Star Trek Into Darkness


Action / Adventure


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August 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm



Chris Pine as Kirk
Zachary Quinto as Spock
Zoe Saldana as Uhura
720p 1080p 3D
922.79 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 12 min
P/S 36 / 150
1.95 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 12 min
P/S 48 / 332
1.95 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 12 min
P/S 20 / 105

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Movie Samurai 3 / 10

Boldly Going... Nowhere!

The Star Trek universe, resplendent in Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future wherein mankind has finally "got its act together," while its social and economic problems are generally a thing of the past. Not in JJ Abrams' universe however, in which a corrupt Starfleet Admiral and a freshly revived genetically engineered 'John Harrison', an alias for a more familiar Star Trek adversary, take it upon themselves to create havoc with savage acts of treason and terrorism respectively.

With seeming discount made to Roddenberry's unique take of Star Trek, evolving around the prevalent Hollywood ethos of filling seats at the local multiplex, Abrams' crafts, what I would term, a popcorn movie with plot-holes aplenty. With its target audience seated in place however, doubtlessly willing to overlook the obvious whilst simultaneously blinded by the startling visuals and 'tacked-on' 3-D (the film wasn't originally shot in 3-D, instead the process being added in post-production) this 'casual' viewer can safely check their brain at the door and, in all likelihood, enjoy...

In this befuddled story, with its foot stuck firmly in Trek's The Wrath of Khan (1982), Into Darkness hauls its audience onto a seeming roller-coaster ride, dragging the viewer from one outrageous action set-piece to another, while its central characters are barely given a chance to 'grow' into their respective roles.

In a likely nod to Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, Sulu is afforded a brief turn in the captain's chair (a role which at least offered the actor some nifty poker-faced dialogue), whilst Chekov is contrastingly tucked away within the pipework-strewn bowels of the Enterprise' engine room. Scotty, meanwhile, refusing to sign for a delivery of conspicuously 'shielded' torpedoes, resigns himself into the background with his unusual but interesting little alien friend. This is clearly Kirk's film however, while his relationship with Spock (and by extension Spock's relationship with Uhura) being about the only things explored here. Worst of all however is Karl Urban's Doctor 'Bones' McCoy, who is virtually confined to pitching nostalgic-tinged quips: "My God man, I'm a doctor not a nuclear torpedo technician," a character so painfully underused here – particularly given the actor's obvious talent in this role.

Evolving around two villains, each of whom possessing completely different agendas, 'John Harrison' (Benedict Cumberbatch) and a warmongering Starfleet Admiral (Peter Weller), the latter of whom taking command of a freshly constructed battleship class vessel named USS VENGEANCE. Despite a promising start however, having chased Harrison to his conspicuous Klingon hideout, Kirk is somehow 'manipulated' into seeking the terrorist's help; an inconceivable decision given the character's explosive introduction - which also ignores the obvious danger he poses. And let's not forget the supposed personal anguish felt by Kirk, of which Harrison had been its mastermind. Oh well, things disintegrate further when its finally realised just how incredibly stupid Kirk has been, trusting a known terrorist whilst the viewer, during the film's final reel, is woefully pulled along during their frantic re-attempts at his capture.

With an ending pulled directly out of The Wrath of Khan, albeit with Kirk and Spock on opposite sides of the radiation screen doors, I was beginning feel as though I had been robbed of my admission: the contrived nature of this protracted scene, deriving itself virtually word-for-word from its thirty-year-old original, played out while the audience undoubtedly watched in astonished deja vu. I use the term 'contrived' given that, not unlike the life-restoring 'Genesis Planet' seen in Trek's The Search for Spock (1984), the answer to Kirk's mortal dilemma was really only a hypo-spray away...

As a Trek fan, I was bitterly disappointed here: the filmmakers might well have just re-shot Nicholas Meyer's film entirely. Sincerely what an utterly shameful and wasted opportunity all this hokum was.

When I emerged from the cinema, I was somewhat stunned; processing what I had just witnessed on-screen. And after having slept on it, I was finally able to articulate the next day. What I had seen wasn't so much Star Trek – a series I so dearly love and consider myself a lifelong fan of – but some cheap (albeit very expensive, costing well over £120 Million) and certainly pale imitation of a film series that deserved far better scripting and storyline than this. These wonderful characters – legendary even – each of whom a household name, whilst some having inspired many a fan to seek similar professions in the real world, reduced here to mere caricatures' of their namesakes.

Over-shadowed by the film's ample and certainly showy special effects, these characters seemed stunted and confined instead of simply being allowed to develop properly.

Such a shame. 3 out of 10

Reviewed by cdettlinger 1 / 10

Dumbed down from a highly intelligent and thoughtful franchise.

Star Trek Into Darkness should be renamed Star Trek In Name Only. What has always distinguished Star Trek from other sci-fi is the thoughtful and nuanced way that philosophical and sociological commentary was woven into the stories. Star Trek is not just a lot of sci-fi nonsense but a meaningful exploration of what it means to be human. In the past, Star Trek has been intelligent and character driven. Now it is all fancy CGI and snappy one-liners. Abram's Star Trek is an action-for-action's sake Kirk and Spock buddy flick. The "surprises" Abrams plants aren't surprises if you're familiar with the Star Trek universe. His preference for violence and political intrigue makes Abrams' vision more Star Wars than Star Trek.

