Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Dir: J.J. Abrams
I’m sure I’ve reviewed this already?…
I loved J. J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise in 2009, most people did, and thus everyone was eagerly waiting to see where he took things next. As the first new ‘Star Trek’ film was so inventive and a new story weaving in all the elements in a fresh way, and even in a superbly creative way as to cover their backs against some of the “you can’t do that” backlash, it was quite surprising for me to see what Abram’s an his team have done this time around.
When Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) severely disregards Starfleet protocol on a mission, he is relieved of his command. However, the actions of a dangerous terrorist force Kirk back onto the Enterprise so that he and his crew can embark on an epic manhunt to capture their deadliest foe.
Spoilers warning: This film HUGELY references past ‘Trek’ films, and to effectively review it I may find myself straying into massive spoilers territory. So, if you’ve not seen it and are planning to, all you need know is it’s pretty good fun, action packed, you’ll likely enjoy it if you enjoyed the 2009 film, but may have issues with it if you’re a particularly ardent ‘Trekkie’ with a strong fondness for the Shatner & Nimoy days and particularly the films they were in.
Farewell for now… Go before I ruin this for you!
If you’re still here… then I feel quite free to say:
This movie is a reworking of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan! Seriously!
It’s still really good, the opening is action packed, and there’s a great mix of striking visuals and well considered humour, so the audience is hooked straight into things very quickly. Everything takes a bit of a downturn after that for a while as the crew are jeopardized by Kirk’s demotion, but then J. J. ramps things back up to full force with more action sequences later on. It is a summer blockbuster movies, of that there’s no doubt.
However, though the inclusion of the character of Khan is great, some of the borrowing from that film is bordering on silly, including the famous moment from ‘Wrath of Khan’ where Kirk cries out his nemesis’ name, with dramatic events surrounding that being switched about from the way they were originally written. True, the writers put a certain level of lee-way into their new mythos for themselves with the first film, but here they’re dancing on the tails of the old script so much that it seems odd, in that they could either hold closer to it and just modernise with the new cast (facing the wrath of Trekkies annoyed at a remake) or they could be brave and venture out into new territory.
Considering what they’re working with here, wouldn’t that be the appropriate thing to do? For a franchise that always promised to ‘boldly go where no-one’s gone before’ they’re now going almost exactly where theses characters have gone before. It’s a shame.
All that being said, if I hadn’t recently watched ‘Wrath of Khan’ I don’t think I would have noticed so much or possibly not have been so irked by it. Plus, the film is great fun, the new cast works well together with Zachary Quinto proving to be impeccably cast as Spock, and even Chris Pine stepping into Kirk’s uniform surprisingly well.
Let’s just hope that the next film sets a course for somewhere new.