Star Trek Into Darkness

7.72 h 12 min2013X-RayPG-13
When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk, Spock and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will embark on the greatest manhunt in history.
J.J. Abrams
Science FictionFantasyAdventureAction
English [CC]
Audio languages

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J.J. AbramsBryan BurkJeffrey ChernovDavid EllisonDana GoldbergTommy GormleyTommy HarperAlex KurtzmanDamon LindelofRoberto Orci
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4.7 out of 5 stars

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Robert KarmaReviewed in the United States on May 19, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Alternate Universe Star Trek
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SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! You have been warned!!!

Others have detailed the plot specifics so I will go with my own perspective as a lifelong Star Trek fan who started watching TOS in syndicated rerun in the mid-70's. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is my favorite Star Trek movie by far and it is in my list of the Top 10 films of all-time. So I was a bit concerned when I read the rumors on the Internet that Cumberbatch was going to reprise this iconic Science Fiction role in Star Trek: Into Darkness. I felt that JJ & company needed to do something different since they had created an alternate timeline with the first movie. I think the writing team had given lots of thought of parallel universes and how certain points and people are fixed in time in all possible universes. The work they did on Fringe pushed them to do several seasons worth of story about an alternate universe. Peter was their fixed person in the Fringe universe who impacted both realities. The writers looked at Khan the same way. I had to think about the plot threads of terrorism, betrayal, security, revenge, optimism, family and trust that were weaved through Into Darkness after seeing it Wednesday night. I then read the novelization and the prequel graphic novel to gain a better perspective before I went and watched the movie again today.

The main themes hit by this story are many such as Kirk being too young, impetuous, inexperienced, undisciplined, egotistical, etc., to command a starship effectively; Spock still suffering emotionally from the traumatic loss of his home-world and his mother while trying to connect with his erratic, emotional, impulsive Captain; Starfleet Command reacting badly to the devastating terror attack by Nero against Vulcan and Starfleet in the previous film causing Starfleet Command to turn to extraordinary extra-legal actions to bring security to the Federation despite undermining the very freedoms and ethics espoused by the Federation (Section 31); Scotty being the one crew member (besides Spock) willing to take a moral stand with Kirk over crossing the line of legality and ethics while Kirk & Starfleet are preoccupied with revenge against Khan.

So to me this wasn't a rehash of Wrath of Khan because that story was about coming to terms with growing older and feeling that life had passed you by. Kirk's past comes back to haunt him and the Enterprise and Kirk finally had to face his own Kobyashi Maru test with Spock's sacrifice. Khan was motivated by his need for vengeance against Kirk over the loss of his wife and being left marooned on a doomed planet. This too was an issue from Khan's past he could not let go and it was his undoing. ST:ID is about surviving the viccitudes of youth and learning from your mistakes to mature into a better sentient being connected to your friends and society. Kirk had Pike to place his faith and trust in him even when Kirk had royally screwed up from the hubris of flagrantly violating the Prime Directive on Nibiru even as Kirk failed to recognize this error. It took Pike's death and the pursuit of Khan to bring Kirk to the realization that he had to change his worldview and behavior.

Spock was struggling with his inner demons over the loss of Vulcan and his mother. He also made a personal journey of self-discovery in ST:ID especially after Kirk sacrificed himself to save the ship. Spock is filled with rage and pursues Khan with a fury never seen before. He helps save his friend Jim Kirk and he can now acknowledge this friendship and let it evolve.

Starfleet Command reacted like the US did after 9/11. They undermined their own principles in the name of imagined security. Admiral Marcus had sent out ships looking for resources to help Starfleet defend the Federation and they found the Botany Bay. Admiral Marcus thought he could exploit Khan's genetically engineered superior intellect and his capacity for violence to give the clandestine Section 31 (think CIA/Homeland Security/Special Forces) an advantage in building a capacity to take on the biggest perceived threat to the Federation for Admiral Marcus... the Klingon Empire. Thus you get the top-secret special prototype photon torpedoes and the built for combat USS Vengeance along with who knows what else that didn't get mentioned. You get incidents manipulated to provoke a state of war with the Klingons. All justified in the name of security.

