Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun follow-up to a fun movie

Good visuals, but like aways could have done with less Abrams lens flare...

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Star Trek Into Darkness

Studio:  Bad Robot Productions

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  April 23, 2013 (Australia)/May 16, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

star trek into darkness khan kirk space flight

We’re either in Tron or Rollerball…

A mission on an undeveloped planet called Nibiru leads Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) to break the Prime Directive to save the life of Spock (Zachary Quinto).  With the U.S.S. Enterprise taken from him, Kirk and Starfleet faces a new threat in a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who appears to be bent on bringing Earth to war with the Klingons.  Sent on a secret mission to assassinate Harrison, the crew of the Enterprise are about to find out that Harrison isn’t who Starfleet says he is and that their mission might lead to war and death.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness is the follow-up to the hit 2009 relaunch Star Trek.  The movie was met with positive reviews and big numbers and was released in 3-D and on IMAX.  With the original numbering, this film is the twelth film in the Star Trek film franchise.  It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

star trek into darkness tribble mccoy karl urban

It’s either a Tribble or Shatner’s hair!!!

I really enjoyed Star Trek and was set for disappointment with Star Trek Into Darkness…but was pleasantly surprised when I found it to be a good time also.  Though hating the title (it isn’t Star Trek:  Into Darkness, but Star Trek Into Darkness…so do you say it like a sentence?), the movie continues to play on the old Star Trek without hurting it or stopping on the sacred grounds of fans.

From this point on, due to how the movie unfolds, I have to put up the *****Spoiler Alert*****…read on at your own risk!  Essentially, this film is a remake of Star Trek II:  Wrath of Khan 2013 style.  In one of the worst kept secrets, Cumberbatch is revealed to be Khan and Khan is not happy with Starfleet’s treatment of his warrior race of people.

star trek into darkness klingons uhura zoe saldana

Uhura, negotiations with the Klingons aren’t going well…

The twist in this modern telling of the story is that Khan isn’t entirely in the wrong as he was in the original Wrath of Khan.  Here, despite terrorist acts, the Enterprise is forced to team with Khan to take down the evil Starfleet Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) who had deemed that Khan needs to die no matter the cost (and the Klingons can be sacrificial lambs in the process).  It is cool to see Khan in action, and since I love Cumberbatch in the BBC’s Sherlock, it is fun to see a more active Khan demonstrating his superhuman abilities.

The other twist in the story is that it flips the ending (temporarily).  It was pretty obvious to me exactly how the ending would unfold once Kirk (instead of Spock) entered the radiation chamber…the almost unnecessary reveal so Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban) study of Khan’s blood on a Tribble meant that Kirk was coming back…I just didn’t know if they would stretch it out to another movie as in Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock…fortunately they didn’t.  I have to laugh however because once Khan attacks Starfleet Academy and essentially wrecks the coastline of San Francisco, I have to say that Robocop was right in wanting Khan destroyed at any cost…far more people had to die than the number of people on the Enterprise.

star trek into darkness kirks death spock zachary quinto chris pine

Gee Captain…all you had to do was push this anti-radiation button…

I really like the new cast of the film…even if it looks like everyone has pink lipgloss on.  Pine, Quinto, and Zoe Saldana (as Uhura) have a great working chemistry and the elevated role of Uhura adds some spice to Star Trek since the original story didn’t have much in the role of strong women.  It was also nice to see the introduction of Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus who also came from the original film.  I always think it is tricky to involve Scotty (Simon Pegg) in a plot but fortunately the character did have a lot to do.  With a huge cast John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban didn’t have much to do, but hopefully that will change in sequels.  I liked the surprise appearance by Leonard Nimoy, but it was pretty unnecessary.  I rather wish his last appearance in the last film had been his real last appearance…it seemed more final.

Star Trek Into Darkness (yep, still hate the title) show a continuous evolution of an old franchise and a demonstration that the franchise still has legs.  I would love to see the aliens at the beginning of the film come back (they were rather cool looking)…maybe it could be incorporated in a new alternate Earth Next Generation coming into the past sometime.  With huge numbers, Star Trek will be back…even if Abrams is moving on to the Star War franchise to bring his lens flares to Tatooine…  Star Trek Into Darkness was followed by Star Trek Beyond in 2016.

Preceded By:

Star Trek (2009)

Followed By:

Star Trek Beyond (2016)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response