Star Trek Into Darkness Guest Reviews
Star Trek Into Darkness Stardate
2259.55: Synopsis in main Movie listing
Using John Harrison as a villain is a nice refresh, although it is revealed that Harrison is Khan. The movie is like an alternate of the TOS episode of "Space Seed", except Kirk doesn’t find the Botany Bay, nor deposits him on Ceti Alpha V. I won’t spoil the main parts of the movie, except that they took A LOT of cues from ST-2, and I mean A LOT of cues, right down to having to fix the warp core. The end of the movie goes like this. Kirk saves the ship, dies, Spock re-captures khan, they use Khan's blood cells to reverse the effects of the radiation that Kirk gets from the warp core. Yep, Kirk goes into the core, not Spock. Yes, they kept the whole ship out of danger line up, McCoy isn’t nerve pinched, Kirk punches out Scotty instead.
The absolute ending touches on the original TMP music, the end credits are TOS music again. The Enterprise is heavily damaged in the final battle as well. She receives a MAJOR refit. The round end caps of the nacelles are gone, they are made square, and they look more like the TOS Connie ones, but square. The impulse engines are one single unit, not the 2 left and right, but left, and right, with a center bar. The final scene Kirk does the "These are the voyages" spiel, and on the bridge, they reference the start of Kirk's 5 year mission, in the year 2259, which actually holds to the TOS timeline I believe. Oh, Pike dies too.
So in a lot of ways, it’s a different timeline, but at the same time Abrams is trying to keep with lore.
And yes, the Enterprise takes it like a bitch, in the same spots the Reliant did it in 2, and a lot, a lot more damage to everywhere else.
Rating: 8 (George)
Star Trek Into Darkness Stardate
2259.55: Synopsis in main Movie listing
I never thought I could feel so betrayed by watching a movie. That’s how I felt about "Star Trek Into Darkness" (STID) which, in my opinion has wildly misrepresented Star Trek's very essence. Star Trek, pre JJ Abrams was all about optimism for the human race in the future through logic, tolerance, altruism and compassion. It offered a chance for our species to reach out to other worlds and in the process, further enhance civility and equality; resistance being met with diplomacy rather than force.
STID takes Star Trek into a world of darkness where optimism and inspiration are in short supply. With its big budget and an emphasis on special effects, STID has a contemporary and worn out feel with its portrayal of the hero confronting an urban terrorist and not the mysteries of the universe. The Star Trek that has gone before with lower budgets, was able to nurture thoughtfulness and imagination instead.
The final insult comes at the end of the movie when the Federation’s original mission was read out. It had little bearing on what has preceded this scene. 'Most illogical' as Spock would say.
Rating: 0 (Sally Wilson)
Star Trek Into Darkness Stardate
2259.55: Synopsis in main Movie listing
Oh no. The first was bad enough, but again Jesus J. Abrams (as his fans would have you know him as, for he can DO NO WRONG), again shovels more references, homages and blatant plot rip off's into his second offering as a Star Trek director.
Now I'm going to preface this with a quick recap on my thoughts on "Star Trek (2009)". That film was to bring Star Trek into the 'mainstream' after the failings of Star Trek on numerous fronts. "Nemesis" and "Insurrection" failed at the box office, Enterprise was lukewarmly and at times harshly received by critics and fans alike, and Voyager descended into the same vein of mediocrity from one week to the next. Clearly seeing an opportunity to turn the ailing franchise around, Paramount gave Abrams, a director with at the time only a HANDFUL of directing credits to his name, the reins to Trek clearly under the perception that his being a fan of the franchise, AND (apparently) and up and coming director, meant that he would reinvigorate the fanbase and bring it to a new audience at the same time. What he offered was, bizarrely, well received, despite the film being crammed full of just about EVERY Trek cliché under the sun, from time-travel, an evil alien with a vendetta against one of our protagonists and/or Earth, a powerful planet killing weapon being a threat, alternate histories. The perception that this was "fresh" and "original" still beggars belief to me to this day.
And so with that, we have "Star Trek Into Darkness" (a horrible name for a start).
Opening with a Prime Directive violating mission (thankfully noted by Pike later on) we have Kirk keen to save the lives of the populace of a primitive culture by having Spock through a giant freezing device into the middle of a volcano, Spock is trapped and willing to give his life so the Enterprise isn't exposed in an attempt to beam him out, Kirk goes ahead and does it anyway and ends up losing his ill-gotten and undeserved-in-the-first-place command of the Enterprise for it. Meanwhile, on the other side of Coruscant (which is what Earth resembles), a bomb is detonated and scores are killed, in response the Starfleet bigwigs including Admiral Marcus, played by Peter goddamn' Weller, otherwise known as John Frederick Paxton from the Enterprise series finale, otherwise known as Robocop, otherwise known as Liddy from Dexter, and otherwise known as a general all-round scenery chewing ham with a knack for playing villains more often than not, are assembled to discuss the threat posed by John Harrison (Cumberbatch), a Starfleet Commander identified as the man responsible for the bomb. Kirk wises up that the bomb was just a ploy to get Starfleet's top brass gathered in the one place, and the room is quickly attacked by Harrison. Cue long winded action sequence in which Pike is killed, Spock does a pointless mind-meld, Kirk manages to damage Harrison's ship, and Harrison escapes to goddamn Qo'noS through beaming (the same unlikely even for Trek technology featured in the last film). Kirk goes on a jingoistic rant about being the 'only one' who can go after Harrison and take him out given Starfleet can't be seen violating Klingon space without provoking war, Admiral Marcus agrees and gives Kirk command of the Enterprise AGAIN with the directive of going to Qo'noS, launching a shitload of super smart missiles at Harrison to take him out of commission.
So back on the Enterprise we go but Scotty has a bitch and a moan about all those missiles being on board possibly doing....something to the warp core and refuses to sign off on them, so he resigns his position leaving Kirk no option but to install Chekov as the new Chief Engineer, meaning for the duration of the movie he’ll do nothing but run around and act like he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. Carol Marcus (fuck spoilers cause it’s so obvious) also stashes herself aboard to find out why her father (the Admiral) had these missiles loaded as they’re actually off the books, whatever. So the Enterprise melodramatically warps off to Qo'noS, again traversing a ludicrous amount of space in no goddamn time at all like in the first movie, but conveniently happens to drop out of warp due to a malfunction as it arrives at the Klingon home world. As Spock thinks it’s wrong to terminate Harrison with no trial, Kirk decides to apprehend Harrison instead of nuking him from orbit, so he and an improbably small squad consisting of Uhura, Spock and two redshirts go down incognito as to avoid pinning the subterfuge on Starfleet (even though the Enterprise would be EASILY detectable given their position). Cue boring bitchiness between improbable and unconvincing couple Spock and Uhura before the ship they’re on is attacked, and a chase scene ensues. The ship though is cornered and put down, but because Uhura can speak Klingon she opts to try and get them out of the bind by having one of the most unconvincing and clichéd conversations in Klingon to their leader, but Harrison intercedes and kicks the shit out of the Klingons before supposedly surrendering to Kirk after he was earlier threatened by acting-Captain Sulu with the missiles the Enterprise was carrying.