Scotty was just awesome in this story. He was a moral compass while getting in on the action with the sabotage of the USS Vengeance. He also got some more great comedic scenes and lines. I was a bit disappointed that Bones didn't get more involved in this story but since it involved more technological issues I can see why Scotty was used rather than McCoy. Bones still got in some great metaphors and scenes and you know he can deliver Gorn babies in a crisis situation. Sulu gets a taste of the command chair and Checkov gets to flex his savant genius abilities as Scotty's replacement (temporarily) as Chief Engineer. Uhura has some issues with Spock, talks up some Klingons, battles some Klingons & makes some tough long distance calls. Getting a young Carol Marcus was cool and they didn't force her to be romantically involved with Kirk, She gets to join the crew and maybe they will hook up in the next installment. The Big E gets a refit to repair her battle damage and the crew of the USS Enterprise embark on the start of what should be an eventful, glorious and historic Five-Year Mission to Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before.

So I give Into Darkness a 9.235 out of 10. My biggest issue was with how long it took to warp to Kronos and then back to Earth. Unless warp speed had improved by a factor of 100 over the old Star Trek this was a plot device that was just way out of step with the rest of the movie. So other than that I am cool with the rest of the film elements as they were explained by the prequel graphic novel and in the novelization book for the film. I look forward to Star Trek 3 to come out in May of 2016 to be a part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek!!!

**************DVD Release Addendum*************
I was really excited about the Blu-ray release of Into Darkness. I had read about the multitude of extras that JJ Abrams and his team shot for inclusion with the Blu-ray that would be exciting for the fans. Apparently the good folks in the marketing department at Paramount took a look at this treasure of bonus material and saw a way to extort the fans for even more profit. They struck deals to parcel out these bonus features to different retailers forcing fans to buy a plethora of copies to collect all of the bonus features. I didn't cancel my order because this isn't Amazon's fault and I do want the awesome phaser. I won't be buying these extra copies to line Paramount's pockets full of gold-pressed latinum. Actually, if Paramount had an ounce of integrity they would make a public apology for trying to screw over the fans of Star Trek who have made them profits that would make a Ferengi blush and offer a Blu-ray disc with the bonus material to make up for this error in judgement.

The website Digital Bits is where I was alerted to this shameful avarice. It stated the following: "Yes... the seven featurettes listed in the press release are basically everything you get on the disc, aside from the usual DVD copy, Digital Copy, UltraViolet copy, Xerox copy and what not. The featurettes amount to about 42 minutes of EPK-style behind the scenes material. There's no commentary, no deleted scenes, no trailers... which would be bad enough.


It turns out that more extras were created for this release - more featurettes and even an audio commentary with director J.J. Abrams and members of his crew. None of it is available on the wide release Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3D SKUs. The commentary can only be found as an iTunes "extra" download. And those extra featurettes? Some are on a Target bonus disc. Some are on a Best Buy bonus disc. And some are only available via CinemaNow and VUDU downloads. That's right: More than half of the special features created for Star Trek Into Darkness were used by Paramount's marketing team as retailer exclusives. It's a terrible way to treat your consumers, who are sometimes spending $30 or more for a Blu-ray, expecting to get a little genuine value for their money. And no, six different versions of the exact same movie isn't value. If you're a serious Blu-ray enthusiast - or for that matter a Star Trek fan of any kind - all you care about when you buy a Blu-ray is getting the movie in pristine quality with lots of extras. Though its A/V quality is exceptional, in all other respects the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray is an insult." (to see the entire column, visit www - thedigitalbits - com /columns/my-two-cents/082813_1415)
8 people found this helpful
MeatwadReviewed in the United States on June 8, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Wrath of John.
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Director: JJ Abrams.

Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.

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

Running Time: 132 minutes.

Rated: PG-13 for Intense Sequences of Sci-Fi Action and Violence.

There's something I really enjoy about JJ Abrams style of filmmaking. Yes, its flashy and fast and it may come off as a bit shallow, but there's something about it that gives off a spark that really gets me engaged. He can get establish a lot within the first 15 to 30 minutes of a movie, which would take most filmmakers quite a while to build up. Everything from the big action scenes, to the core characters and their motivations to what they do - He knows exactly what he's doing behind the camera.