The fill-in-the-blanks plot is a repetitive onslaught of video-game like CGI sequences separated by brief breaks used to set up the next CGI spectacle. The first half begins with a scene taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark and quickly moves to The Return of the King's Mount Doom. Cumberbatch's attack on Starfleet HQ is a scene stolen from Godfather 3. When Cumberbatch is captured, he and Pine briefly become caricatures of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling from Silence of the Lambs. The second half attempts to remake The Wrath of Khan but is backwards and upside down. Instead it is practically a beat-for-beat repeat of the identically plotted Star Trek Nemesis.

The cast was the best thing about the last movie but not this time. The other familiar crew members each get a brief moment in the spotlight but for the most part they fixate on comedic asides. The romance between Uhura and Spock is unnecessary and actually diminishes Uhura's character. Alice Eve is little more than eye candy. Peter Weller's Admiral Marcus is a disappointment. Karl Urban was eerily good as McCoy last time but stays in the background this time, a third wheel on the Kirk/Spock bicycle. Pine's beefy frat-boy Kirk is an exaggeration of Shatner's Kirk. When he is angry he sounds like a bratty child. Cuberbatch's performance is the best thing this time and overshadows everyone else.

I left the theater thinking that my free passes were over-priced.

Reviewed by Leafman 1 / 10

The entire franchise is now in 'Darkness'

Since it has now become (dilithium) crystal clear that J.J. Abrams and his team of writers have COMPLETELY dismantled the entire Trek universe we once knew -- the one that was built so meticulously by Gene Roddenberry (and later, Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer too) -- we must now embrace a Trek product that will likely insult and disgust most purists, plus any ticket buyer who wants something more than a movie enjoyed by ADHD attention spans.

This "Into Darkness" film continues where the 2009 effort left off, and with much the same approach, but the decibel level is harder on the eardrums this time: more explosions, more stunts, more fisty-cuffs, more chases (both in space and Terra Firma), more phaser shots and more temper tantrums from Kirk and Spock both.

I could rhetorically say something like, "WTF? Why is this STAR TREK? WHY!?!?!?" and then launch into a heated Trek-purist diatribe attacking the intellectually-challenged, comic book-level screenplay penned by Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof. But instead, let us try to examine the movie as a space-bound rip-off of the "Die Hard" franchise, which obviously are the terms on which the film hopes to succeed.

The film's plot presents a saturnine, black-overcoated menace named John Harrison (played woodenly by Benedict Cumberpatch), who starts blowing up buildings in London, then shooting at a roomful of Starfleet's top brass during a staff meeting. He then escapes to the Klingon homeworld to hide out, and will presumably resume his mysterious rampage against the Federation later.

But not if James T. Kirk can help it. Even if it means starting a war with the Klingons, our risk-taking Captain gets the green light from Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) to warp the Enterprise over to Kronos, armed with some secret missiles and an undercover mission imperative. As Kirk tells his crew over the intercom, "Let's go get the son of a bitch."

Such a standardized, by-the-numbers action yarn has succeeded in efforts produced by the Jerry Bruckheimer stable, for example, or even the second "Aliens" movie. But here, the film feels so overstuffed with chases, phaser beams and mortal combat, it's much like the second Indiana Jones movie from 1984; after a while, we become numb to the "excitement" and viewing this movie is like riding a roller coaster that simply won't stop, even long after the rider has had enough "thrills."

****SPOILERS START HERE ------ Further ruining the film is the decision by Orci and Kurtzman to "unmask" John Harrison as Khan, the genetically-engineered super-baddie from the original Trek that the late, great Ricardo Montalban elevated to legendary Trek status. By forcibly shoving Khan into the "Into Darkness" storyline, the writers seemed almost desperate to include a familiar face as a crowd pleaser, but I found this "unmasking" about as convincing as a cheesy moment in a daytime soap opera, and it is essentially where I gave up on the film (about when the third act began).

From there, the movie worsened (for me) because soon after, we are then supposed to shed tears for our gallant Captain Kirk sacrificing himself in the Enterprise's warp core chamber to save his ship and crew. Orci and Kurtzman try to duplicate the same touching moment from the "The Wrath of Khan" (when Spock dies) by practically duplicating some of the dialogue from that 1982 film. They are reminding us that they know their Star Trek, but I found this moment to be gimmicky and as such, it registered a complete emotional zero.

Spock himself, as written by Orci and Kurtzman, also seems little more than a gimmick in these films now, especially at the film's climax, which uses our ever-logical Vulcan as a John Rambo wannabe, as he mercilessly pounds his fists into Khan's face, all in the name of revenge for the loss of his pal Jim Kirk. Much of the movie portrays Spock in the same simplistic manner, and his point-counterpoint interaction with the all-more human Kirk has none of the old magic that Shatner and Nimoy once provided so effortlessly.

As I said earlier, forget the fact that this movie is a horrifying abomination for Star Trek purists. Instead, just consider the fact that we have a new franchise, one where you check your brain at the door, don't concern yourself with characterization, and just ignore the words, "…to boldly go where no one has gone before." (those words were spoken by Chris Pine at the fadeout, and hearing them after watching THIS film was a moment of bitter irony for me, I might add)

I wish J.J. Abrams would stick to the new "Star Wars" films and leave it at that.

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