Harrison is brought aboard and begins to goad Kirk about the missiles he’s carrying, his orders, and suggests checking out some co-ordinates which Kirk relays to Scotty, whose seen on Earth in a 23rd century leisure suit getting drunk with his REDUNDANT alien offsider from the first film. To cut a long story short though, Harrison reveals himself to be Khan Noonien Singh. After Vulcan’s destruction Admiral Marcus was seeking out the means to defend Earth from future attacks and tracked down his ship, unfreezing Khan to help develop weaponry to be put to use. Section 31 was mentioned also, I’m guessing Marcus was supposed to be a member. Kirk was just a pawn though in Marcus’ ploy to start a war with the Klingons by having Kirk fire weapons on Qo'noS, and a stranded Enterprise would have confirmed Starfleet’s involvement. To what purpose this serves, I’m not really sure. How long this takes after the first film I wasn’t TOO clear on, but would Starfleet have been ready for a war after the fleet was all but wiped out above Vulcan? I guess his motivation was to ensure Starfleet we well equipped for any conflict, but not too convinced on that, but somehow I found the notion of launching a pre-emptive strike on a distant enemy citing that the war is 'inevitable' was a not so thinly veiled yet outdated commentary on Bush-era U.S. foreign policy. Yeah. I went there. Anyway, McCoy though is tasked with checking out the warhead and it’s discovered it’s housing Khan’s followers.
Marcus though shows up in his under-crewed yet, oversized, over-powered and, much like Shinzon in "Nemesis", over-compensating for something supership (the Vengeance) to ensure that Khan is killed to cover up his involvement and that Kirk also is silenced one way or the other. And what follows is a lesson in tedium, for about the next half an hour, we are treated scene after scene of supposed action. The Enterprise warps back to Earth, but is attacked mid-warp by the Vengeance and drops out near the Earth’s moon. Marcus again threatens Kirk but is put at bay by the appearance of Carol who is beamed to the Vengeance, however its power suddenly goes off, courtesy of sabotage by Scotty, who discovered the location of the ship using the co-ordinates given by Khan. With no weapons and adrift, Kirk surmises after conversing with Spock that the only option is to board Marcus’ ship and take it by force. As per usual though it’s a two-man job and he enlists the help of Khan to help him do so. The two are shot off into space in a blatant rip of the same kind of sequence used in the previous film (it’s even alluded to in the DIALOGUE), and it’s a yet another forced action sequence, with Khan and Kirk flying through space towards the Vengeance, whilst Scotty runs around trying to get a hatch open for them to enter through, which he does (the killing of a Vengeance crewmember is incidental). Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, Leonard Nimoy returns to try and give this film credibility with cynical Star Trek fans like myself to remark on the time he faced Khan, a pointless scene if there was any. Back aboard the Vengeance, Khan, Kirk and Scotty fight their way to the bridge. Khan kills Marcus, and offers Kirk, Scotty and Carol for trade with Spock for his crew, he boasts about knowing if it will in fact be them he received on transport, but obviously the bio-scanners on the Vengeance are shit because he doesn’t bother to note that the missiles contain no bodies and only the explosives, the bombs then are detonated, taking out the ship's weapons, but the Enterprise succumbs to damage and falls to Earth.
Spock orders the evacuation of the ship but typically Sulu says ‘fuck that’ and everyone stays, while Kirk and Scotty run to engineering to engineering to try and get the ship back online with Chekov’s help. But whatever they tried doesn’t work and defeat is all but conceded till Kirk decides to jump into the highly irradiated warp core to fix whatever mcguffin needs fixing, power is restored, and the Enterprise averts a fatal crash landing. Spock though is informed by Scotty what’s happened and heads down to Engineering. Kirk succumbs to the radiation and dies, Spock screams the famous ‘KHHHHHHAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!’ though it isn't really Khan's fault, and the crippled Vengeance catches up in its descent to Earth. Khan plots a course for Starfleet HQ to try and destroy it, and in what I have to admit is a FANTASTIC special effects sequence, crashes into San Francisco, toppling buildings and causing destruction. Khan survives though and high tails it, but Spock, high on Vulcan rage, is beamed down on yet another one-man mission to catch him, in another needless chase sequence even though the likelihood of him escaping Earth is low at this point given we see that they can track Khan from the Enterprise. Khan is captured though after another fight sequence and his superblood is used to resurrect Kirk, cheapening his death earlier way more than it was with Spock’s resurrection in Search for Spock. Khan is put on ice with the rest of his followers and locked away. The Enterprise warps off to begin her 5 year mission.
I was already going into this movie with admittedly low expectations and it didn’t help raise my opinion of this movie. Its strengths just aren’t utilised well enough and its weaknesses permeate every layer of the script. Benedict Cumberbatch is criminally underused as Khan. Khan's appearance in "Wrath of Khan" made sense and had more weight given he already appeared in "Space Seed" and the result of that episode ultimately led to a credible revenge story. Here it’s different, he is again motivated by revenge, unthawed by a Starfleet big-wig for the purposes of developing weapons for a war that Marcus deemed inevitable even though Starfleet was underpowered following the destruction of Vulcan, but he feels betrayed that his followers are still on ice, I don't think his motivation really was fleshed out enough personally. But despite dominating the film with a great performance, the character's potential wasn’t fully realised for my mind. And making the antagonist a Starfleet Admiral is yet ANOTHER in a long list of over-used tropes from all incarnations of Star Trek. But Cumberbatch was a positive nonetheless with an amazing voice and screen presence. Pine is ok as Kirk and like in the first film there are still glimpses of the way Shatner played the character, just tonal inflections, the gleam in the eye here and there, but he’s overshadowed by Cumberbatch and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Quinto gives an admirable performance much like in the first, but the character arc is hampered by the nonsensical relationship his character has with the incredibly dull version of Uhura, played with sass by Zoe Saldana (who personally I don't find attractive at all, Nichelle Nichols in her hey day was sexier IMO). Her characterisation continues to bore me, I know the original character wasn’t really given a great deal to do, I felt that just because Uhura happens to be a female, the only thing other than her job to do, is just be the cause for concern in a relationship in which no one really is interested in or can be invested in. There was barely a moment in the first film where it was an issue at all and it really is the same here despite their bickering in the shuttle on Qo'noS. They do later reconcile, and she gives the usual ‘go get em tiger’ line when Spock’s about to take on Khan at the end. But that’s it, and though it’s something, to be honest I’d have her doing LESS and give the screen time instead to Bones whose interactions with Spock and Kirk went to the heart of The Original Series. Bones is given a little more to do this time but not much aside from be snarky and a scene where he and Carol Marcus work on one of the smart missiles and find out it’s got a frozen augment in it. John Cho has a little more to do as Sulu and the film does have him sitting in the Captains chair as a nod to the Captain he would become (who knows if that will happen in the Abrams-verse though), and Yelchin is just shoved into the background with a handful of engineering scenes, like they couldn’t give a shit. Pegg is funny as Scotty I'll concede, but the character presented here seems so far removed from the character from TOS. I still find though the performances of the main cast are nothing more than pale imitations and till they find a way to give these people more to do in their respective roles, they'll never be better than Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly, Nichols, Takei, Koenig and Doohan.