A prime example of this would be when he did Super 8. Within a half hour, we know just about the entire cast, what the kids are doing in the movie, the big awesome train crash that was so publicized happens and it happens at full force and it never feels like its overstuffing its self.

Which brings us to his take on the much loved Star Trek franchise. These films of his really cause some weird reactions with people. They make nice amounts of money and get excellent reviews from critics, but if you went to a random forum on the cesspit that is the internet, you'd probably find the opposite reaction. Almost like as if Abrams and co. spat in the face of everyone's mother and other relatives.

Personally, I actually really liked - hell, maybe even loved - his reboot of the Trek franchise. Great visuals, excellent chemistry, fun dialogue, fast paced, awesome music - It did a lot of things right, even if the plot was a bit confusing, with the alternate universes, black holes and what not.

Something that puzzles the hell out of me is why did the sequel, Into Darkness, take so long? I know Abrams was busy with Super 8 but maybe he should have put that off (as much as I love that film) in favor of doing this. It probably would be doing better business at the box office and critics than it is doing now.

Now, in the event you are wondering if I'm attacking the film or am going to spew out negative thoughts on the film, let's get this out of the way:

I'm not.

While Into Darkness certainly has its problems, and we'll get to those latter, its a worthy sequel to the original and one of the most entertaining things I've seen this year. It still has all the elements I loved from the original with a few new things thrown in.

Set a few years after the original, the Federation has come under attack from a terrorist by the name of John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former Starfleet officer out for revenge after he felt that Star command screwed him over in the worst ways possible. The crew of the Enterprise, led of course by Kirk n' Spock (Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, respectively), are sent in to take him down by orders of one Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller). But while the plot may seem simple, things are not as they seem.

I feel the need to get the bad stuff out of the way first, like in the same way a bratty child is forced to eat his vegetables before he can get to the good stuff. One of my main complaints of the film is that I feel it goes on for far too long. While Abrams's previous films have sported great pacing, Into Darkness kind of mess up a bit. There's filler in the movie that could have been seriously cut out and it would have been all the better for it, like bits where good ol Scotty (Simon Pegg) gets drunk off his ass or the bar scene between Kirk and Commander Pike (Bruce Greenwood and yes, I know its done to show their Father-Son-like relationship but it came off as forced).

Another thing that film does that bothers me is that it suffers from being unpredictable to predictable. There's some twists that caught me off guard but there's some stuff that can be seen a mile away. I think it may have to do with the fact that it had 3 screenwriters doing it, the first two being the scribes from the previous film Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman while the third scribe was divisive Prometheus and Lost writer Damon Lindelof. I always get this weird feeling like whenever Mr. Linelof is involved, the product always ends up spawning weird reactions with people. Eh, moving on.

As for the good stuff for the film, a lot of the things that made the first film great are still here. The visual effects and set design are better than ever, ranging from seeing things like an incredible fight in hyper-space in which we see all sorts of people flying out of the hull as things explode left and right, to the now famous scene in the trailers and advertisements where we see a Starfleet cruiser crash into a sprawling metropolis. Michael Giacchino's score is still nothing short of incredible, bringing out some true excitement and wonderment to the universe and some of the music is bound to get stuck in your head after its all over.

The performances across the board are quite good as well. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto continue to show they have their characters down pat and never ceases to stop being amusing from watching them be bros one moment to bickering about the rules and personal approaches to how the current mission on hand should be accomplished. Or how Karl Urban, who will always be Judge Dredd in my mind from now on thanks to to the excellent 2012 adaptation, continues to be the best replacement for Bones McCoy, with his quips and grumpy attitude.

While some have had problems with the character of Dr. Carol Marcus, a doctor who pops up on the Enterprise under a different name (Don't worry: No spoilers), and her actress Alice Eve, I never really had a problem with her. I thought she did well with the material that was given to her, especially her scenes between her and Bones.

But special mention must go to Benedict Cumberbatch as Harrison. Charismatic, intimidating, fierce and methodical are just the few words to describe his villain. One moment, you can go from being fascinated and even wanting to see him defeated, to feeling incredibly sorry for the guy. Quite a performance here. He's a true threat and makes the villain of the previous film, Nero (Eric Bana), look like a chump. No disrespect to Mr. Bana, who played a very fun and dangerous villain, but you look like old stuff compared to Cumberbatch. Kinda funny how the guy who has a ship with the ability to create black holes looks less threatening than one man with superpowers.

