Saturday, May 18, 2013

Movie Review - Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness hit theatres this week and I went to see it this morning. It was definitely a good movie with many positives, but it had one flaw that I seem to be seeing in a lot of movies these days: a lack of novelty.

Into Darkness brings back all of the cast from the 2009 Star Trek movie and introduces a few new people (notably Benedict Cumberbatch). This movie, like the previous one, was directed by J.J. Abrams who did a great job on this film. I recently wrote an article about movie directors that outlines what the roles of the director are. Abrams fulfilled all of those roles and more with this movie. The acting is top notch, the storyline progresses well and the cinematography is just great overall.

There are many things in the film that a Star Trek fan, such as myself, will love. For instance, humour from the previous movie is present in this film as well. There are even a few things (which I won't spoil) that hearken back to older Star Trek films like the Wrath of Khan. Of course the idea of the Prime Directive comes up during the beginning of the movie in a scene that makes several references to pop culture stuff like Ancient Aliens and Nibiru. All of these things liven up the movie and make it enjoyable for fans of the Star Trek lore.

The film has a lot of action sequences in it and a lot of CGI effects. This is becoming ever more common nowadays, especially for summer blockbuster movies like this one. In my opinion, this is both a gift and a curse. It's a gift because many, myself included, love to watch a good action flick with explosions and computer generated monsters. However, it's a curse as well because I've seen this so many times before. Movies like this one seem to be occurring with great frequency and, as such, they have the same feel as so many other films out there. 

For example, I saw Iron Man 3 the other week and it was very similar to this movie. I know that the stories are completely different, but a lot of the other stuff (action sequences, epic music, CGI etc) is very much the same. Another movie, Oblivion, came out recently. Though I haven't seen it, I've seen a trailer for it and it looks like another one of these sci-fi action films that has the same repetitive stuff in it. Perhaps I'm being too harsh or maybe I've seen too many movies of this genre in too short a time period. All I'm saying is that I'm getting a bit tired of seeing the same stuff over and over again.

With that being said, that's about the only bad thing about this movie. The special effects and music, though similar to other movies, are top notch in Into Darkness. One other thing that I should point out is Benedict Cumberbatch's character. I won't say too much about him, but he's definitely a big reason why this movie is so great. Cumberbatch (and Abrams) did an excellent job of creating a suspenseful and dark atmosphere for the viewer by shrouding the character in mystery early on. This feeling carries on throughout the film as the story progresses and as you get to know the character more.

Conclusively, Star Trek Into Darkness was a great film. It had everything a person could want from a summer blockbuster movie. However, this proves to be both a blessing and a curse as there are so many similar movies out there these days that share a lot of the same characteristics.

My overall rating for the movie is 7/10.

What did you guys think of the new Star Trek film? Feel free to comment below.

UPDATE: After watching Pacific Rim and thinking about it some more, I've decided to give a rating of 8/10 to Star Trek. The main reason for this is that I gave Pacific Rim an 8/10 and Into Darkness was just as good as (perhaps slightly better than) that film so it only makes sense to give it a rating of 8/10. I'm leaving the 7/10 rating above as it is (rather than changing it) just so that this update makes sense to people.


  1. Good review. I was hot on the hype machine for this movie, which might be part of why I enjoyed it so much. It's one of those movies that you can pick apart to every little nook and cranny, but I refuse to simply because it's so entertaining (or enthralling, in my case). I think the reason many people enjoyed the first one more is because, at the time, it was literally a refresher for Star Trek, while this one is less that and more a continuation of that style. But my mentality is that it's not whether a film is new, it's how well it's handled.

    Oh, and as for Oblivion, it's actually less full of action than you might suspect. The film tries to go for more of a gradual development, with a few surprises, aside from the fact it intentionally borrows from every classic sci-fi film. I wouldn't rush out to see it, but it was better and a different experience than I expected.

    1. I actually liked this one a bit better than the 2009 Star Trek (although that may be because I haven't seen the first one in a while). I may have been a bit hard on it as I've just seen a lot of action movies recently and I think I need to take a break from them. I know what you mean about liking this movie and being hyped up for it and everything. I felt the same way with The Hobbit when it came out and I still love that movie.

      I might go and see Oblivion after reading what you've said. I watched Jack Reacher yesterday and Tom Cruise was really good in that so it might not be a bad idea to see another movie with him in it. Thanks for the reply Ken.

      Oh and by the way I'm definitely glad that J.J. Abrams is directing the new Star Wars movies. He did a really good job with these two Star Trek films.