Peter Wellar, who funnily enough played a villain in Star Trek before as I said puts on his imposing voice again as the villain, but is just...Peter Wellar. You don’t really expect anything less or more from him, but as I said, the Admiral going rogue has been done to death in Star Trek and having him as the antagonist as opposed to Khan was a twist that this film should have done without. And Alice Eve is....she’s just there. She’s great looking, as exemplified in that completely unneeded scene where she strips down in preparation for the mission to work on that missile with Bones. I don’t want to dwell, but that to me WAS just gratuitous. I have no, ZERO problem with a scene like that if it served a purpose, like if Kirk was to go down with her and he was stripping down in the same scene, that would then make sense. But she gets him to go to the trouble and take the time to travel with her all the way to the shuttlebay to start changing into another uniform, Kirk cops a perve, and then he’s back on the bridge. What was the point of that scene other than to just have Alive Eve in an underwear shot? Star Trek has had no problem with promoting the fantasy of hot chicks in space wearing little, but when it happened it generally had a purpose. That scene, served no purpose. And the character I felt too could have been omitted entirely and the film wouldn't have been different at all. The crew have their misgivings about the missile which Carol is only there to reinforce. Khan is the one who brings up they should take a closer look at the missiles which Bones was competent enough to do and Carol was only present to provide commentary and just yank some wires out to stop it exploding which Bones could have done himself (maybe if they moves Bones or where the wires were on the missile), and she spends the rest of the movie just as a damsel and reason for Marcus not to blow up the Enterprise, though we did have Scotty sabotage the Vengeance, and he could have done so earlier making Carol's presence needless. Eye candy she was to me, pure and simple.
And in the end, the script itself is just an inversion of "Wrath of Khan", a superior film still that DOES in fact hold up to today’s standards with elements of "Space Seed" thrown in. The practical visuals still look great and Ricardo Montalban likewise gave a commanding performance, but in that film we had the added weight of knowing that Kirk was responsible for Khan’s exile, and he had a motive for revenge that worked with the loss of his wife and most of his followers, the side-plot of the Genesis device was woven into the story well and played a role too. Here though, we do have Khan, we have a revenge tale, but I just don’t think it played out nearly as well. There is distraction after distraction with continual interruption of the plot for an action or chase scene, or boring dialogue between Spock and Uhura, and it bogged the film down to the point where I wanted it to be over simply because I felt it didn’t NEED to go on for any longer, and I say that as someone who does of the patience to watch a 2 and a half or 3 hour movie no problem. 3/10 from me.
Nitpicking: If Spock had such a problem with Kirk violating the Prime Directive in an effort to save him at the opening of the film, why did he agree to help in the first place? Regardless of if the natives see the Enterprise or not, stopping the volcano's destruction is still a deviation from the natural development of this pre-warp species. And did the Enterprise just happen to have cold fusion device on board whilst on this routine survey mission JUST for the occasion? The transwarp beaming technology remains incredulous and went even further beaming an individual from Earth to Qo'noS. Why do the Klingons have forehead ridges??? At this point in time they should have been affected by the failed augment virus, time changes by Nero or no. What is the point of Scotty's alien off-side besides stupid comic relief? Why do we continue to see even MORE species that have NEVER been seen before in Star Trek canon in this series? Could it have hurt to have included some more Andorians, Tellarites, Orion or even other Vulcans as opposed to the rest of the Mos Eisley cantina scene extras? Admiral Marcus wants to provoke a war with the Klingons knowing Starfleet isn't ready to handle the threat? He says war is inevitable, but why provoke the inevitable when you can give yourself more time preparing for it??? If you are building a top-secret spaceship without authorisation, why do so in the Sol System of all places?
Blatant rips offs disguised as homages: McCoy performing torpedo surgery, "The Undiscovered Country". Corrupt Admiral teams up with an obvious villain in an effort to make Earth strong following a devastating conflict, "Insurrection"? The space flying/debris scene just a rip off of the previous movie! Scotty sabotages another Starfleet ship like in "Search for Spock". Khan crushes skulls like Roy Batty from "Blade Runner". Beaming explosives onto an enemy ship is lifted from Voyager episode "Dark Frontier". Kirk and Scotty running through the rotating hallways of the Enterprise as it loses gravity looked MUCH like the hotel scenes in "Inception". The final chase on Earth looked more like the chase scene on Coruscant from "Attack of the Clones" to me. THIS WHOLE MOVIE: "Space Seed"/"Wrath of Khan".
Rating: 3 (Cameron)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Stardate 2259.55: See EAS for full synopsis
After "Star Trek (2009)" was released four years ago, expectations for the sequel were high, and JJ Abrams and his staff returned for the challenge. Since the sequel was announced, rumors concerning the identity of the villain filled the internet almost immediately, especially after the writers hinted that it would be a villain from the Original Series. For over a year, I was sure that it would be Gary Mitchell since the character was the least silliest and most plausible villain in TOS. Well, they did do a character from TOS, and it had to be Khan.
Unlike other people, I thought an Abramsverse Khan would be interesting to see, though the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as a middle-eastern superhuman was a little confusing (perhaps this was compensated for by having him only refered to as "Khan" and not by his full name). Nevertheless, Cumberbatch's performance was very well done and he sounded like a classic evil villain.
