“You think your world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you.”
For roughly $185,000,000 you really expect a film to look as impressive as Star Trek Into Darkness does, but with JJ Abrams behind the wheel and completing yet more of his already impressive looking Star Wars show-reel with classy looking space chases and explosions, lens flare around every corner of the bridge of The Enterprise and intense sci-fi lingo being thrown around like it’s normal chit chat I think it is very fair to say everyone on board for this sci-fi epic in the rebooted francise was ready to make it as good a film the genre has seen in the last few years.
Since Star Trek was rebooted in 2009 by Abrams the francise has gained a big new fan-base of Trekkies and the task was always to gain the respect of existing hard-core fans as well as being forgiving to new fans of all ages and explaining the background the classic villains, characters and aliens without boring those already knowing of them. I was never a huge fan of Star Trek the TV Series or older films because I was more of a Star Wars fan, a series far more accessible to children and adults alike unlike the older and far more complex Star Trek francise that seemed to go on forever, so where I know the basics, I know the Klingons and Khan, I won’t know the real cult characters that reflect characters such as Boba Fett in the Star Wars francise. However, Into Darkness makes it extremely easy to connect and understand with the characters rebooted in this series.
This said, Into Darkness does take a little bit to get into in some respects, it may well be glorious to look at and a real spectacle from the off but you can’t help but feel so much of the build up and anticipation in connection to this film was based around the inclusion of Benedict Cumberbatch to the cast, the trailers see his mysterious ‘John Harrison’ character taunting the heroes of The Enterprise and seeming like he could be a real nasty piece of work in the film and because of this the first 20-30 minutes feel like they just go on and on because you end up wanting more and more of John Harrison.
I think a lot of people will agree with me when I say Cumberbatch carries this film and is not only evil, but cool and creepy. However, his true identity in the film was possibly the worst kept secret in Hollywood as he finally comes out to the crew and audience as actually being Khan, feared enemy of Kirk in the series. I don’t think we got to see the real power of Khan in Into Darkness though and the intervals (in the majority) between him being on screen felt a little slow.
My major problem is the end of this film. In Sci-Fi these days you kind of expect everything that’s happened in the film to come together and conclude in some sort of epic fight, Into Darkness however takes a little bit of a lacklustre approach and where the chase through a futuristic city looks and feels surprisingly real the actual action of the concluding scenes doesn’t seem to really hit home seeing how big an enemy Khan is built up to be.
My favourite part of the film however was (SPOILER ALERT) Cpt. Kirk meeting a rather gruesome death while saving his crew, this motion was really hit home when Spock came to his dying side in a scene that almost drew tears for a character I’ve never really liked how I should, mostly because of Chris Pine’s wooden emotionless face. They ruined this touching movement and progress in the story by bringing Mr. Dull back from the dead in the rushed ending.
Looking to the future I do wonder where the francise is going to go, realistically I imagine it will get another run out to complete a trilogy of sorts under the wing of JJ Abrams, however this surely won’t come for some time yet, I mean we waited 4 years for Into Darkness and with JJ’s appointment at the helm of the new Star Wars films starting filming next year I can’t see another Star Trek film coming for at least another 4 years, I wouldn’t be surprised however if we didn’t get a conclusion to the trilogy for a good 6 years where we could revisit the crew up against a Klingon war (despite the end suggesting the francise going back to a more exploration based story). Whatever we get, if we do get another of course, I’m sure if JJ is involved in the directors chair it will be a more than solid Sci-Fi outing.
Star Trek Into Darkness may not be the amazing film I really wanted it to be but it did progress on the first outing and did take a darker turn with the involvement of Cumberbatch as Khan and Alice Eve as the alluring Carol Marcus. Defiantly worth a watch as the impact the cinema offers for a film like this makes it even better to watch. Go see it. Not for Pine’s emotionless expressions but for Quinto’s endearing Spock, Cumberbatch’s cunning and evil Khan and Alice Eve in only her underwear… In 3D!