Nail-biting. Emotional. And was that Kirk-slash-Spock fan service I saw? It was a great summer to be a nerd with releases like Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and Wolverine, and of course Trekkies rejoiced when Star Trek received a sequel to its 2009 release.
Star Trek: Into Darkness follows the rule-bending Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), and the crew of the starship Enterprise, including the all-important Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), after they’re recalled back to Earth, only to encounter a new threat from inside their very own organization. Kirk almost loses the Enterprise, a mysterious man turns out to be Khan, tribbles are useful for once and Scotty goes drinking.
But, as is the territory of movies based on series with dedicated fan bases, the movie had its pros and Khans (cons). On the upside, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of Khan. Enough said. There’s also a lot of toying with the fans’ emotions, which sounds cruel, but is actually quite fun once viewers get over the initial shock of Scotty walking off and leaving the Enterprise, and the ship being brought to the brink of destruction. The fight scenes, although sprinkled in, are a good watch and there are obvious tidbits in the movie from the 1982 Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, which can make fans feel like a little kid reliving those moments over again.
Unfortunately that does lead to one of the biggest cons in the movie. The Wrath of Khan inserts were enjoyable, but one line in particular is used out of context in a way that makes it feel almost wrong: Kirk’s iconic “KHAAAAAN” is flipped and ascribed to Spock. While it helps move Into Darkness’ story along, it’s a perverted twist on the Star Trek storyline on multiple levels. Spock continues to have inconsistent and illogical emotional outbursts. In one scene he is beating-in Kirk’s face, in the next, Spock is bemoaning his death.
Additionally, there’s an obvious use of foreshadowing which damaged, though not completely ruined, the climax at the end of the movie. Without giving too much away, tribbles (the lovely creatures from the episode “Trouble with Tribbles”) seemed to be thrown in just to prove the fact that Khan’s blood not only held special properties that helped make him demi-god-like, but could also bring the dead back to life. From that point on it wasn’t hard to see that regardless of whatever happened by the end, no one who sacrificed themselves to save the ship would stay dead for long.
Also, not enough Klingons.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good, entertaining movie to kill a few hours, you’ll definitely enjoy Into Darkness, especially if you’re a fan of the series and understand the character ties and references. However if you’re a hardcore fan looking for a storyline-accurate prologue to the series, you may find yourself shifting uncomfortably in your seat wondering if the tribbles, in addition to being featured in the film, had a significant role in writing the script as well.
Star Trek: Into Darkness comes out on DVD September 10, 2013.