The summer of science fiction continues with the sequel to J.J. Abrahms’ 2009 reboot to the 1966 television series, Star Trek. The new film, Star Trek Into Darkness sees the return of the crew of the USS Enterprise. Six months after the events of Star Trek, we reconnect with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew as Starfleet prepares for a new program, sending crews on a five year mission to explore deep space. However, there’s darkness (oddly enough) on the horizon as a mysterious figure, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) emerges as a new villain.
As a whole, the film was fantastic. Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrahms make a great team when it comes to science fiction. The acting from everyone was amazing, especially from Cumberbatch and Pine. However, the issue is that Kirk didn’t seem to grow from the events of Star Trek. After what Kirk encountered, his demeanor at films end is much more humbled than the beginning. He understands that his initial, cocky attitude could get those under his command killed. However, when we meet back up with him in Into Darkness he’s back to his old ways.
I can understand the reasoning behind it; a humble Kirk is most likely a dull Kirk. However, it feels a little sloppy. It happens a few times in the film. The stakes get changed in a major way, only to revert back minutes later. Again, this is a very minor gripe. It moves the story forward, but I feel that it could have been done better. I can’t stress enough that these are in no way me saying the film was bad.
Perhaps the greatest bit about this film is the lengths that the crew went to in order to maintain secrecy around Cumberbatch’s character. Too often are Hollywood secrets spoiled, ruining important reveals (Iron Man 3 is another great example of well kept secrets from this summer). Once Cumberbatch hits the screen and his character’s motives are revealed, get ready for a fun ride.
Having not grown up with Star Trek (I was a Star Wars kid), I come into these films with fresh eyes and zero preconceived notions. The great thing about how Abrahms has made these movies is that you don’t need to know the back story of these characters from the TV series to still appreciate the films. In fact, it gets you to the point (at least for me) where you want to go back and watch the original adventures (which are available to stream on Netflix).
Even though we’re early into the summer, and it isn’t a competition, Star Trek Into Darkness may have won the summer.