One might ask me: "Is Into Darkness better than the original?" I cannot say no, as due to the problems I've mentioned here that were not or at least weren't as big in the 2009 reboot. Star Trek 2009 was incredibly fresh at the time and sadly, with this, some, if only a little of the polish has come off. But that's only minor. Both films are pretty much on the same plane, with Darkness coming up just a tad short.

Into Darkness is bound to piss people off, as with most "sacred" works in nerdom, like whatever Joss Whedon pumps out or live action adaptations of Anime (which always almost suck). But even with the problems that the film has, there's still a lot to like here. If you can get past the pacing issues and the predictability of the film, you're in for one fun summer movie.

Now that all that is said and done, two questions remain: How will Abrams take on Star Wars turn out and what will Paramount do with the next film in the Trek franchise? I've got high hopes for his take on SW, but I'm not sure what to think the next Trek film will turn out. I just hope they get someone who's just as confident and energetic as Abrams is.
6 people found this helpful
Thomas W BairdReviewed in the United States on September 8, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Star Trek Into Darkness
Verified purchase
I rate this movie a 4 star because fist thing I didn't like the beginning with them Kirk and McCoy running thru the woods of some strange planet and being chased by some tribal persons. Very odd way to start a any movie especially a Star Trek Movie, The second reason I rate it a 4 star. Spock breaking the prime directive by trying to save the tribal people of the strange planet that was having a volcano irruption that was going to destroy those tribal people. Spock prevented them from being destroyed by stopping the volcano irruption. And risking his life and others in the process. That is interfering with their history. It is a good deed to do but against the prime directive. Spock was not even punished but Kirk was because he saved Spock's life and lied on his report. The third thing is Captain Spike did not need to be killed by having Pike killed in this movie it went against the Star Trek time line. Pike was not to be killed he could of been injured and Kirk then got his command back with Pike surviving the attack and sent to medical and recovered in recovery room, but Pike was not to be killed. By doing so they took Pike out of ever being in any future movies in their time line. And by writing the story line in this movie in this way made the seem out of whack. Like a alternate star trek reality. Also Spock is no super man and no match against Khan. It seems they are not following the Star Trek time line in these Star Trek movies. Other than those issues I found with it in the writing of it I would of rated it a 5 star.
ArnoldReviewed in the United States on May 21, 2013
2.0 out of 5 stars
strong visuals, spotty plot
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UPDATE (9/15/13): As others have noted, this version of the blu-ray does NOT contain all of the special features. In a move of sheer inanity, Paramount has distributed the special features to different retailers. Do your homework to find out which features you'll get from which vendor. I took off an additional star in protest of this sleazy marketing practice.


I might be the only person on Earth who liked this movie more than I liked Abrams' Star Trek 2009. Unfortunately, that's partly because I disliked the 2009 Star Trek. But Into Darkness does have stunning visuals, some fun moments, and a much more compelling villain. It seems overall that viewers who don't know much about Star Trek seem to enjoy this movie and Abrams' larger take on Trek, whereas many viewers who do know Trek despise this movie. I'm more of the latter category (I've watched Trek since 1994), and while I don't *hate* Abrams' versions there are serious problems. Here are my thoughts.

SPOILER WARNING: I've included spoilers in my review. I found out about some key moments in the film before having seen it. I think in retrospect it was a good thing. There are some moments in the movie that can be maddening for Trek fans and having them spoiled actually allowed me to get my frustration out of my system before seeing the movie. I think I enjoyed the movie more having been spoiled. IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS, DON"T READ THIS REVIEW.


