Star Trek Into Darkness: A Review

Star Trek Into Darkness: A Review by D. Brian Hardin II

Sometimes an escape is needed.  For me, sitting in a dark cool movie theatre will almost always provide the perfect escape.  The movie does not have to be great to provide that escape but if it is, man.. that’s just magic.

Today’s escape finds me at my local movie theatre.  Bottle of water on one side, fist full of popcorn on the other…

Without giving away any spoilers, please allow me to state this right off the bat:  GO BOLDLY and see this movie!  Fans of the original (non-J.J. Abrams) will certainly see some throwbacks (and easter eggs) in this one, while newcomers to the franchise will have one fast paced thrill ride.

Star Trek Into Darkness is fast paced.  Very few lull points exist.  The entire gang is back together, Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov.  Captain Pike is back as well as a couple of other… old friends.  OOOH.. and the lens flares.. yeah they are not as obvious in this one.

As you know, I am hesitant to provide spoilers that could potentially ruin the movie for you…

That being said…  Stop reading now because spoilers – they are here:

Star Trek has always had it’s famous quote; “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.  Her 5 year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

It’s seen a variation or two over the years, but that’s it from it’s earliest days.  J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness make that journey… sortav.  I say sortav because.. well.. we have been here before.. sortav.

Okay, let’s jump down to it; who is the main bad guy here?  He goes by the name of John Harrison.  Ahh, but he’s not actually a genetically spliced duo of the Beatles.  Oh who am I kidding here, the cat’s already been taken out of the bag hasn’t it?  Benedict Cumberbatch plays Kahn.  There, I said it.  Kahn.

I admit, at first I was a bit disappointed to hear that Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof (the ones who wrote the script) were playing it safe and using someone that the long-term fans already knew.  Not only that, but we also knew that those shoes were going to be some BIG shoes to fill!  I mean, Kahn?  Ricardo Montalban’s portrayal of Star Trek’s most epic bad guy was being remade?

Was I really going to sit down and watch Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn (the remake)?

Then I started to get excited.  I knew full well that J.J. Abrams had established an alternate time-line.  That events I was familiar with had not happened yet (or at the very least those events would not happen exactly as they did before).  Not to mention the fact that this movie would actually take place during the Original TV Series time-frame, which means this would be a retelling of the Space Seed episode.  That idea along started to spark my imagination.  I loved Wrath of Kahn, but hey, my mind is open to the new vision of Star Trek.

Armed with that thought, I had a feeling I was going to be in for one hell of a ride.

A retelling of Space Seed..  Hmm.. For those that are not aware, the character of Kahn Noonian Singh was first introduced in the original television show (back in 1967).  A retelling of Space Seed?  Almost, but not exactly.  We do get a retelling, but we also get a little mish-mash remake of Wrath of Kahn as well.

Sadly there was no epic space battle (I maintain that the space battle and the hunt through the Mutara Nebula were simply the best thing the big screen has ever seen), there was no mention of the Botany Bay, and while Kahn did speak of his 72 crew members, we never got to see them.

Into Darkness was a bit predictable, however, there were several twists and surprises along the way.   My inner Trekkie has a few nit-picks with the movie, but that’s all they are, pointless nit-picks.  Tho, the one I’m still wrestling with is the title itself.  Into Darkness..  I’m not sure that that was really ever explained, and if it was, I missed it.

I’ll keep a much closer eye on everything the second time I see it.

Oh yes, there will be multiple viewings!

I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

You can read the Blu-Ray review of this movie here: Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-Ray Review

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