Star Trek Into Darkness Reviews
There are many valid reasons why the most passionate "Trek" fans consider "Into Darkness" the worst of the "Star Trek" movies. To me, it is all about there being no "Star Trek" in "Into Darkness." The screenwriters, who "wrote" the first two "Transformer" movies here just use the "Star Trek" characters and settings as pieces on a game board to move around as needed so they can get to big explosions and mindless action.
You hear from ardent fans often about "canon." That is, what is official, true to the storyline material, and what isn't. Well, for me "Star Trek" movie canon ended when Gene Roddenberry's involvement did, after 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." He was never involved in the "Trek" films after that. He was listed as "Executive Consultant," but had no input I know of. So, from "Wrath of Khan" on, I consider it all like I would fan fiction. It's just stuff made up by people who were never involved in the original "Star Trek."
At least there were moments from some of those secondary films that felt kind of like "Star Trek." But here, screenwriters Orci and Kurtzman chuck it all for good by not caring at all. Orci's gone after any critics, saying he's "The Decider" about "Star Trek." The fact that he used the same identifier that George W. Bush did should tell you all you need to know!
What makes the script even worse is the involvement of Damon Lindelof, who famously trashed "Prometheus," then got angry at those who dared criticize that disaster.
The most troubling aspect is having director J.J. Abrams at the helm. He's been given the reins to "Star Wars." And, judging by his complete inability to recognize an awful script casts some serious doubt on his taking over a franchise that still has the potential that "Star Wars" does.
Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof basically try to cram two plots into one movie: You have the Federation conspiracy plot with Peter Weller, and the Khan plot. I personally think they should have gone with one or the other. Because trying to have both turns the movie into a complete jumble!
What knocks this movie out, and sends it on a one-way trip to the canvas, is when the "Star Trek II" references keep on coming, until the final one that had me wanting to crawl under my seat!
Except for the Visual Effects, most everything else is workman like, at best. Michael Giacchino pretty much replays his lackluster score from 2009's first "Trek." Cinematographer Daniel Mindel primarily has the task of getting Abrams' rightly-joked-about lens flares in. The acting is okay, but pretty straight forward, with the exception, of course, of Cumberbatch as Khan. He is great, but there is only so much he is given to do. That is why it could have been better to go with an all-Khan script instead of messing around with the Weller conspiracy stuff.
The post-conversion 3-D by Stereo D is excellent! This movie is completely unwatchable without the 3-D. The one entertaining part of seeing the movie in 3-D is how the Stereo D folks had to deal with the seemingly-endless lens flare! It is basically at the forward of the frame, with the action behind it.
Orci and Kurtzman have been dumped from "Trek 3." But, they have been replaced by Simon Pegg, who wrote "Shaun of the Dead" as his most successful screenplay, along with some really lame ones. Plus, Pegg's now infamous for lashing out at Science-Fiction fans for liking what he sees as a "childish" genre. Nice!
So, between that and "Trek 3" having a mismatched director in "Fast & Furious" veteran Justin Lin, the series sounds like it's going to continue to be one big f**k fest!
The only truly great performance here is by Benedict Cumberbatch as the main villain.
The cast seemed completely wrong, especially for Kirk and Spock. Besides being out of character throughout the majority of the film, both actors just didn't seem right for their characters. The romance with Spock and Uhura seemed out of place and random. While I liked some parts of Khan's character and performance, other parts were not believable, and just ridiculous. Most of the cast was acceptable, but still could have been done better.
The entire film as a whole seemed disjointed and choppy. The flow was all off, and the transitions between situations and plot twists was painful, at best. There were several areas that had mistakes worthy of the original Star Wars trilogy, which made the whole thing seem cheap and lacking the proper care or effort.
For as much hype as this film had before it's release, we were expecting a whole lot more from it. This isn't a movie we'll be watching again any time soon, and is not one we would recommend to anyone, especially a fan of other Star Trek versions.