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Visually spectacular and suitably action packed, Star Trek Into Darkness is a rock-solid installment in the venerable sci-fi franchise, even if it's not as fresh as its predecessor.
Visually spectacular and suitably action packed, Star Trek Into Darkness is a rock-solid installment in the venerable sci-fi franchise, even if it's not as fresh as its predecessor.
All Critics (278)
| Top Critics (51)
| Fresh (236)
| Rotten (42)
| DVD (3)
Most of the logic has leached away from this movie, and with it half of the fun.
Happily, there's a good deal of fun if you like things crashing violently into each other and out of warp-drive at regular intervals.
For all its chasing and falling and fighting-and the movie supplies a great deal of each-Star Trek Into Darkness is at its best when the Enterprise crew are merely bickering and bantering among themselves: less space opera than soap opera.
The conceptual sci-fi of the original series is nowhere to be found, though you might enjoy watching the skinny young actors approximate their counterparts from the 60s; Chris Pine is especially good as Captain Kirk.
While the action is often electric, it's the relationships that matter. That, and a lippy regard for a cultural legacy.
The film is, for whatever else it might be, one of the funniest of the Star Trek entries.
The film also maintains a running discussion, in both words and deeds, about personal responsibility, violence, and the evils of rushing to judgment in either direction, which is very in keeping with Trek's grounding principles.
The script turns out to be pretty predictable, especially for those who notice the real-life political parallels (which are almost impossible to miss).
Snappy dialogue, spry action sequences, vibrant special effects, solid characterizations and galaxy-induced intrigue paints Star Trek: Into Darkness as one the first summertime hits of 2013
Nobody on this film, cast or crew, does a bad job...it's just a question of whether they do a very good job, and that tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition.
There's a mundane theme running under the adventures of alien exploration and a villain who will not be named: styles of contemporary office management.
Does a good job of building things up before descending irredeemably into a place where no one can hear you scream.
Considering I'm not the biggest Star Trek fan (I've never even seen more than 4 episodes of next generation, and 1 episode of the original series.) Not that I don't dislike the franchise, in fact I love most of the films, and I love the 2009 film, I had high hopes for this film. The things I like about the Star Trek films is that it isn't required to see the series to get what's going on. It helps, but I think its great when they make so many films based off of a series and not requiring you to see the series. That being said, lets talk about the new film.
Each of the actors reprise their roles from the past film, Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, and so on, and each one of them are just as faithful to the original series, while adding new things to these characters as they were in the 2009 film. Both Kirk and Spock get further development in this film from the last film and it definitely shows. Pine is just as cocky as Kirk but is trying to learn to take responsibility for his actions due to him messing up at the beginning of the film, and Quinto as Spock is struggling with showing more compassion in situations and they both do fantastic, especially near the end of the film. Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, and Simon Pegg are just as funny and entertaining as Chekov, Bones, and Scotty as they were in the first film. But the two people that are the biggest highlights about the film, that being Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison, and Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus, and both of these guys are just amazing. Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame is cold and calculating as Harrison and has a fantastic voice to boot for the character which makes him just sound all the more threatening, and there is a very good twist halfway through the film on who Harrison really is but I can't spoil it without ruining the rest of the film. Peter Weller from Robocop was an inclusion that I was very interested in because Weller is a very good actor IMO and seeing him listed in the upcoming cast got me very interested because, except for being in The Dark Knight Returns as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Weller hasn't acted all that much in the last 15 years, so I didn't really know what to expect from Weller, but thankfully he did a fantastic job. Weller plays Admiral Marcus who is out to get Harrison for a certain reason, and trying to start a war with the Klinghons and he is just absolutely hatable and horrible in this film, and you will really want the worse just to happen to this character, and Weller pulls it off so good at making him utterly despicable.
The effects as with the last Star Trek film look just fantastic, but this film has much more space related scenes and scenes on the enterprise than in the last film, and it seems cool to have this setting for once having the movie focus on two enterprises mainly. The movie also has several aliens that it focuses on for a few scenes in the Enterprise, and they look and sound fantastic, plus we finally get to see the Klingons in the film and they look fantastic (plus a Tribble which made me laugh). Also the film has much more emphasis on space battle and hand to hand fights than the last film really did and each one is extremely well done in either building suspense or just looking flat out awesome. The sets all are big and look very cool and the designs of the newer ships and backgrounds look just amazing especially in 3D.
Star Trek Into Darkness not only triumphs in being a fantastic installment in the Star Trek film Franchise, but a fantastic Sci-Fi film in general. The Acting is improved from the last film, the plottwists thrown throughout the film are very clever and some even being hard to expect, the action is just fantastic, the film builds fantastic amounts suspense, and the film throws in a lot of references to the original series and to the original series and 2nd and 3rd Star Trek film which are welcome and very clever. Overall J.J. Abrams has outdone himself again with the Star Trek franchise and not only improved on the last film, but shows that he is worthy of holding onto this franchise and able to pay tribute to the original series, but create something new and original. Let's hope he can do the same with Star Wars.
