Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Review

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Star Trek Into Darkness

Directed by JJ Abrams

Starring:
John Cho
Benedict Cumberbatch
Alice Eve
Bruce Greenwood
Simon Pegg
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Zoe Saldana
Karl Urban
Peter Weller
Anton Yelchin

Plot Synopsis:

After devastating attacks on Starfleet, the USS Enterprise is sent on a mission into enemy territory in order to find the man responsible for these terrorist acts.

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My Opinion:

I won’t go into how much I know about all things Star Trek – I already did that here when I reviewed Star Trek (2009), which I re-watched this past week, and The Motion Picture & The Wrath Of Khan, which I’ve just watched for the first time: Star Trek Reviews

Basically, I loved The Next Generation and then watched the original series after TNG & have just now started on the movies with the original cast. So, this review is from someone who likes Star Trek but is not exactly a Trekkie (or is it Trekker?).

I really enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness. I thought the 2009 movie was a decent enough intro to a new series of movies but it didn’t really blow me away. Plus, I fell asleep both times I tried to watch it all the way through. Well, I can say you’re not likely to fall asleep during Into Darkness. πŸ˜‰

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I enjoyed the main characters more in this one as they were able to just kind of “be themselves” as opposed to in the first movie where they had to spend time setting them up for those in the audience new to Star Trek. It also meant they were able to spend more time focusing on the story and the action in this one – and there’s A LOT of action. It was pretty non-stop from beginning to end. I liked the opening scene (even if it was maybe a bit silly). The bits set in London and in San Francisco looked great. The emotional bits felt more “real” in this one than in the 2009 one (perhaps as we’re more used to the main actors now). Alice Eve is sexy, especially in all the different uniforms. And Benedict Cumberbatch is an EXCELLENT villain. He’s by far the best thing about this one. The only slight downside is he’s so good that it shows off the weaknesses in all the other actors in the film.

I’m reading mixed reviews of this movie now and see that some die hard Trekkies (Trekkers?!) are hating it. That’s unfortunate – I thoroughly enjoyed this but now, after seeing the first two Star Trek films, I can see why they’d take issue with certain things. To those who don’t hold the original movies so dear, I think it’s a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the new films without overanalyzing them. To those who are pretty new to Star Trek, I can see them really liking the new films. Especially Into Darkness – I thought it was quite exciting (and much better than the first one).

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My initial reaction was that Into Darkness was “fantastic” and I called it the best Star Trek film yet. Well, I stand by what I said about it being fantastic. It’s probably not the “best” one, though. I haven’t watched First Contact since it first came out but I do remember how much I loved it at the time. And I don’t think Into Darkness would EVER top The Wrath Of Khan for any big fans of the original Star Treks. So I think Into Darkness is “one of” the best films of the entire series. But, okay, yeah… I think, for its time and what it will have meant to fans when they first watched it, The Wrath Of Khan is still the “best”. It just didn’t have the emotional impact for me watching it for the first time all these years later.

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Summary:

Star Trek Into Darkness is a thoroughly entertaining & action-packed film with a great villain played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the highlight of the film. It’s a worthy addition to the Star Trek universe and, in my opinion, one of the best in the entire series. However, after the adrenaline wore off and I thought about the film a little more the day after seeing it, I can see some of the faults. There are minor things (Like the way Alice Eve ends up in her underwear. Yes, she’s hot. But the scene was silly). But there are a few major things as well, which I unfortunately can’t discuss without major spoilers. All in all, this film had the chance to possibly end up (almost) as much of a classic as The Wrath Of Khan. But it doesn’t manage it. None of the Star Trek films, for me, manage the depth needed to make any of them truly stunning films. And now that I’ve thought about things a bit more – Yes, The Wrath Of Khan is the one that actually came the closest to achieving the greatness that, hopefully, we’ll someday get from a Star Trek film. Star Trek Into Darkness was great fun but they’re going to need to get much more bold with the next film if they wish to ever achieve true greatness.

My Rating: 8/10

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Okay okay – Here’s Alice Eve in her underwear:

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43 thoughts on “Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Review

  1. Nice review but couldn’t you find a larger pic of Alice Eve? πŸ˜‰

    Really looking forward to checking this one out this weekend. Off to read your Wrath of Kahn review.

    • Nah – a small pic is good enough. I’ll post large pictures of Chris Hemsworth when Thor comes out. πŸ˜‰ Hope you enjoy Into Darkness! Let us know what you think of it. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m glad you’re getting into the old Trek stuff! LOTS to enjoy there.

    I don’t agree that Cumberbatch out-acted everyone else, though. Chris Pine, in particular, impressed me. He played vulnerable better than I’ve seen in a while.

    You’re probably right that a lot of die-hard fans will take issue with a lot of this movie, but that’s just tough shit. I haven’t read any criticism from that perspective yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s just going to boil down to “They changed the story! You can’t do that!” Yes. Yes you can. This is a new Star Trek, so they can do whatever the hell they want. If you want less action, watch the old stuff. It’s still around.

    Wrath of Khan is probably the best TOS movie. 5 & 6 come close to it, and Generations & Insurrection are awesome TNG movies. But Into Darkness holds its own against them, even though it’s a different beast.