I love the beginning of this movie. Basically, Kirk violates the Prime Directive to save Spock. However, Spock reports him and Kirk gets demoted. The story connects to classic Trek and it gives the characters more emotional weight.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn't really continue with this intro. The rest of the movie follows rogue Starfleet officer John Harrison, who engages in several acts of terrorism against Starfleet. This part of the movie becomes a bit convoluted. Basically, the entire plot is an attempt by Starfleet Admiral Marcus to frighten Starfleet and to start a war with the Klingons, but what a convoluted way of going about it. When Harrison flees to the Klingon homeworld, Marcus sends the Enterprise to Kronos (yes, it's misspelt in the movie) to kill him. This part of the movie is fun, but a bit short on logic. Apparently, nobody thought to make diplomatic overtures to the Klingons to request that they return Harrison. Given that Harrison seems not to get along with the Klingons, it's hard to imagine they'd keep him.

I wish the movie had explored the consequences of Kirk's violating the Prime Directive and show Kirk actually struggle to get his command back. However, he's back in the captain's chair within a few minutes. This is fine. It gives the initial scenes a bit less emotional weight, but the second third of the movie is still fun. Where the movie really weakens though is the final third. It basically becomes a rehash of The Wrath of Khan. Things happen way too quickly, without any space to breath and let the emotional impact of events sink in.

There are a bunch of stupid plot twists that drove me nuts. Why on Earth was the Enterprise underwater in the beginning of the movie? I'm sure it was because Abrams thought it would look cool, but it makes no sense. Why would Admiral Marcus tell Kirk to fire torpedoes with Khans crew at Kronos? Why not just regular torpedoes? Sure, you could come up with contrived explanations, but like the 2009 movie this movie stretches logic.


Given that I claim the final third of the movie borrows heavily from The Wrath of Khan, it's worth mentioning that John Harrison is Khan. Yes, despite all denials to the contrary, he is Khan. This is both good and bad. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the few actors who can bring enough menace and charisma to the character to make a believable Khan. However, in this movie Khan's motives are pretty mundane. He just wants to get his 72 crew members back. Khan here has no ambitions to rule the galaxy, no epic quest for revenge. In fact, in one scene, Khan actually tears up when talking about his crew.

In short, while there was potential, Khan in this movie just never rises to the level of epic villain. The only reason anybody would care about Khan is because of the legacy of The Wrath of Khan. For much of the movie, Abrams could have substituted almost any other name for John Harrison without changing the villain's role. In fact, by making the villain Khan, I think it forced viewers who had seen Star Trek II to drew too many comparisons with Khan from that movie. It might have been better to just have had a fresh villain, perhaps a human or alien terrorist.


As with the 2009 Star Trek, I'm impressed with how well the new batch of actors mimic their counterparts from the Original Series. That said, Into Darkness is even less about the ensemble and more about the Kirk and Spock bromance. There are two problems here. First, one of the key relationship dynamics in the Original Series was the three-way dialogue between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Spock represented logic, McCoy represented emotion, and Kirk was the balance. However, in the Abrams movies McCoy has been relegated to a background character and to compensate has taken Kirk to an emotional extreme. I think there's a real opportunity missed for a band of brothers relationship between the three men.

Second, Spock is just too emotional. I don't mean that Vulcans never have emotions. However, in the Abrams movies, especially Into Darkness, Spock's default is emotional. This becomes particularly bad near the end, when Spock becomes enraged, yells "KHAAAAAN!", and goes off to chase Khan. The problem is that we never see Zachary Quinto's Spock as the cool, collected, logical Vulcan we see from the TV series and original movies. It's fine to show Spock's emotional side sometimes, but making him too emotional minimizes those moments.


This is really where the movie shines. Abrams really knows how to paint a pretty picture. The intro sequence with the red planet and the white aliens with yellow robes was wonderful. The battle scenes are intense and when the Enterprise takes damage it really appears pretty damaged. Despite my other complaints, I do wish other Star Trek movies looked this good.

That said, the movie just doesn't slow down. There's no room for viewers to breath and absorb the emotional impact of events. Nicholas Meyer, director of Star Trek II & VI, says it's important to make some scenes special and some scenes mundane. However, in Abrams' movies, all of the scenes are so bold and busy that viewers really don't get a sense of which, if any scenes, are special (perhaps except radiation chamber scene). It's like a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs but to straightaways.


