Star Trek: Into Darkness is a whole lot of fun. If you liked the 2009 reboot, you’ll like this. Is it better than Iron Man 3? Hell yes. In retrospect, I may have been slightly generous in that review.
Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof (Alias, Fringe, Star Trek 2009), have a way of making a fun film, especially for Star Trek. It does, inevetibly, have the occasional “Star Trek logic” that doesn’t quite make sense using any sort of real world natural laws, but hey, it’s Star Trek, I learned to expect that long ago. So much so that if these little laspes of logic were not to there, it would seem incongruous and wouldn’t really be a Trek film, would it? but other than those moments, Star Trek: Into Darkness is even more fun than it’s predessessor.
When the Enterprise crew discovers an unknown powerful force of terror inside the Federation itself, Captain Kirk is sent on a manhunt to a war-zone planet to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
Oh, there is so much to spoil here but I won’t. Perhaps it won’t be a mysetry to some, but I’m not going to blab anything here. Let’s just ay that there is much that will be familiar here, and much will be new. But all of it will be fun. And man, everything looks so good. I really love the production design, the CG effects are tops, and the actors, once again, do a fine job at recreating the classic characters for a new generation of fans. But, as with any franchise sequel, or just sequel, the stakes are higher to keep everyone happy while in the theater, and even more so with long time fans. But no fear, the ante is indeed upped, and Star Trek: Into Darkness is full of more action, more humor, and satisfies on pretty much every count.
However (Yes, there is a “however”), I have one concern. Much of what makes this, and the 2009 film, so fun is the humor. And much of that is based on the characters and how they do or say things that are so typical of that character, or shall I say the original classic characters. You know, how Spock has no sense of humor, or how Kirk can disregard the Prime Directive when it suits him, or Bones and his metaphors. Sure, we all love these things. These are part of those characters and here they are playing to that and having fun with it. BUT, I’m statrting to feel like we’re laughing at their expense. Eventually we have to take things a bit more seriously, right? I mean, sure these characteristics have some built-in humor, but in Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m just afraid that it will start to feel like they’re all poking fun at these characters and not treating them with any sense of respect.
Chris Pine’s Kirk seems a little TOO cavalier here – or shall I say, he will if he’s the same in the next film. I accept that in the last film, and even here in Into Darkness, because this Kirk is cocky and oversure of himself. It behooves the story for him to act this way. Into Darkness is much about him learning some humility and discovering that he isn’t indestructable. So, my hope is that moving forward, perhaps the writers will write Kirk as a man with a bit more seriousness, a captain that will treat things with more gravity as opposed to some free-wheeling philanderer that pretty much makes a Starfleet career of giving every superior officer the finger. (Hi, Matt Weinhold. I think I know what you were talking about regarding the 2009 film.)
I know, he isn’t Shatner’s Kirk, no one ever will be. But even he followed The Prime Directive as often as possible. He made judgement calls that went against Starfleet, sure, but wasn’t a total maverick. Is it just because this is a younger, less experienced Kirk, in a changed historical timeline, no less, that I allow for those personality traits to go uncontested? Or should I ruminate a little more on Matt Weinhold’s review of the 2009 film? Did he have a point? I thought he was over-reacting at the time, but depending on how the character evolves from here on out, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Matt’s concerns.
But, please don’t let all my worrying about how comically they are writing these characters deter you. I by no means mean to say that there’s a problem with Star Trek: Into Darkness because of it. I’m merely speculating that it could become too much down the road. If they treat them all like cartoon characters that consist only of their notable idiosyncrasies, and not fully rounded characters, you may find your audience losing the connection to them that the original cast were so adept at develping.
As if any of you didn’t expect, Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent as the antagonist. He’s a quality actor and is exactly as great as you would hope. Simon Pegg gets a bit more screen time as Scotty this go around and that’s good. He’s always fun. We delve deeper into the Spock/Kirk friendship here, and elaborate more on Spock’s human side.
There are some great passing references to classic Star Trek episodes if you watch or listen carefully. Please do so, as they are a source of great joy. All that (potential) nit-picking aside, everybody is great here. Star Trek: Into Darkness is a whole lot of fun. If you liked the 2009 reboot, you’ll like this. Is it better than Iron Man 3? Hell yes. In retrospect, I may have been slightly generous in that review. This is easily four kittenhands. I saw it in 3D and it was ok, not great, so don’t bother. But see this on the big screen for sure.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, Had a GREAT time and am going to see it again, but in glorious 2D.
ADDENDUM: I just saw it again, in 2D, and I think I liked it even more. I saw things I missed the first time around, and was able to see more depth in certain scenes. And I realized that I didn’t like the hats the Starfleet command wore. What are they, pilots for PanAm? But it’s still great. I might even see it yet again. 🙂