A solid alternate story that ought to leave most trekkies and aficionados with major goosebumps thanks to its many awesome and well-inspired references - which compensate for how formulaic and intensely action-oriented it aims to be above everything else.
In 2009, fans left the theatre with tears of joy streaming down their face. J.J. Abrams had rebooted the Star Trek franchise with vigour and intensity. Immediately following the release of Star Trek in 2009, it was inevitable that a sequel would be on the way, sooner than later. Although it did take over four years to finally get the release of the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, it is without question that it was well worth the wait. That being said, the film is not without its issues. Riddled with plot holes and poorly done callbacks, fans gained a very strong disliking to certain aspects of this sequel. Should these glaring issues still be a problem for fans today? Here is my personal breakdown of Star Trek Into Darkness.
After a few trials and tribulations throughout the first act of the film, Captain Kirk is demoted once he is found doing illegal things in the organization. While Captain Pike is reinstated, Kirk eventually fill his spot once again as Captain about ten to twenty minutes later. Personally, this is where the film faced the biggest pacing issues. It almost felt like the personal drama between the new and former Captain's was there to extend the running time, because once the film kicks back into gear, it never lets up. As a threat is found in their organization, the film becomes one big man hunt to bring down the ruthless villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, once the film gets down to the nitty gritty, that is pretty much the basic story.
Minor Spoilers Ahead: When Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the main villain, people began to speculate, as to which character he would be playing. Kept under wraps, not mentioned in the trailers, and no slip ups in interviews, Cumberbatch's character was revealed from the start. Being the second film in the series and seeming to be paying homage to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, fans began to think he would be playing that titular villain. Sure enough, in the second act of Star Trek Into Darkness, he reveals himself as Khan.
Is this too much of a homage that it just seems like a re-imaginging of the character? That is what I believed when walking out of the theatre three years ago, but I have found a way to forgive it. It does make sense, given that Leonard Nimoy is present as an older Spock, which implies that the events of the original series may have actually happened in this timeline. Regardless, they have faced this character in the past, so it was nice to see a new spin on him. What hurts the fact that this character is included in this film, is the fact that they could not think of an original villain, as they did so well in 2009s Star Trek. Once this aspect is forgiven, you are able to immerse yourself in Cumberbatch's terrific performance and root for the Star Fleet Officers to take him down.
Like the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, audiences were able to see many fresh things put into an already well-established universe of films, while simultaneously borrowing story elements of the best films from the past. One thing that bothered me about this installment of Star Trek, was the constant feel of back-tracking. Sharing scenes with the original films, almost to the point of reading lines of dialogue verbatim (although role-reversed), it became slightly annoying in the fact that they could not come up with anything clever. Although this film does stand on its own as a great film, Star Trek Into Darkness is not without these glaring issues.
Overall, Star Trek Into Darkness is a very fun sequel. Although it borrows almost too many plot devices from the past, it is able to invent a few new ones along the way, making for a pure adrenaline blast on the big screen. With terrific performances all around (which is needed in a Star Trek film), there is not much to dislike here, unless you choose to nitpick flaws. I presume you will then find yourself hating this film. Filled with energy, fast-paced action sequences, clever dialogue, great character developing scenes, and a climax that I thought was spectacularly fun, this is a series that keeps on chugging along. I can't wait for this franchise to continue. I love this new cast.
The rebooted crew are back and this time they're going into darkness? trekking into darkness? how does this title fit the story? moving on. The first film in this new era reboot was a huge success and rightly so, it was an exciting sci-fi romp, does this remake/re-imagining of 'The Wrath of Khan' work just as well?
We kick off admittedly with a very nice looking yet clear [i]Indy[/i] rip, all that was missing was a giant rolling boulder. Instantly you can see this film is gonna be a treat visually, modern films have gotten to a point now where they do (can) look extremely polished and slick, and this film is easily top of its game in the effects department, its beautiful. I do especially love futuristic London and the look of future Earth in general, so much detail, so much going on, the newer Star Wars trilogy pales in comparison. I could of course mention the immense use of lens flare but I think everyone knows that now and it merely blends into the background, some looking very nice.
Lets get down n dirty here, the plot, the main issue of the film is the badly written, disjointed, confusing plot which makes no sense. I'm still not sure what exactly was the point of half of it. Marcus finds Khan and his crew floating around in space I believe, but where exactly? why was Khan in suspended animation in the first place? whose ship was he on? etc...nothing given away there. Now I think about it once Khan was discovered how did anyone know he and his mates were genetically-engineered superhumans? and why awake just one? Anyhow Marcus wants Khan to develop advanced technology and weapons...but the guy is 300 years old, surely he's gonna be slightly out of touch with modern day tech? right?? guess not.
My point is does this new movie follow on from the original Star Trek episode 'Space Seed' as did 'Wrath of Khan'? Did that happen in this rebooted alternate timeline? if so then fine, most of my questions are answered. If not then there are some mighty plot holes here...or we would need to see that alternate version of 'Space Seed'.