As I said above the final third of the movie was the biggest disappointment. There's a situation where Spock grieves for Kirk. It's pretty much a direct rip on Wrath of Khan. I'm fine with a subtle homage. But what really frustrated me was that the end sequence is just a big fistfight between Khan and Spock. The scene lacks any tension and moreover takes place on a moving transport shuttle on Earth in broad daylight. While I think Abrams usually gets the visuals right, here the visuals were not only silly but also didn't provide a climax for the final battle. There was no battle of wits, just a pedestrian brawl.

One reviewer (I think the Transporter Room 3 podcast) said it best: at this point, the characters haven't earned this ending. We've only had one movie before this one with Kirk and Spock. It's not clear how that emotional became so deep. It just doesn't work when viewers know that Kirk will be resurrected. I think the ending could have been just as effective if Uhura had died, and made more sense.


Overall I give Into Darkness 3.5 stars. It's better than the 2009 Star Trek in my opinion, but Abrams still doesn't seem to understand Star Trek. This is all popcorn movie with little intellectual or emotional heft. More importantly, Abrams seems a bit too willing to make large leaps in logic and to fall back on action sequences rather than develop the plot. I'd still recommend seeing it. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the movie and I'll buy the blu-ray. It just lacks the thoughtfulness of Star Treks II and VI, and that's a shame. If Abrams does make another sequel, I'd recommend he watch Star Trek II and VI, but not just to copy the plot twists, but also the thoughtfulness in those films.
130 people found this helpful
Mike S.Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Verified purchase
Into Darkness does a great job balancing being a sequel to the first movie, which told its own story and did not really borrow any elements from the original Star Trek Motion Picture, and taking some elements from the more iconic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. Of course, as most know by now, this movie did use Kahn (played wonderfully by Benedict Cumberbatch), who is probably the most prolific villain from the original series and its movies. Initially, the film does try to hide his identity as John Harrison, whom we are just to think is a terrorist trying to bring down Starfleet command. The movie is mostly a chase of Kahn by the crew of The Enterprise. As I said, it does borrow from the original Star Trek II movie but does some things with a twist. Some people hated the twists but I personally think was very well done. I definitely think it would have been a mistake to make a movie that was a carbon copy of The Wrath of Kahn since this is meant to be in an alternate timeline where things do not happen as they did in the original series. Like the first movie, this one has a great blend of action, comedy (it has an especially great red shirt joke), and drama. The acting by all is wonderful, and it is well worth watching.

The A/V quality of the Blu-Ray is top-notch, but the extras are pretty light. If you have upgraded to the 4k disc you get more extras, but the original Blu-Ray release only had seven featurettes that added up to less than an hour's worth of material. So, if you really like bonus features you probably want to do the double dip to upgrade.
3 people found this helpful
Kim M. BrantleyReviewed in the United States on December 22, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Loved the film, but...
Verified purchase
Star Trek Into Darkness is a very exciting revamp of the Star Trek films, and a worthy sequel to the 2009 Star Trek. Great pains were taken to match the current actors' likenesses to the previous actors' likenesses -- with the exception of Khan, of course, but more about that in a moment.

What I loved about the film is the finely tuned character web. All of the characters of the Star Trek series are well known, which leaves the dilemma of how to successfully give each of them enough onscreen time to develop their characters. In Into Darkness, all of the crew members' roles were not only essential but virtually interchangeable. They moved from task to task, position to position seamlessly, setting up the theme that the crew members are as family.

I felt that the way the women were portrayed in the film could have been worked on a lot more. Uhura and Carol had their share of onscreen time, but they did not really cause much action to occur. I was also disappointed, still, by the heiny-hugging mini dresses and the gratuitous bra-n'-panty flashes that are a rote part of today's action films. I mean, this is set in the 24th century. Get with it!

I also loved the big sets and fast-paced action scenes. As a woman, I sometimes feel uninspired with respect to how the concept of war is approached in film. Into Darkness however left me chewing my fingernails to the stubs, particularly during the confrontation between Kirk and his unconscious "id", Admiral Marcus. Marcus was the top-tier villain over Kahn, having been constructed out of Kirk's very conscious need for domination and control.

