects linger a little. In the first film I’d say that about the Spock to Spock meeting. In this one, the Kirk speech at the end. Into Darkness attempts to be a alternate version of both the original series episode Space Seed and Wrath of Khan. It largely succeeds, but as you might expect, for original fans, it doesn’t have the emotional heft or the fun of the original Trek. We grew up with the Shat and Nimoy, and Kelley in those roles, so when something like Spock sacrificing himself at the end happened, it was a huge shock. Here, its more of an homage, like a postcard of a great place to visit. Wish you were here. I also think Cumberbatch is a little too aloof to be a great Khan, although I agree with Justin that it added a different dimension to his character. But I think that’s kind of a nationality thing. Montalbon, the hot blooded Hispanic version vs a lets face it, more reserved English menace. Cumberbatch is a very good actor, but I’m not sure he’d be my choice to play Khan. Loved Weller as the other semi-villain, Admiral Marcus. He got to do his Jack Nicholson impression with his “Who’s gonna do it, Kirk? You?!!” Loved that. I also agree about the Spock cameo. Unnecessary, even fruitless since I kind of doubt the answer Spock the elder gave to how to defeat Khan was, “Whaddayamean? I kicked his ash, of course!” All in all, good Trek movie, good acting, action, and some good core Trek elements, with some reservations about the plot.