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Willkommen, jolan tru, welcome!

It took me two weeks until I decided to go and see "Star Trek Into Darkness", although it is shown exclusively in 3D and I can't focus my eyes on 3D movies. Watching STID was a surprisingly pleasant experience for my eyes, at least technically speaking. But the movie could have easily done without the almost unnoticeable 3D effects that were inserted into the live action scenes in post production.

Regarding the story of STID, I was prepared that the villain would be Khan, the justification being that the fans wanted him to return. It is clear that when Harrison reveals who he really is, saying "I am Khan", he is breaking the fourth wall. His true identity has no impact whatsoever on the story. On the contrary, it would make a lot sense if he were any other person, because Khan 2.0 (Cumberbatch) looks and feels very different than version 1.0 (Montalban), because Khan 1.0 never was a fighting machine with miraculous blood, and because Khan 2.0 has a weak back story, as opposed to the 15 years that Khan 1.0 spent on a desert planet.

But the worse rip-off was still to come. STID repeats the death scene from "Star Trek II", the sequence of events and the dialogues being almost exactly the same, only with switched roles. At this point the movie lost me. Abrams has given himself carte blanche to create a Trek universe it its own right, but all he does is recycling characters, stories and plot devices. It is bad enough that he includes all kinds of gratuitous references, as if he was saying, "Look, this is still Star Trek. We've even got Khan for you." When Kirk and Spock (who know one another for just one year in this universe) press their hands on the glass pane, it is an unintentional parody, and what was supposed to be the emotional highlight of STID drowns in deserved laughter.

The perhaps most definite failing on the long term is that Star Trek has stopped exploring and is just about chasing villains. Agreed, this tendency is anything but new and was already visible in the last few movies set in the Prime Universe. But isn't it dishonest that STID, like already "Star Trek (2009)", ends with the famous words "Space - the final frontier..." when true fans would rather ask, "Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers?" Extremely little of the old spirit is left in this new Star Trek, and the brief musings about friendship or the human nature feel like fillers between the action scenes.

STID had great action, but that is not what I want to see in Star Trek in the first place. Much less do I have a desire to see Kirk, Spock and the other characters jump around as if they had supernatural forces. In an effort to keep up with other summer blockbusters, Abrams has sacrificed the essence of Star Trek, and has turned STID into yet another superhero flick.

Read the complete review.   

Bernd Schneider

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Last modified: 03.04.14