Which brings me to what I felt was one of the more glaring flaws in this film. I felt that Kirk was a product of what I'll refer to as "Life in the Bubble." He only sees things his way and mostly expects everyone else to see things his way as well. Kirk seems to barrel forward fueled by his own impetus and self-interest -- clearly not qualities befitting a Star Fleet captain. This makes it difficult to identify with Kirk. He is getting away with murder... and being rewarded for it. The only redeeming element is when Kirk's senior officer, Admiral Pike, chews him out over lying to his superiors and delivers the bad news that command of the Enterprise has been taken away from him.

I felt it difficult to feel a sense of loss over Kirk, even in light of the sacrifice he made for his crew, largely because in the film he is dictating that loss to the audience by delivering his own eulogy -- a task that should have been left to Mr. Spock, who was actually experiencing the loss of his friend.

There is another disturbing theme in this film, that of the de-evolution of mankind being viewed as the future of mankind. This theme is set up in the 2009 Star Trek when Vulcan -- a planet of inhabitants who believe they have evolved beyond the outward emotional trappings of, say, Earthlings -- is destroyed. Why would the writers/directors of this long-running series go to such lengths to design as unique a character as Mr. Spock only to sacrifice him to the Cro-Magnon mentality of today's action flicks? Why must he, too, become a fist-pounding brute in order to justify the paradigm of savagery and war outlined by the Enterprise's prisoner, Khan?

Which brings me to Khan. For all of those who chose to focus on the ethnicity of the actor who portrayed Khan, you'll probably want to leave now. I too was left momentarily confused at the depiction of a light-complected, blue-eyed, supposedly Asian man in the role of Khan, but the actor's portrayal of the villain rose above all of the other characters in the film -- and above all of the negative banter.
Khan's initial actions seem heartless and blood thirsty... until he has the opportunity to speak. This Khan embodied the often imposed-upon identity of being the "other man," the one who is "not one of us," the one who "doesn't belong."

Khan, from his recitation, is awoken from a three-hundred-year cryogenic sleep at the command of Admiral Marcus -- the most senior officer of all of Star Fleet. The rest of Khan's crew mates languish in stasis. Khan reveals that he is of a race of genetically-engineered beings purposed with restoring peace at a time of war. Khan is enrolled by Admiral Marcus in the belief that all civilized life is under threat of extermination by "the enemy," the Klingons, and that if he does not assist him in building warships and weapons, he and his crew will perish as well.

As Khan realizes that Admiral Marcus' intentions are focused more upon his own self-aggrandizement and less on the protection of the universe, he attempts to defect. Admiral Marcus threatens the lives of Khan's crew, and Khan is forced to secrete his few remaining crew mates' cryogenic containers within the fuselage compartments of the long-range torpedoes he helped design.

This revelation of events and the subsequent act of desperation is delivered with such emotional depth that it nearly becomes impossible to realign the audience with concern over the plight of the Enterprise and its crew. Even a cameo by the original Spock, the venerable Leonard Nimoy, cannot help. The antagonist arguably becomes the hero, in light of the avalanche of disreputable deeds committed by the Star Fleet envoy, and the audience is left wanting to see more of this character.

Even Khan's final act of vengeance, where he instructs the disabled dreadnought Vengeance to crash land on Star Fleet headquarters, thereby killing as many of the little devils as possible, evoked a round of sinister giggles from me, as Kirk, and Star Fleet's, integrity (through Admiral Marcus), was damaged at that point beyond repair.

Although the final battle scene between Khan and Spock is extremely exciting, as well as relevant in ending the threat imposed by Khan, and although by and large the performance by all of the characters in the film is superb, I just felt little sense of triumph, let alone closure.

At the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, Kirk, after having been revived from the dead via a transfusion of Khan's stolen "super" blood, delivers the final epilog, making the story appear to be all neatly tied up at the end. But not quite. Not quite.
One person found this helpful
James WilmothReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Overall nice watch
Verified purchase
Unbelievable at points for sure, but absent the extensive "soap opera in space" experience which turned me off the TV series long ago and every visit since. This was just a decent sci-fi with good CGI and acting. I enjoyed it!
J. StewartReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A worthy episode stemming from the Original Series
Verified purchase
I grew up watching every episode of TOS. Ricardo Montalbán was perfect as Khan and this episode does justice as an alternative universe episode. Action packed, dramatic and tear jerking. Well done
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