As for the rest of the cast, Chris Pine's Kirk was still pretty well executed and retained the same bachelor personae from the last film. Zachary Quinto's Spock was more logical and "adult" than the ST2009, a quality that contrasts his flip-out at the climax. As for the rest of the bridge crew, Simon Pegg's Scotty was still superbly acted and comedic as usual, John Cho's Sulu gets a little more than just an "aye, sir", and Anton Yelchin's Chekov was a bit more authoritative, a fact that his character is obviously stressed-out about. Karl Urban's McCoy was still faithful to the original, but became so laced with metaphors that Kirk had to tell him to stop. The inclusion of Carol Marcus was unnecessary in my view; they could've just had a new character fill her role in the story.
The new sets for the Enterprise and Starfleet Command are very good and not as bright and flashy as in the last film. The Vengeance is an impressive ship despite its violent purpose; but, seriously, how big do these Starfleet ships have to be?
Lastly, the film's climax which parallel's "The Wrath of Khan", was a bit too close to the original, and they way Kirk goes about realigning the warp core is just plain unprofessional. Spock's chance to scream "Khaaann!" is well done, but it still seems out of place.
Even more lastly, I thought the ending was a bit too rushed. After Khan's fight with Spock, it feels like they didn't have enough time to show the settling down of things. Sure, we know that Khan gets placed back in cryo-sleep and Kirk is revived using his cells, and that the Enterprise is given a five-year mission with Kirk as captain, but why can't they take their time in showing that? A movie that takes ten minutes longer to tell a story would be an improvement.
Remarkable ships: The Enterprise, still a beauty no matter what universe it's in. The Vengeance: the ultimate battleship.
Remarkable difference: Unlike "The Wrath of Khan", Kirk and Khan actually fight (or, at least Kirk tries to).
Remarkable scenes: The opening scene on Nibiru, the only scene in the Abramsverse that presents a genuine Star Trek plotline. The Enterprise can also go down in history as the new god of Nibiru. Kirk's three-way with two alien women with tails. They also apparently have vinyl records in the 23rd century.
Remarkable appearance: Admiral Marcus' line-up of model ships includes a miniature of the NX-01 Enterprise. That ship seems to fit in more with the technological continuity of the Abramsverse more than anything else.
Remarkable dialogue: "I am better" -Khan "At what?" -Kirk "Everything." -Khan
Remarkable quotes: "So, they saw our ship. No big deal." -Kirk, "Mr. Sulu, remind me never to piss you off." -McCoy, "Holy sh--!" -Scotty, upon discovering the Vengeance, "Khaann!" -Spock
Rating: 8 (David B.)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Stardate 2259: JJ Abrams Boldly takes Star Trek to where we have ALL been before.
I am one of the few "old school trekkies" that actually enjoyed ST:2009 despite all of its flaws, and "been there, done that" plot. I enjoyed it for what it was. A reboot.
Unfortunately "Into Darkness" is more, or less another "rinse, and repeat" of old clichés. Re-used plots, and outright rip offs of a previous Star Trek movie which was Wrath of KHAAAAAN!!
The acting was "ok". I suppose the cast did the best they could do. Considering what they had to work with. Which is a Horrible Story. This horrible story is almost literally buried in almost non-stop superhero like action sequences, and CGI special effects. To the point to where I think this Star Trek now is nothing more than a Parody of the original. Gone is the optimism, and bright future of the 23 century. Now we have a Federation "police state", and an Earth/Star Fleet beset on all sides by enemies, and terrorists. Is this Star Trek? Or Warhammer 40,000??!
JJ Abrams apparently took lessons from Berman, and Braga. Yet another Big-E vs "Das Ubership" movie. Been there, done that. Khan. Been there, done that. Except "Into Darkness" brought Khan back in an absurd way. Rogue Star Fleet Admiral. Been there, done that. Main cast member dies, and then is resurrected. Been there, done that. The only good about this movie is the Big-E literally gets its ass handed to it on a silver platter this time. It's a pity they refitted her for a potential 3rd movie. What next? Kruge comes back in a ship the size of V-ger to nuke Earth with Genesis?? These non-Trekish plots are really getting old, and tired. IMO I think someone else should take the helm of Trek.
IMO a fan production could have done much better than "Into Darkness".
It is the fact that the Big-E actually loses the fight vs das ubership, and technobabble didn't save the day that I rate this a 2 instead of ZERO.
Nitpicking: How in the name of HELL does two disabled Starship's 250,000 km away from Earth, and are hovering right above the freaking MOON get caught in Earths gravity well. Then make a 250,000 km trip to Earth with NO POWER, and damn near crash (or did crash in the Vengeance's case) in less than FIVE minutes?? I don't buy that they "drifted".
Remarkable quote: Kirk: "What would Spock do?", McCoy: "He would let you die."
Remarkable scene: Kirk literally "Kick Starting" the Warp Core.
Remarkable ship: The Vengeance. Remarkable in the fact that it is the size of a Borg Cube, and Uglier than Sin!
Remarkable fact: In Buckaroo Banzai's, aka Robocop's, ala Peter Weller's office you see a linage of ship's from Tall Ships to the "Ring Ship" from ST:TMP. The NX-01. The Kelvin.. Then "Das Ubership" The Vengeance. Must be Admirals prerogative to display top secret section 31 ships built solely for combat in public.
Rating: 2 (James Morgan. aka The Stress Puppy. aka Major Stress)
Star Trek Into Darkness
2259.55: Synopsis in main Movie listing
I'm a die-hard trekkie. Have been my whole life. And I was one of the ones who enjoyed the 2009 movie. It wasn't what I wanted and it didn't feel like the Star Trek I knew, but I can still appreciate it for what it was. I enjoyed STID as well, but more and more I miss the old Star Trek. Abrams and his team did the best they could, but very little of what made Star Trek good is left. Gone is the eternal optimism and ever-present sense of discovery. Pine reiterate's Shatner's classic line of the "five-year mission" at the end of the movie, but no one who made this movie seems to stop and think about the complete lack of exploration of strange new worlds or new life or new civilizations. This story was about defending home, just as the last movie was. There is no more exploration in Star Trek, and that's just really sad. This was a story about homeland security in the 23rd century and not much else.
As for the acting and story, the need to no longer focus on introducing the crew to each other made for a much better dynamic between the actors. The characters were closer to the ones we remember since now they all know each other and are all in their proper niches. The bad guy threatening the Enterprise was a stale rehash of the last movie with the only benefit being Benedict Cumberbatch's superb performance. It was nice to see the Klingons again, but they didn't really add anything to the story.
The mashup of items from both "Space Seed" and "Star Trek 2: TWOK" worked to an extent. The Enterprise isn't the one to discover the Botany Bay, that is instead left offscreen. And despite this being their first encounter with Khan it plays out much the same way TWOK did it. Not a bad amalgamation of elements, but I felt like they simply looked at Star Trek 2, went down a checklist of things they wanted from it and then threw them in. Not all that original.