There doesn't appear to be any real goals or reasons for anyone in this film, Marcus wants Khan to create new advanced gear and then...? start a war with the Klingon's, why? He intends to start this war by getting Kirk to fight missiles at Khan who is hiding in an uninhabited area of the Klingon homeworld, but how did he know Khan would hide there? what if he hid on another world? Why exactly are Khan's crew stuffed in these missiles?? risky place to smuggle them isn't it?...well isn't it?! And no one suspects the fact there are 72 missiles exactly, not maybe 10 or 20 but 72! odd high number isn't it? well isn't it?!
The character story arcs are just all over the place with little sense or connection, its all so vague. The only reason Khan doesn't set off the bomb in London by himself at the start is so they could introduce his super blood into the plot. There is no other reason for that entire sequence with the black man and his daughter. Oh and an exploding ring? eh? wut?? On the subject of Khan's super blood why does everyone tear around trying to get his blood, why not use some of the blood from his crew? surely theirs is super too, isn't it?
On the subject of Khan I really must say I don't understand what the fuss was about with Cumberbatch. Now I'm not saying the guy did a bad job, not at all, but as far as I'm concerned his performance on the whole was just very average, his entire range boiled down to over pronunciation of his words. As a character he wasn't particularly interesting either, a very bland generic looking bad guy (or was he? he just wanted to save his crew) who blended into the background, accept when he's killing everyone like an unstoppable superhero (Khan never did that in the original second Trek film).
I also think Cumberbatch is miscast in the role frankly, he's so dull looking, so uniform, that it destroys the character of Khan. There is nothing special about the guy anymore, no flair, no razzle dazzle, its just a bog standard looking white guy. Why didn't they cast a man from South Asia or at least someone with a clear ethnic background. Old Spock calls him by his full name in the film, Khan Noonien Singh, but he's white!! clearly white British with a British accent for Pete's sake.
And while I'm on the subject what exactly is Khan's game? save his crew...check, errrr...and then? What is his goal? old Spock reckons to kill everyone inferior to himself, but Khan never says that I believe, I don't think we ever get told what he actually wants to do...after saving his crew.
On the whole there is so much badly written plot in here it just ruins whatever it was they were trying for...and I'm not sure what really. Khan's super blood cures death and they have him captured so that means no one will ever die in this universe now? there is a cure for most death related injuries and a good supply of blood if they can keep Khan alive. As said old Spock turns up AGAIN!, whenever they are really in the shit he just pops up and tells them everything they need to know almost like a videogame cheat. Yet how the hell does he manage to get in contact with them? its like some kind of Jedi trick. There also seems to be interplanetary transporters now...sooooo doesn't that do away with the need for spaceships? oh and cold fusion doesn't...ah who cares.
The idea of a cure for death brings me to the death of Spock in the classic film. That was a shockwave for everybody at the time, I don't think people saw it coming, no one really knew if he was gonna come back, could he come back? was that it for the lovable legendary Spock? In this film we see Kirk get killed in a silly play on that iconic sequence. The difference is we know for a fact he won't really be dead because he is the main flipping character and we've only been given two films in the new reboot franchise, so of course he will come back. This makes the entire scene completely devoid of any emotion, in fact its pretty pointless, utter fail of a scene.
That of course in turn leads me to mention the iconic [i]'KHAAANNNN!'[/i] moment. We all know of the classic version of course but what of this regurgitated version? Well its kinda silly really, the fact is these two guys have only known each other for a relatively short period of time (two films), so again the emotions don't really bubble much when Spock blubbers over Kirk, zero emotions in fact. Plus of course as I just mentioned we all know that Kirk will definitely be back from the dead somehow (oh wait, where did they find a Tribble?) so the whole thing is just plain dumb. These moments are in the new film purely to get the hardcore old school Trekkies wet and a rather weak attempt to be clever simply by reversing stuff when in fact its more of an insult to the 82 film. Spock died in the original so lets make Kirk die here, Kirk screams out Khan so lets...you get the drift, genius writing huh.
I feel bad giving this a poor write up because there are elements in this I like, loved the new look Klingons and their Predator-like masks, nicely aggressive and intimidating and I enjoyed the space jump sequence. The main problem is this isn't a Star Trek film, its not a proper Trekkie flick, its merely a generic action flick set in space that just happens to be the Star Trek universe. You could quite easily replace the Star Trek crew with John McClane and call it a Die Hard film. Long gone are the slow moving, character based genuine science fiction Trek films, its all shooting, death, explosions and the obligatory destruction porn which seems to be a complete requirement these days.
As a stand alone film the first Trek reboot was a fine film, this sequel is simply loud messy action folly with lavish visuals. There isn't really much I can recommend here if you're a true Star Trek fan, regular film goers may enjoy it of course but that's only because this isn't proper Star Trek (which is what they were aiming for). All I can say is I really hope they don't try and reuse more of the classic films, why not try and make you're own classic cinematic moments instead of copying some one else's. A reasonably entertaining watch no doubt but hardly memorable or groundbreaking, wholly average, very lazy, very jumbled, half a mark up for visuals.
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