    • Yeah – I’ll definitely watch the rest of the movies. Eventually… πŸ™‚ I suppose Chris Pine was good in this. I don’t know – he just doesn’t quite do it for me. He’s fine, though. (But not as hot as his dad!) πŸ˜‰ 5 & 6 are good? I thought it was just the even ones! (Or whatever that rule is). Yes, the bad reviews are mostly from people who don’t like the story being messed with but that doesn’t bother me. I liked the “switch” as well.

  3. Nice review. Really looking forward to seeing how this one goes. I am not a Trekkie myself but was thoroughly entertained with what we got in ’09.

  4. I normally don’t read reviews before watching a movie but, well, rules were made to break them.

    Really good review, I’m sure the guys in this movie are girl’s pleaser and the fact this new franchise gets people talking about the Trek Universe again it’s great.

    I can’t barely wait to watch this one, I won’t be able to until Sunday, but is good to have some inside beforehand.

    Speaking for myself here when I say I think about the green girl from the first movie sometimes still.

    • Thanks. πŸ™‚ I try to not put spoilers in my reviews so that people can read them even if they haven’t seen the movie yet. I hope you enjoy it! Will be good to know what you think of it. I suppose most girls like Chris Pine but he’s not really my sort of thing. Prefer his “dad” from the last movie (Chris Hemsworth). πŸ˜‰

      • Your welcome , your reviews are great is just that I never liked to have any pre-disposed ideas for any movies is not about details from the movie is more like “I want to get to the theater influence free”.
        Anyways I watched last night, I was very impressed with it for me was way better that first one really good plot and visually attractive and alive.

        As far as the dudes in it, my friend is a diehard Cumberbitch and she was going crazy about it, hehehe. πŸ™‚

      • Glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚ Cumberbitch? Lol! Not heard that phrase. I like that. πŸ™‚ I think he’s GREAT in Into Darkness. Not seen him in anything else, though, so don’t really get the “attraction”. Guess I need to watch Sherlock.

  5. Man, you have some chatty followers! Wish I could get as much commentary. I think you and I align on this one pretty well. I’m a bit of a trekkie (grew up with original series and followed TNG), but no dress up for me, and I haven’t even seen every movies. But these new JJ Abrams versions. Sheesh, they are amazing, indeed.

    • I do have some awesome followers – I love the chatty ones. πŸ™‚ Although I think it’s mostly because I include pictures of hot actresses in my reviews – seems to bring the male readers to the blog! Lol. And Tim The Film Guy usually comes along just to tell me all my ratings are too low. πŸ˜‰ But mainly, on this one, it’s VERY rare that a movie comes out in the UK before America so it helps having a review up before all the Americans for a change! Yes, it sounds like we’re the same sort of level of “Star Trek fan” – I think we’re the sort of fan most able to enjoy the new ones as just a bit of fun. πŸ™‚

      • Too true on the Star Trek thing. To be an obsessive can be a detriment. I know what you mean about the “hot actress” picture draw. I see the traffic all the time bump up from the Google image search results.

      • Definitely – my post about shower scenes brings people to my blog every single day. Crazy! It’s definitely good to not be too obsessive about anything. I’m a little obsessive about Star Wars so VERY worried about the movies that will be made!

      • After these two Star Treks and Super 8 (strong affection for the childhood ’70s era), I’m not worried. Abrams has proven himself capable.

  6. I thought I came around when you posted this (I do try and hit all of your posts – i love your blog)… did you delete my comments or did I miss this somehow??

    I loved this movie!! Having been a (I shorten it to) Trek my whole life I can see why some people can dog the changing of the story (the death of Spock was a “moment” in my life) but I’m all for new and different if it’s AWESOME!!!! which this was!!

    Th only thing I didn’t like about this one… there’s a pivotal point in Wrath of Khan where Kirk does something – that has stuck with any fan from the old days for 30 years. The “re-imaging” of that moment felt contrived and unnecessary here – the only detractor of the movie to me and my Trek loving buddy.

    Great work here Mutant!

    • You again! Yes, my finger is always hovering over that delete button when I see you. Lol! No, you didn’t come back & comment on this before that I’m aware of and I was starting to feel very hurt & almost started to cry because I thought you were ignoring me. πŸ˜‰

      I’m glad you liked the movie so much. Yes, I believe I know specifically what you’re talking about (I try to not be too spoiler-y, even in comments). Yes, I can see that really pissing some fans off!

      I’m glad you like my boring blog! I still feel like a newbie. I love yours too! I actually have trouble getting to it sometimes & keep missing posts. When I get time I’m going to figure out this blogroll thingy so I can have an easily clickable list of my favorite blogs so I don’t miss anything. You’ll be at the top of the list! πŸ˜‰ (lol – Not really – it’ll be alphabetized to not hurt feelings! Because I was always picked last in gym class…) :-p

  7. Cumberbatch really is GREAT in this. I liked the first a little bit more, because I felt the magic more. But Cumberbatch as Harrison is inarguably better than Eric Bana’s Nero. He was so underwhelming! I’ve liked these Abrams Star Trek’s a lot; but it still doesn’t make me so eager to watch the TV shows or the earlier movies.

  8. great review.

    Just came out here last week and I saw it last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a worthy successor to the 2009 reboot and belongs in the ST universe.

    I was hoping for an entirely new plotline, but I actually liked the way they weaved the old and new together here.

    Harrison is a great adversary and is definitely up there with the best Trekkie villains available.

  9. Pingback: R2-D2 spotted in Star Trek Into Darkness | Cinema Parrot Disco

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