All in all, not bad. It's the fare I've come to expect from Abrams and his team. But it's definitely making me long for the good old days.
Remarkable ship: The USS Vengeance. What a monster!
Remarkable quote: "This is clearly a military operation. Is that what we are now?" -Scotty to Kirk. Oddly this is a question someone should ask of Abrams. Is this really what Star Trek is now?
Rating: 5 (Dylan)
Star Trek Into Darkness
2259.55: Synopsis in main Movie listing
As with "Star Trek (2009)", I kept my exposure of spoilers to a bare minimum, watching only the trailers, and avoiding anything with a spoiler tag. From the trailers, I knew instantly it was going to be another battle-laden thriller that I've come to expect from sci-fi/action movies since CGI came into it's own years ago. Before I rant, I'll say that while the older Star Trek movies tend to be slower in pace, working with less, I found them to be timeless classics, even after twenty years of watching Star Trek (I'm 23, so I literally grew up with watching the TNG series, and "The Wrath of Khan" burnt into my retinas, watching it to death, but it's still amazing). While I didn't review ST09, I'll sum it up by saying it wasn't the best, but it had merit, and I was eager to see how J. J. Abrams would take the new timeline with "Into Darkness".
So here we are, only a year after ST09, and we see what I thought was a breath of fresh air: an actual mission (within a Star Trek movie), that shows the crew of the Enterprise actually doing what they're supposed to do: a mission of peace and exploration, seeking out new lifeforms, and trying to preserve life. I felt that last movie was too narrow, only focusing on ship, crew, and villain (which none of which was really dwelled upon), and not having enough time to really focus on how the Federation has played out in the new timeline. The 10 "Prime" films, while varying in theme, usually never included anything related to the TV series about space exploration. It usually seemed really confined, most had villains, a few space battles, and a set crew in the confines of their ship, not really having time to grow, but focus on the main goal of their current mission, either defending Earth, hunting someone down, etc. With only a two hour time span to tell your story, I guess concessions must be made. But anyways, back to Nibiru...
I felt the whole sequence played out well, but found it hypocritical that Spock was quoting Prime Directive when they clearly were already violating it. It also seemed unnecessary for him to quote his "needs of the many..." line, as the crew of the Enterprise would have never been in danger regardless if whether Spock lives or dies, so making himself a martyr for the sake of a homage (one of many) was purely idiotic, and the whole crew was right to be pissed at his lack of gratitude. Hiding the Enterprise underwater seemed to be a little illogical for the reasons given, not to mention how it would have gotten there in the first place without the natives knowing. Also, I love the arguments that a spaceship wasn't designed to fly in the atmosphere, let alone underwater, but remember, this is a ship that flies at warp speed, and must be equipped to handle anything in the celestial "environment", meaning unknown energy forces, gravitational pulls, occasional weapons fire, etc. It's perfectly conceivable that the Enterprise's structural integrity field alone could alleviate these issues, not to mention their (often ineffective) shields. In any event, one theme was made clear early in the film: how Spock values rules over his own life, and Kirk values lives over rules (duh). This theme, however, is grounds for significant character growth later on in the movie between the two. While the Spock/Uhura romance never played out in the original series (at least onscreen), I have mixed feelings about how it exists here. It almost seems like, while having this pairing isn't a bad thing, it only exists to give Uhura more screen time, as just being a communications officer wouldn't exactly give her a huge role in either alternate reality films, and seems kind of placed there. After saving Spock, and the planet, shattering the already broken Prime Directive, and giving the natives a new deity to worship, the Enterprise warps away to the next scene.
Now we're back on Earth, and I'm aware that this is a new timeline, but I feel there's too much Earth exposure in the movies. Not even the TV series visited Earth as often as the movies did. What I am pleased about is how there seems to be a better vision of how the Earth in the future would play out, and it looks progressive. Meaning we don't see simple coverups of existing, real life locations, we see technology that we should be accustomed to seeing onboard starships actually play out planetside. Does that mean we have to have skyscrapers everywhere? Not necessarily, but it helps with the overall "flat" feeling I got every time I saw a shot of the future, Star Trek Earth. Getting back to the plot, the scene with the Starfleet officer and the unknown man (Harrison), when I first watched it, served its purpose by providing an early, emotional scene to increase its impact as the officer bombs an archive later on Harrison's behalf. Thinking about it now, that scene now seems utterly forgettable and serves no purpose in the long run of the movie, other than to expose Harrison as devious.
Later on, Spock and Kirk are in a debriefing with Admiral Pike, and with the revelation that Spock went behind Kirk's back and submitted the true events of Nibiru, we're launched into another clash of rules versus gut instinct. In all honestly, I think Kirk shouldn't have even been in command of the Enterprise, even after saving Earth. His feelings make it clear that he's doing what he feels is right, without experience to back it up, only luck, and Pike sees this. I would have loved to see Kirk actually earn his command on the Enterprise instead of only having three years of academy training, after seeing one of many, many homages, with Kirk getting demoted. Kirk then attends a meeting after the bombing in London and confronts Spock about what happened to him. Here's where I see the disconnect: Spock was told by his older, alternate counterpart that he and Kirk will be great friends, but even after a year of serving with his captain, they are not friends. This is made clearer in this scene because both individuals feel what they are doing is right, and Spock doesn't understand that what he did was viewed as a betrayal, because Kirk is a "follow your heart" type of person, and they clash. The relationship is further complicated when Spock has nothing to say after Kirk tells him Spock is getting transferred to the USS Bradbury.
The actual conference scene immediately following was nothing special, more of a filler scene, to set the tone of how dangerous Harrison is. Kirk immediately pulls out of his ass regulations that essentially spell out they just walked into a trap, and how no one else could have thought of that, how there wasn't any adequate protection around Starfleet Headquarters. This leads to Pike getting killed (I actually didn't see that one coming), and Kirk having a long-winded "disagreement" with Harrison's jumpship before Harrison beams himself out. Spock's mind-meld with Pike served as a rather interesting foil to his Prime counterpart, having experienced death through Pike, and the emotions that followed, instead of actually dying. Kirk experiences his first major onscreen loss, and is now vengeance-driven to hunt down Harrison.
