I wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness.’
I wasn’t keen on the idea of a reboot in 2009 – in general,
I think the majority of reboots are terrible – but I was blown away by the
Not only were the movies cast well – especially in the three
major roles of Kirk, Spock and Bones – but they were also well acted and
The trailer for the second film was a lot darker – and I was
worried the fun of the first film would be lost.
‘Into Darkness’ is definitely darker. There’s no doubt about
that. It still has fun with itself, though, and it’s the nods to true ‘Star
Trek’ fans that really thrilled me.
There are funny jokes – including making Chekhov gulp when
he has to put on a red shirt – and there are poignant moments of true feeling
and devotion among the crew members.
The movie opens with Spock’s life in peril and Kirk breaking
Starfleet’s Prime Directive to save him.
While the action sequence is tons of
fun, it’s really just a plot point to show that Kirk and Spock have differing
ideas about duty.
Kirk wants to do his duty – but he’s not willing to
sacrifice a crew member to do it. Spock is by the book the entire way – and he’s
ready to die if it means that his duty is fulfilled.
Kirk and Spock are the centerpiece of the movie – and their relationship
is key. ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ is widely considered the best of the
original Trek movies (although I have a soft spot for ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage
Home’). This movie is an odd mirror of that – although it doesn’t take the same
twists at turns.
At the center of ‘Into Darkness’ is John Harrison, a rogue
Starfleet officer that inflicts two acts of terrorism on Starfleet – forcing Kirk
and Spock into a moral quandary as they chase him to Kronos (a Klingon moon
introduced in previous ‘Star Trek’ flicks).
In the capable hands of Benedict Cumberbatch, Harrison is a
marvel to watch on the screen -- a fine physical specimen with absolutely no sex appeal. I know, it's a weird combination -- but it works. You are never sure of his true motivations – and
he’s a master manipulator. Most fans already know who Cumberbatch is – but I
won’t ruin it for the handful who are still living in the dark.
Instead of killing Harrison – like Admiral Marcus orders
Kirk – he is taken into custody on the Enterprise. That’s where the true plot
of the movie is revealed.
‘Into Darkness’ really is a love story for ‘Star Trek’ fans.
I think those that aren’t familiar with the
franchise will love the movie – but
those that loved ‘Wrath of Khan’ will really adore it. Director J.J. Abrams
does a masterful job of interweaving the second Trek stories into each other.
It takes a lot to make me cry at a movie – but this one did
bring me to tears near the end. I figured out what they were going to do at the
end – but that didn’t ruin the ride for me. And the Leonard Nimoy cameo fit in well -- and didn't feel forced.
At its heart, ‘Wrath of Khan’ was a story of what happens
when sacrifice and vengeance collide. The same can be said of ‘Into Darkness.’
Not only are the action sequences breathtaking – including a
final fight between Harrison and Spock that harkens back to some ‘Star Wars’
glory (Abrams is going to revitalize that series, I can feel it) – but the
quiet moments are poignant, as well.
While this film doesn’t have as much humor as the first film
– it’s still there, mostly revolving around Kirk and Spock’s combustible
“Sometimes I just want to . . . rip those bangs right off
his head,” Kirk says at one point.
It’s no surprise that their relationship is the one that
rings most true in this rebooted franchise. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine
embody their characters – and they both look like they’re having a blast doing
In the end, I recommend ‘Into Darkness’ to everyone – but true
Trek fans will be missing out on a wonder if they skip it.
What do you think? Did you like ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’?