Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

More action than you can shake a Tribble at

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

In 2009, J.J Abrams took a franchise which the general public had deemed to be uncool and embarrassing, and turned it into one of the coolest (and best) films of that year.

This time, the plot centers on Starfleet being attacked by a terrorist named John Harrison, played by Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, who turns out was an ex-Starfleet officer. So far, it may seem like an Intergalactic version of Skyfall, but it turns out to be much more than that. While it may seem annoying at how vague some bits of this review are, it's necessary in order to not reveal spoilers.

One of the strongest elements of Abrams' reboot was the casting, who each managed to breath fresh life into their roles, whilst evoking memories of The Original Series' actors in a spectacular combination. I'm glad to say that continues, with each of the actors feeling more comfortable within their roles and continuing on their great chemistry with one another. While the film may focus mainly on Kirk and Spock, each of the other members get their moment to shine, with Simon Pegg's Scotty threatening to steal the show.

New addition Peter Weller manages to greatly convince in the authoritative role of Admiral Marcus, but it's Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch who everyone had their eye on, and rightly so. His performance of John Harrison is the standout, releasing every word of dialogue with such conviction that when he declares he'd walk all over the Enterprise crew members cold corpses, chills run down your spine because you believe every word that has left his mouth. But once his motivations are revealed, you see that Harrison is more than a simple terrorist, and you even get to understand (and, dare I say it, sympathize) why he's doing what he's doing.

"We'll let you out when you tell us how Sherlock faked his death"

As with the last film, the visual effects are strikingly well done, while the action scenes makes for a thrilling watch, with the effects never managing to overshadow the action. There isn't as much comedy as last time, but what comedic attempts there are manage to hit their mark.

However, the film manages to be far from perfect. The film contains too many homages to scenes that fans of the original Star Trek will recognize. While this may seem like a nice nod towards the fans, it means this rebooted series doesn't really go it's own way, instead feeling the need to remake scenes that have already been done before.

One part of the first film that succeeded was how the series managed to deliver in emotional terms just ten minutes in, with George Kirk sacrificing himself to save 800 people, including his wife and newborn son. Into Darkness tries to emotionally match this moment, but the moment falls flat because the solution was signposted earlier on, so you know it won't last. Also, the climax of the film managed to end rather abruptly.

While it may not match the bar that was highly set by its predecessor, Star Trek Into Darkness is still a solid sequel that leaves you to hope the next installment won't falter in quality thanks to J.J handling a franchise from a galaxy far, far away.


Robert said…
This has probably been my favorite film of the year so far. It had some flaws but it really delivered for me. The action was great, the performances were fun and it really left me wanting more. I hope they make a few more of these. Cumberbatch was great! I'm not sold on him playing the character that he did but I think he did a great job. Good review!
James Rodrigues said…
Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and I definitely want more from Abrams' take on Star Trek. Thanks for reading.