Now meeting with Admiral Marcus, who called the conference in the previous scene (after finding out from Scotty that Harrison used the already impossible transwarp beaming to get to Qo'noS) Kirk and Spock discover that the archive bombed was actually a Section 31 facility (I was waiting for this, most fan theories I happened to encounter pointed to their involvement). From my point of view, it seemed like Section 31 grew more prominent after Nero's dual attacks the prior year, and didn't seems as secretive as portrayed in DS9. It would explain why Marcus didn't really bat an eyelash revealing this information to Kirk and Spock, but this could be selective forthcoming, knowing that if Kirk followed the plan, no one needed to know anything else about Section 31's operations. Regardless, having a legitimate movie connection to Section 31 now should prove to be interesting should they follow that in the next movie, and I think I can safely say there are many fans that would like to see this ass-backwards statement of an organization be brought down.
Then we move on to the torpedoes, these 72 torpedoes that Kirk is ordered to use, ALL of them, I might add, to kill Harrison on Qo'noS. While I would be certainly pissed that a madman killed my mentor, I think I would have had enough sense to ask why one torpedo wasn't enough, considering how powerful we already know them to be, and would be devastating on a planetary level. Marcus justifies their usage by stating he felt the war with the Klingons had already begun, with no real background of how relations with them were in this timeline. Did he once stop to consider that the Federation diplomats may have been in peace talks with the Klingons, and were actually succeeding? Probably not, as we later find out he wants the war, you know, to preserve the Federation that by his own actions, would render it as unrecognizable as he claims it would be should the Klingons win this "war". But as we've already established, nobody really thinks about their actions.
Kirk and Spock depart to the Enterprise, with every member of his crew his meets along the way expressing their misgivings about using these weapons, especially on a sensitive world, to kill one man, with no trial. Obvious connection to how United States policies are now with unmanned drone attacks against individuals in the Middle East, without trial. Onboard the shuttle, we now meet Carol Marcu...I mean Wallace, which regardless of which name she used, her appearance alone is enough to get Kirk horny, as usual. Spock already distrusts her presence, wondering why an extra science officer was assigned to the Enterprise. Scotty is livid that he can't scan the torpedoes because of Section 31, and refuses to sign off on them, citing without knowing what the contents are, it puts the warp core at risk. The warp core itself is a nice change up from the awful brewery setting (admittingly still present, but to a lesser degree), and the infamous separate little warp cores from the last movie. From the design, I think we can start safely postulating that warp dynamics have changed greatly in this timeline, which can explain the faster warp speeds. Scotty resigns because of this, which Kirk accepts, to the former's surprise, and gives him a cryptic warning not to use the weapons.
Kirk meets up with Uhura in the turbolift to the bridge, where both give their misgivings about Spock, before being interrupted by him when they arrive. Kirk finds Chekov and promotes him to chief engineer, citing that following Scotty around made him more than qualified enough to take the position. Chekov is only 18 at this time, and even if he was a super genius, this sudden promotion shows another example of Kirk's lack of judgement. On a ship that size, you would think there would be more than one reputable engineer to take Scotty's place. All in all, I think this was done simply to give Chekov something to do (or lack thereof, as we see him basically running around, screaming with his head cut off later), instead of having him static on the bridge. Throw in a rather obvious redshirt reference (well, obvious to anyone familiar with Star Trek lore), and we're off to Qo'noS, but not before Kirk has his eventual change of heart and decides to pursue Harrison rather than kill him. After being in warp for an unspecified amount of time, Spock later finds out about Carol's real identity, as Admiral Marcus's daughter, and are suddenly throw out of warp twenty minutes from Qo'noS (which they are close enough that it could be twenty minutes from impulse, not warp). The core suddenly has a coolant leak (which doesn't lead to a core breach, like in "ST: Generations"?), and Kirk takes Spock, Uhura, and two redshirts to a ship they confiscated during the "Mudd Incident" (another homage to TOS), and fly the rest of the way to Qo'noS.
Sulu is placed in command and warns Harrison if he does not surrender, he will fire the 72 torpedoes on his location (homage to Sulu gaining his own command in "The Undiscovered Country"). Tensions between Uhura and Spock flare up on the way, and Spock clarifies that he cares for her, yada yada yada, they make up, and they they fall under attack right afterwards. A Klingon D4 class fighter (at that size, can't really be anything else) gives chase, through an uninhabited province of Qo'noS, escapes, only to be cornered by more D4 fighters. They now land, and Uhura is given another role to help quell the Klingons and convince them not to kill her or the others. I was happy to see that Klingon honor was made consistent in this timeline in this era, but it seemed to be the most basic excuse anyone could give to any Klingon. Before the Klingon she was talking to stabs her, Harrison comes out, guns blazing, and kills a crapload of Klingons, in what is shown to be one of the most over-the-top action sequences I've seen in a Star Trek movie. I felt they could have done this scene much better without giant guns killing everyone and the ships, maybe have Harrison use his skills to hijack a fighter, perhaps use some sort of strategy, but seeing as he's both directly and indirectly responsible for many deaths to begin with, I suppose the writers wanted to keep him portrayed as a madman. After eliminating everyone, Harrison surrenders himself upon learning the number of torpedoes are onboard the Enterprise, and taken into custody.
After taken to the brig, McCoy takes Harrison's blood sample and Kirk decides to speak with the latter. It's never explained how Harrison himself knows about the Enterprise's warp core woes, but he reveals two things to Kirk, coordinates (which he gives to a jaded Scotty, who is at a bar on Earth), and sparked curiosity about the 72 torpedoes. Kirk takes the crippled Enterprise to a nearby planetoid in order to examine the torpedoes, and sends a hail to Admiral Marcus, informing him of Harrison's capture. Spock reveals to Kirk about Carol's true identity, in which this lead to an extremely unnecessary scene where Kirk gets to see Carol in her skivvies and give him a raging...you know. With the Star Trek fan base primarily male to begin with, adding sex appeal of that kind only added insult to injury to the franchise. So with "look, boobies!" out of the way, (in another TUC homage) Carol and McCoy head down to the planetoid, and in typical, dramatic fashion, McCoy triggers the detonator, while trapping him at the same time, the shitty transporters can't beam McCoy out, and Carol saves him at the last couple of seconds. But what we do get to find out is what's inside them: not a mysterious fuel source, but active cryotubes.
After Scotty gets a surprise at the coordinates (my surprise being why the hell is it at Jupiter, and where is Jupiter Station? More selective memory, I guess), Kirk confronts Harrison again with his findings, and my worst fear had come to pass: Harrison is actually Khan (I had to keep my expletives quiet in the theater, but I couldn't keep them silent). The entire time his existence within the movie was denied by nearly everyone, then forgotten as a theory by fans, ended up being true, and the story then becomes the ultimate "Wrath of Khan" homage (not that the last movie didn't borrow heavily from it to begin with) instead of keeping an original villain. Harrison looks absolutely nothing like Khan, acts nothing like him, and could have easily just continued being John Harrison, and his character could have worked so much better. Khan reveals within the last year, he was found by Admiral Marcus, and convinced to use his "savagery" to prepare for war against the Klingons. First, how would Admiral Marcus even know of what he would find on the Botany Bay? How would he know to look for Khan? And why wouldn't Khan use his superior intellect to find a way to save his crew from being used as collateral? The plot holes become larger than Nero's black hole at this point, ironically. Khan states he committed his acts on ground he thought his crew was killed (also never revealed why he thought that), and his compassion for his crew is established.
