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Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness PosterStar Trek Into Darkness – A Paramount Pictures’ Release

Release Date: May 17th, 2013

Rated PG for violence and language

Running time: 132 minutes

J.J. Abrams (dir.)

Roberto Orci (writer)

Alex Kurtzman (writer)

Damon Lindelof (writer)

Michael Giacchino (music)

Chris Pine as Kirk

Zachary Quinto as Spock

Zoe Saldana as Uhura

Karl Urban as Bones

Simon Pegg as Scotty

John Cho as Sulu

Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison

Anton Yelchin as Chekov

Bruce Greenwood as Pike

Peter Weller as Marcus

Alice Eve as Carol

Deep Roy as Keenser

Star Trek Into Darkness

©Paramount Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Our reviews below:


Star Trek Into Darkness Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Back in 2009, J.J. Abrams revamped the Star Trek franchise and delivered a stunning blockbuster that felt like an absolute breath of fresh air.  Four years later, the director has returned with Star Trek Into Darkness, a sequel that doesn’t disappoint and delivers multiple surprises.

The film opens on the planet Nibiru, as Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is struggling to stop a volcano from erupting from within.  When Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) makes a gut decision to save him, he ends up losing his spot as the head of the Enterprise, and has to prove himself to get back his job.  But then a Starfleet base in London is attacked by the mysterious John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), and it’s up to the crew of the Enterprise to bring the menacing terrorist to justice.  The ship’s crew, including returning characters Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Dr. “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin), is the only family that Captain Kirk has left and he is determined to keep them safe.

Chris Pine delivers a genuine movie star performance, adding layers of depth to the well established character of Captain Kirk.  Zachary Quinto is excellent in his supporting role as Spock, providing ample moments of humour, while also bringing a surprising layer of human emotion to the film as he struggles to control his feelings.  Benedict Cumberbatch makes for a menacing villain with a surprising identity, adding a feeling of genuine threat to the film.  The rest of the cast is equally strong, and they all have great chemistry together.  Alice Eve is a newcomer to the group as a young weapons expert, and she fills out her role quite nicely, sure to be a highlight for many fans.

The technical elements are equally top notch this time around, with multiple action sequences that are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, all backed up by another excellent musical score by Michael Giacchino.  Just like the brilliant franchise reboot back in 2009, Star Trek Into Darkness is an effortlessly cool summer blockbuster, that is carried by excellent performances and actually manages to surprise us with multiple twists in the expertly written plot.  This is a popcorn movie in every sense of the word, and it delivers awesome entertainment.


Star Trek Into Darkness Review by Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

I won’t say much – at least nothing that will drastically spoil the plot.  Granted if you want to go in totally blind, perhaps bookmark this page and come back later.  Basically, Star Trek Into Darkness is a continuation of the 2009 Star Trek.  After getting into some trouble in the opening scene that leaves tensions with Star Fleet, Kirk (Chris Pine) is slightly annoyed at Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) insistence for following the rules.  But things soon have to be pushed back aside as a new threat arises in the form of the mysterious John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who seems to have a vendetta against Star Fleet, leading the Enterprise to attempt to pursue and capture him without starting a war.

I personally like the style of these two recent films directed by J. J. Abrams.  Clearly, they are not going to please everyone as things rarely do.  But I enjoy watching this cast expand on the characters they first honed in 2009, and have fun doing so.  Star Trek Into Darkness has a good mix of humour and tension, which worked for me.  The visual effects are spectacular even in 2D (although you could see where the use of 3D would be cool in some scenes), and the editing and camera work is good as well with a similar style to the ’09 film.  Top this off with another Michael Giacchino score and the film is worth the price of admission in my book.

The development of Kirk and Spock in this time line of Star Trek is quite interesting, and their interactions was one of the things I really liked here.  From the opening scene and throughout, they set up very clearly how they each approach problems very differently (causing tension), but perhaps inadvertently pick up each other’s methods as well.  By the end of the film, they quite obviously (and this reversal will be clear to fans) have to learn how to think and do like each other in order to get what needs to be done.

A line from another Nimoy cameo reiterates the fact that we are in a parallel universe and it’s something to be remembered.  So pretty much what happens to this Kirk and Spock – versus what happened in old Spock’s reality – can be different and still preserve the integrity of the original series and films.  When Nero came in the first film everything changed and their paths will always be altered for it, only logically deviating even more so down the road.


