I had the opportunity to see Star Trek Into Darkness last night and while I generally like to stay spoiler free during reviews, I just can’t do so with the items I’m about to talk about. This is your official warning – do not go any further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
Ok, now that I’ve got that SPOILER ALERT out of the way, let’s start by saying that overall I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness. I’ve been a Trekkie since I was young and contrary to many other die-hard Trekkie’s opinions I loved the 2009 Trek. The reality is that the Star Trek franchise was dead before Abrams worked his magic. Star Trek (2009) managed to keep continuity yet open an entire new can of worms – genius. One of the things I really enjoyed about Star Trek (2009) was that the majority of the film was its own creative venture with just enough throw backs to evoke a level of nostalgia for fans. The film was a perfect balance for a reboot of such a major franchise – I wish I could say the same about Star Trek Into Darkness.
While I did leave Star Trek Into Darkness extremely satisfied (to the point that I want to see it again) I felt at times that the creative team forgot about the mind-blowing changes they made in 2009. The plot is enjoyable and very Star Trek-esque but the reveal that the nemesis in the film turns out to be none other than Khan Noonien Singh felt a little forced to me. The film was progressing perfectly before the reveal of Khan and in my opinion the movie has enough other twists and turns that Khan could have been left for a later date. I also think that a large portion of the fun in using the Khan character was lost as many people predicted this in 2009 before any plans were made for the sequel – these folks were simply assuming that the modern series of movies would follow the original ones. It would have been great to see Abrams and his team do something completely different than the Wrath of Khan to show that this is a new life in Star Trek – a point that is no long as apparent as it felt in 2009.
Now, with all of that said – I want to emphasize that overall I REALLY enjoyed the movie. It was a fun film to watch and it lived up to my expectations for a sequel. Once I accepted the fact that Khan was being used I really enjoyed some of the throw backs to Star Trek fans. There’s certain dialogue, which if I’m not mistaken, is word for word from the original movies – heck, there’s even a certain yell which just made my day. Some people have described the movie as feeling more like a TV episode than a movie but I disagree. Star Trek Into Darkness progresses a lot quicker than the 2009 film did, but I believe that it was necessary to introduce some key components to the franchise going forward. The film also acts as an important crash-course to catch the audience up with what happened with Starfleet between this film and the previous one.
The main plot itself is enjoyable with a few parts that I did not see coming. The cast once again hits their roles perfectly. In 2009 Karl Urban stole the show but this time my hat is tipped to Simon Pegg. Scotty’s character has a lot more screen time this movie and there’s a lot more depth to his character than in 2009. We even get to see a side of Scotty that is emotionally broken up and Pegg does a terrific job with this. If you enjoyed the first film and haven’t seen Star Trek Into Darkness yet I suggest you go see it. It’s a fun watch and if you’ve seen Wrath of Khan recently you’ll better enjoy some of the throw backs.
Oh and Doctor Marcus… fantastic.