Then here comes the next monstrosity next to Khan's revelation: the USS Vengeance. One of the largest, ugliest ships to have ever been birthed by the Federation (indirectly), commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus clearly wanted Khan dead, and wants him beamed over to the Vengeance, but after Kirk reveals he knows everything, Marcus deems him a growing liability and demands again Khan turned over immediately, before accusing Kirk of being brainwashed by Khan. Kirk decides to take his case to the Federation and against Chekov's advice, heads to warp. Khan, now in sickbay, gives Kirk the lowdown on the Vengeance: twice as big and three times as fast as the Enterprise, built for war, and HE helped design it. Honestly, how this ship's construction and purpose was hidden from the Federation for under a year (factoring how long it took to find Khan and start construction on the Vengeance, which means it's already too-short construction time could be even shorter), I will never figure out. Either the Federation is incompetent, apathetic, or aware of everything going on, and neither three bode well for the Federation we hold dear to us. Also what isn't explained is why the ship needed to be so large, while at the same time being highly automated (maybe Marcus figured he could wage war with the Vengeance itself). Khan ominously warns Carol the Enterprise is not safe at warp and rushes to inform Kirk.
No sooner said, the Vengeance catches up with the Enterprise (with again, and unknown amount of time between Earth and Qo'noS, so it doesn't necessarily have to be that quick of a trip), and proceeds to completely demolish the latter ship, forcing it out of warp in between Earth and the Moon (also, why the Enterprise didn't drop out of warp sooner isn't explained). Now within plain sight of Earth, and any colonies on the Moon, the Vengeance continues to attack the Enterprise (the flagship of the Federation), with Spacedock One conveniently gone from Earth, along with any defense force you think would have been there, especially after Nero's attack last year. Why this obvious fact is forgotten, I couldn't even begin to tell you, but it's so glaring, it nearly causes me to cuss out loud in the theater again. Carol steps in to try and dissuade her father from destroying the Enterprise, but Marcus simply beams Carol off the ship and off from any slight importance she had in the movie. Marcus, despite Kirk's pleas to spare his crew, reveals his destruction was already planned, and loads up two giant railguns (again, with the big, flashy weapons) aimed at the Enterprise. But lo and behold, another homage saves the day! Scotty, onboard the Vengeance, sabotages their weapons and contacts Kirk on the Enterprise.
Now, the next two scene following happen to make the movie a bit more redeemable in my eyes: Kirk finally admits to Spock, on their way down to see Khan, that he has absolutely no idea what he's doing, and hands the reins over to Spock as he attempts to board the Vengeance with Khan. The next, when Khan and Kirk are actually working together in order to stop Admiral Marcus and the Vengeance. If where I thought the movie was going would have actually happened, and Khan was played by someone closer to the original, I could forgive his involvement altogether in the movie. If Khan, now knowing his crew was safe and tried to atone for his actions, seemingly, becoming a fallen hero of sorts, before later making he desire for a ruling, superior race to exist again, it would have made for a much better plot. It's probably me having delusions of grandeur, but then again, so were the writers of this film, because Khan essentially has no reason to be there. I didn't actually mind the space dive to the Vengeance too much, but with a supposed 40 shuttle capacity onboard the Enterprise, why didn't they just take one and land? If the shuttlebay was destroyed, perhaps that leap of logic could have been forgiven.
After Kirk and Khan's wild and crazy ride through the debris field to the Vengeance, Spock decides to contact the Federation and inform them of what's going on. I'm just kidding with you, he contacts New Vulcan and asks his Prime counterpart about Khan! What the hell?! For anyone unfamiliar with Khan before, I can see how this scene serves them, but for any other purpose, this was a waste of time. And couldn't Spock have just looked up info on Khan, like his Prime counterpart did in "Space Seed", to determine that Khan was dangerous? Otherwise, this scene is a complete waste of time. Carol serves her last shred of importance, if any, by showing her utter disgust at her crazy father, then Khan, Kirk, and Scotty, whom the latter helped to get onboard, fight their way through the ship. While I'm sure many people think it's a dick move that Kirk wanted Scotty to stun Khan, first chance, Kirk did promise Khan he will still pay for actions. The finally get to the dark, dank bridge just in the nick of time (the Vengeance's weapons just came back online), and Kirk moves to arrest Marcus. Marcus then spews out the usual banter about how he's the only one who can lead the Federation to victory against his war against the Klingons, their way of life will be ruined, blah blah more crazy guy talk. Scotty stuns Khan, but finds it ineffective as Khan recovers quickly, breaks Carol's leg, shoves Kirk out of the way, and comes in to crush Marcus's skull (and the subsequent scream of horror right after from Carol had to have been one of the most fake I had ever seen. It was basically her opening her mouth, no real emotion in her face).
Spock and Khan now stand off, as Khan wants his crew back, on the Vengeance, in exchange for Carol, Kirk, and Scotty, but Spock knows that Khan will simply use the Vengeance to wage his own war, presumably, the one started back in the Eugenics Wars. After Spock is seemingly proven outwitted, he has no choice but to relinquish the torpedoes in exchange for Kirk and the others. However, Spock was smart enough to foresee their final destination, and had the cryotubes removed from the torpedoes, leaving them to detonate onboard the Vengeance once they were beamed. Then, all hell breaks loose: the Enterprise is now plummeting towards Earth with no power, and Kirk and Scotty make their way towards Engineering. I found this sequence to be absolutely outstanding, with the ship listing and tilting, at the mercy of Earth's gravity, with their own artificial gravity and inertia dampeners seemingly offline, Kirk and Scotty maze their way around the ship, walking along the sides of the corridors. The only problem I had was Super Genius Chekov was now Superhuman Chekov, able to keep Kirk and Scotty from falling, using only one hand to hold close to over 300lbs of body weight.
