When J.J. Abrams rebooted the Star Trek series in 2009, I had hope. I had a belief that we would have a whole new series of a beloved franchaise to expose a whole new generation to Star Trek. Unfortunately, Star Trek Into Darkness doesn’t give me much hope for the next movie in the reboot franchise. I have read tons of other reviews and even watched another Star Trek movie long before sitting down to write my thoughts but nothing really changed. The moment I left the theater, I felt like something was off. This wasn’t like it’s predecessor. It was something that didn’t quite add up. It wasn’t all bad. It was just a little unsettling.
Star Trek Into Darkness begins promisingly. We encounter the familiar Enterprise crew on a humanitarian mission on the red planet where Captain Kirk is instantly propelled into a “no win situation”. Kirk must choose between exposing the existence of the Enterprise ship or leaving his friend Spock behind. It’s after choosing to expose the ship to the indigenous species of the planet and therefore saving Spock, is when our favorite captain is reprimanded and instantly demoted from the Enterprise. As we watch Captain Kirk drown his sorrows with booze and ladies, our villain uses this opportunity to begin their war against the inhabitants of Earth. It’s key that I’m omitting the villain’s name because it pretty much gives away the remainder of the movie’s overall plot.
Plot aside, Star Trek Into Darkness was extremely entertaining. It was action packed and well paced. It’s important to note that time did not drag on. Which is key, given that the film is over two hours long. And, for once, watching the movie in Imax 3D was actually appropriate. There were actually moments that had me jump in my seat and the feeling of being immersed among the galaxy was utterly breathtaking at times. Additionally, it is interesting to see the evolution of Spock and Uhura’s relationship. Getting to see the more Human side of Spock battle with the logically Vulcan side, lead to some pretty memorable moments on screen. The entire crew is baffled by their budding romance while Spock, on the other hand, is still baffled by Uhura.
Remember when I couldn’t say the name of the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness? Well, it’s because the moment that the villain of the movie is discovered, Star Trek Into Darkness transforms into a rehash of an existing Star Trek movie. It was extremely distracting especially since I didn’t see the movie where the villain was first introduced but by the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, I just had to watch it. I spent the movie wondering why Star Trek Into Darkness was rehashing an existing movie. There was nothing to lead to the fact that this would happen. And while the endings might deviate slightly, I was expecting a whole new voyage into a brave new world but we didn’t get that. We got some clichéd plot in 3D from an existing Star Trek movie. A re-imagining.
There were way too many obvious Star Trek references. There were so many, that at one point they actually said on screen to “stop it already with the metaphors”. While some folks in the theater were constantly applauding that they got the reference throughout the movie, it made me wonder if there wouldn’t be much dialogue without them. It’s great to see familiarity but sometimes it’s even better to come up with something new and fresh.
Star Trek Into Darkness is not bad. It’s just a shame that it’s a rehash of an existing movie in the Star Trek franchise. It makes you wonder what could have been and how the two of them can exist in the same movie library. I keep telling myself that maybe this is some alternate reality version but then they still don’t line up. There’s plot holes in my potential theory that I will most likely discuss with friends who will eventually watch it. As a movie, I liked it. Found it entertaining and definitely laughed when I should but that irking feeling that I have seen this already was off-putting.
If you are dead set on seeing it, I actually recommend watching it in 3D. Just like Avatar, this movie is absolutely stunning in IMax 3D.
If you’ve already figured out who the villain or movie I was alluding to was, then I suggest you just wait for the DVD. Save the time and hassle of heading out to see this in the theaters.
If you’re looking for an entertaining date night movie and really don’t care about the plot, then by all means go see it! There’s enough on-screen eye candy to go around for everyone!
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