Enjoyable, entertaining, slightly over the top at times, but all round fun; that’s Star Trek: Into Darkness for you in a nutshell. Before you jump up and shout “it’s a science fiction film so it will be over the top”, let me just clarify that while it may be allowed to defy the bounds of imagination, I still think the entire Volcano scene at the start with Spock, played rather subtly again by Zachary Quinto, is hard to grasp and a tad hard on the eyes in terms of the special effects. But, it’s a minor issue, nothing to discuss in detail, as the remainder of the film, while it may not boldly go where no film has gone before, presents a wholesome package of movie goodness.
Jumping straight in, assuming everyone is, and should be, knowledgeable with the happenings of the prior film, Start Trek: Into Darkness is the story about the “origins” of Khan played by the wonderfully devious Benedict Cumberbatch. Imagine letting Sherlock, that other character he plays well, going all bad-ass and discarding whatever humanity or inhibitions he may have out of the window, and what you have is one of the most villainous adversaries the crew of the Enterprise have ever faced. While the returning cast members all continue to perform brilliantly, it is Cumberbatch’s Khan, the villain, who steals the show, as has been the case with most blockbuster superhero-esq films that have come out off late.
Star Trek: Into Darkness continues the story of the crew of the Enterprise, but this time shifts the focus on the lesser filmed characters of the previous film. Be it Karl Urban’s Bones, Sulu played by John Cho, or Simon Peg’s Scotty, each of them have more important roles in the story than some of the “main” cast. This makes the entire film more enjoyable as we know for a change that it isn’t always the main characters who will end up saving the day, although they sort-of do.
I do have some minor qualms with the film, which when you come to think of it is more of a stage play, since most of the events take place and are seen from the eyes of the people on the deck of the Enterprise. It is here that the captain’s seat is passed around so much between the various characters throughout the film that you might be forgiven for thinking there was a game of musical chairs taking place. It is also here, that we once again are forced to view the obligatory short talk between Spock and Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy). I believe it’s one of those episodes that might make a Trekie drool with excitement, but for the rest it simply is unnecessary. Also while the film gives ample opportunities to throw in twists and turns along the way, most of the surprises come to light expectedly, without too much fan fare and thus in the end the film becomes more of an action adventure movie without the audience having to use their brains much.
Star Trek: Into Darkness carries on the torch lightened brilliantly by its predecessor onto the next phase of the franchise. It plays along with the fresh injection of youth that has been introduced into the story all the while keeping the ethos of the original TV series in the back of its mind. J. J. Abrams' direction doesn’t falter one bit till the very end and his love for the series is evident in the way he has characterized Into Darkness.
Here’s hoping that the next installation of the film comes to screen much before the 5 year interstellar journey the Enterprise sets off to at the end of the film.