Now we've reach the mother of all TWOK homages: the core won't reinitialize because the injectors are out of alignment, and no one can fix them without dying. Kirk punches out Scotty, he then goes into the core (radiation would honestly be the last thing I'd be worried about if I was going into a chamber where matter and anti-matter are annihilating each other continuously there) Kirk kicks the injector back in place, saving the ship from doom as it gains enough power to prevent further decent, and Spock is called to Engineering to see Kirk behind glass, dying of fatal radiation. Before I go into what follows next, I'd like to ask one simple, rational question: why, in the 23rd Century, with technology sufficient enough to shield radiation from the rest of the ship, are there not any radiation suits that the crew can wear?! I think about this also for TWOK, so it's not just STID that has this problem, and I realize it's supposed to create an emotional death scene, but it lacks logic, and adds yet another leap in memory. I supposed willed forgetfulness is a constant theme in this movie.
Now, while the next scene had gained a lot of criticism for being a direct (reverse) rip-off of the famous death scene from TWOK, I found, when you read between the lines, that the scene had a bit of a different meaning. With the "ship, out of danger" lines read out by the opposite individuals, what follows next puts Kirk and Spock's relationship into perspective. This was not dialogue to reaffirm a strong friendship, but to essentially establish it, because remember, Kirk and Spock were not exactly friends at this point. Kirk was reaching out to him, but Spock never reciprocated, either oblivious to this fact, or felt he was being forced, by his Prime counterpart, that a friendship was inevitable, and he had to accept being friends with a jackass right away. Spock is now realizing that Kirk is more than a selfish, arrogant person, but someone he can care about, and whom has always cared about him. He's not only seeing that Kirk's sacrifice hold more weight than what Spock's sacrifice at the beginning of the movie would have delivered, should it have come to pass, by losing Kirk, he isn't realizing what's he's losing until it's too late. So while it's still another homage, it fits well with the rest of the movie. However, why Spock thought it was Khan's fault Kirk's now dead, I will never figure out. He could have just shouted in anger, and it would have worked just fine (I'm aware he's a Vulcan, but he is still very young, half-human, and didn't have the training needed to control his emotions, so yes, he will be an emotional Vulcan, so get over it), but here, it just cheesy.
Then, Khan comes swooping in with the smoldering remains of the Vengeance, thinking he entire crew is dead, wanting to crash the ship into Starfleet command. With no one to stop him, he demolishes Alcatraz and several buildings, killing hundreds, maybe thousands of people before jumping ship. This was another amazing CGI scene, done extremely well, and the sheer destruction was nearly awe-inspiring. Spock, now driven by his own sense of revenge, seeks to pursue Khan himself through the streets of San Francisco, cause for yet another reason, the shitty transporters wont pick up Khan. As he pursues Khan, McCoy discovers that Khan's blood regenerates cells past death, and elects to attempt to use it to save Kirk. Another plot hole here: why does he need Khan's blood, when he could have used any other Augment's blood? A potential excuse could be he still couldn't scan through the cryotubes, so it's possible none of them knew that the rest of Khan's crew had the blood that could save Kirk, but then one of the Augments was removed from the cryotube in order to stuff Kirk in there to preserve his brain functions. Spock then chases Khan through the streets, before fighting hand-to-hand through the air on tugs, his Vulcan physiology enough to combat the Augment. Then Uhura beams down onto the tug and stuns Khan, and convinces Spock not to kill him. This scene works well for a fight scene, but nothing else, as the plot hole killed the revenge plot and the saving Kirk plot are logically nullified by the previously stated reasons.
Honestly, I knew that Kirk would survive the movie, as he's the main star, but it would have boded well for a more realistic, more human movie if Kirk were allowed to die. It wouldn't have been that far-fetched, once again, new timeline, Abrams can do whatever he wants with it. He seems bipolar on what to do, because he clearly wants a new Star Trek to attract new fans, but the clashes with canon and logic, plus the unrealistic homages shoved throughout the movie, serving to piss off the Trekkies existing long before these past two movies, more than trying to please them. If he wasn't concerned about the older fans, then why bother to homage anything? The entire thing just seems intensely confused beyond all reason, and Abrams has probably lost a lot more Trekkies in lieu of the more clueless, newer fans created from this movie and the last. The ending of the movie occurs a year later, with Kirk at a memorial service commemorating those that had perished by Khan's hand, and reaffirms that it's humanity's goal to explore and better themselves. Then, almost like a mirror ending of the last movie, the crew once again readies themselves on the bridge, once more heading out into the unknown, with Carol Marcus joining them. This, of course, hints her potential romantic involvement with Kirk in the future, just like the Prime Universe, and with Khan refrozen, he also has the potential to come back.
When I first thought of writing this, I thought I would give it a higher rating, but after thorough examination, I felt it deserved lower. Out of ten, with the immense, unnecessary and misplaced homages through the whole movie, automatic minus five, but the story potential, combined with skillful acting throughout, and CGI sequences, it's only enough to bring it back up one more point, bringing my grand total to six. While ST09 was cheezy and narrow, stuffing waaaaaaaay too much into this movie prevented it from gaining a higher score. I will say, despite everything, I still found the movie very enjoyable, and I look forward to getting it on Blu-ray in a few months.
Nitpicking: How they come across this doomed planet is also never explained, but seeing how Admiral Pike was pissed at both Kirk and Spock a bit later on, it clearly wasn't an approved mission. So what was their mission to begin with? -- The only evidence of relations between the Federation and the Klingons is based only on Admiral Marcus's word. Wouldn't Kirk, even revenge driven, have an objection of bombing the Klingon homeworld? Since as captain of the flagship of the Federation, he would have knowledge of the Federation's efforts to prevent war. -- When, or why does the chief engineer have to sign off on anything, especially when the commanding officer should do the trick, and when is it now a threat to have anything unknown near the warp core? Two firsts which have no background or validity.
Remarkable quote: "Go put on a red shirt." (Kirk, to Chekov), "Because you have honor, and he does not." (Uhura, to the Klingons)
Remarkable dialogue: "The torpedoes you were threatening me with, how many are there?" - "72." - "I surrender." (Khan and Spock)
Remarkable scene: The Enterprise gets its ass completely handed to them, near destruction, by the Vengeance (another homage to TWOK)
Remarkable prop: The new warp core
Remarkable fact: Not once does the Enterprise fire its weapons during the entire movie; lips are becoming looser, as "shit" is said no less than four times in this movie (twice by Kirk, once by Scotty, once by Carol Marcus)
Rating: 6 (David)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
Star Trek, as the title suggests, is about the unknown, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. This movie is none of that. There is no optimism for the future, no intelligent debates, no ethical dilemmas. Star Trek also had a very consistent look and feel, and together with consistent terminology and science, made the universe believable in a level unmatched by any other sci-fi shows or movies. These new movies break that consistency and once that illusion of reality is lost, the movies feel sub-standard.
As a regular sci-fi movie this may be ok and quite enjoyable, however this is not Star Trek.
Rating: 0 (Tze King Lim)