Star Trek Into Darkness Review by Nicole

**** (out of 4)

J.J. Abrams has created yet another exciting Star Trek adventure.  Keeping with the same alternate timeline as his original 2009 film, this film focuses on the developing friendship between Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto).  We really start to see how Spock’s rigid, literal thinking can be both a blessing and a problem in the introduction.  Spock and Kirk save a planet from a volcanic eruption, but Spock is reluctant about being rescued because it would break the rule of not allowing primitive alien peoples to see advanced human technology.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, a new villain has emerged.  John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) is his name, and he is all about stirring up trouble.  When Spock’s logic and morals stops Kirk from simply killing Harrison, who has escaped to the hostile Klingon world of Kronos, he is brought back alive.  It turns out Harrison is not who people think he is.

I won’t reveal too much of the plot, but I will say how much I loved this film.  The interaction between characters is quite entertaining, keeping with the balance of seriousness and fun that the original series had.  And anyone familiar with people like Spock will find humour in a lot of his logisms.

The special effects are fun, without taking away from the very human element of this film.  All of the Enterprise crew is likeable, and each character is developed even further from the previous movie.  But the character who shows the greatest development is Spock.  Since he doesn’t usually show emotions in a conventional human way, people often assume he lacks empathy and compassion, a misconception that clearly hurts him deeply.

Star Trek Into Darkness is an exciting journey.  The score by Michael Giacchino tops it off nicely, adding to the excitement of the film.  With its messages of acceptance, the resistance of war, and the need to avoid revenge, Star Trek Into Darkness is one fun movie that is worth checking out.


Star Trek Into Darkness Review by Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Star Trek Into Darkness has all the old school Star Trek fun of the original TV series.  Right from the opening scenes with Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) trying to run from primitive aliens and a spewing volcano, concluding with Spock (Zachary Quinto) risking his Vulcan life by jumping into the volcano, you just know this is going to be a non-stop exciting adventure.

Meanwhile, on 23rd century Earth, a top Starfleet member, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) plots and carries out a deadly explosion at their London archive location.  With or without Starfleet’s official approval, Capt. Kirk embarks on a mission to bring Harrison to justice.  A Captain isn’t much without his crew, so with the help of the Enterprise crew, Kirk and his starship are back in business.

It’s wonderful seeing all the regular characters on screen again.  Engineer Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Dr. McCoy all have some wonderful moments in this movie.  Then there’s Spock, Capt. Kirk’s right hand man/Vulcan.  The dialogue and bond between theses two characters is expanded in Star Trek Into Darkness and provides some of the funniest and most touching scenes.  Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto both shine in this latest Star Trek adventure.  However, the spotlight shines on super villain John Harrison, as Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant here.  Let’s hope he’s around for a sequel.

The special effects and action sequences are exciting and dazzling.  This is the stuff that summer blockbusters are made of.  While 3D is fun, this film works just as well in 2D.  Along with the exciting action, what I really enjoyed was the sense of fun coming from the performances.  As always, I also enjoyed listening to Michael Giacchino’s amazing score.  I’m looking forward to watching Star Trek Into Darkness again on disc and can’t wait for the next instalment in theatres.  This is worth a visit to your local theatre.


Star Trek Into Darkness Review by Tony

**** (out of 4)

Star Trek Into Darkness is the first sequel in the rebooted franchise directed by J.J. Abrams. The core cast led by Chris Pine as Kirk is back, all excellent counterparts for their predecessors from the original series started over 45 years ago.

The opening ten minutes before credits finds the Enterprise on a primitive planet where Kirk’s disobedience of the Prime Directive to save a life results in a demotion. However, after an attack on a London Starfleet base followed by an attack in San Francisco by one of its chief officers named Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) sends Kirk on a mission to the Klingon home world where Harrison is hiding out.

I won’t spoil the rest for those who intend to see the film. The first reboot was excellent but its timewarp plot was difficult for many of us to follow. It did however free up the series for new possibilities and the present film is more than a worthy successor. There are some nice twists in the story that leave us guessing almost to the end and lots of fun references to the original series for the fans. Production is excellent as expected with the cast and crew all well settled in their roles, backed up once again by a fine Michael Giacchino score.


Consensus: Expertly directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness is an incredibly entertaining summer blockbuster that serves as a worthy follow up to the 2009 film, delivering excellent performances and exciting action sequences.  ***3/4 (Out of 4)

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