FIRST TAKE on watching it in the theater-
Captain Kirk loses the Captain chair after
lying about breaking the Prime Directive to save Spock from a volcano (that they are preventing from erupting to save a primitive
race). Meanwhile, the Federation comes under attack from a Federation agent
known as John Harrison. Events lead to tragedy and Kirk getting the command of
back quickly. He is ordered to take a mission to the Klingon home world
to kill John Harrison with a special torpedo only to have Kirk disobey orders and it sets the stage for the rest of the movie
and a big reveal about John Harrison which has to be the worst kept secret on the internet.
I am a big fan of the last STAR TREK movie,
but I can’t get over how disappointed I am with the sequel because it lacks so many things that the original STAR TREK
movies had in addition to this sequel being a badly written homage to one or two of the original films. Zachary Quinto is still great as Spock even though he looks a little chubby this time round, but
Chris Pine’s Kirk is still a very weak Kirk compared to what William Shatner did with Captain Kirk. The space battle in this film is pretty weak. We don’t
see much crew interaction this time around. Peter Weller turns into a thinly
veiled military villain where STAR TREK: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY did it better.
The movie is very plot driven as the Kirk and Spock friendship is cemented in this sequel. There are some nice nods to the original Star Trek like the admiral uniforms and the Tribble bit. Sulu has a nice moment. The engine room
is again pretty lame and unwieldly again. TSAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is just an
OK and frustrating sequel which doesn’t make me feel like I want to see it again in theaters like the last STAR TREK
Now I have some big issues and you should
go away from this review now if you haven’t watched it.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS turns into
a very bad remake of STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN. John Harrison is Khan and
it is interesting to see Khan not being the main bad guy, but I don’t feel as much for the struggle between Khan and
Kirk in this film. The space battle between the Vengeance and the Enterprise
is pretty one-sided and not the nice chess game space battle you get in TWOK.
This sequel to the reboot has the weakest space battle of any STAR TREK film or TV series. The Enterprise basically gets beaten up and doesn’t turn
things around like Kirk does in TWOK. It was nice to see the twist on the
climax, but it doesn’t have the emotional impact that TWOK does when Spock dies.
Also Khan has magic blood that can bring people back to life which means Kirk isn’t dead and his kicking the
warp core into place is absurd.
I could go all day on beating up
the sequel since it does have lots of problems like the Klingon make-up is bad even though the battle against the Klingons
was one of the cooler moments of the film. Kirk
is reckless and they decide to have this movie to prove Kirk has earned the Captain’s chair finally where the romantic
fighting between Spock and Uhura was irritating in addition to how annoying Kirk is.
The introduction of Carol Marcus doesn’t add much to the plot except to have a good line from McCoy and Carol
Marcus has no development at all (where Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) has just a little more development). In the end, I hope they actually make a STAR TREK movie that is more Trek than the last two movies have
been and give a space battle like the old STAR TREK movies. I want to see the
human ideas and positive future values of Trek into play. All we have now is
a sequel which is more STAR WARS than STAR TREK and the next film needs better and different writers instead of an action
driven STAR TREK series which misses out on some of the stuff that were in the original STAR TREK.
SECOND TAKE after rewatch on Blu-ray-
The first half of the movie holds up pretty
well while I tolerate the second half more despite the plot holes. I do feel
Cumberbatch channels the essence of Khan quite well even though Khan’s motivations for revenge are different in this
sequel compared to TWOK. The climax isn’t one of my favorite climaxes for
a STAR TREK movie, but it isn’t one of the worst.
All extras are on blu-ray disc two with
the movie on blu-ray disc one.
13 featurettes (six are exclusive to the
Target combo pack for now) which run for 1 hour and 31 minutes in total on blu-ray disc two.
The featurettes paint a very detailed picture of how STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS was made including J.J. Abrams explaining
why they made the story choices that they did:
THE VOYAGE BEGINS…AGAIN- cast and
crew reflect on how making the new movie is like a family reunion
CREATING THE RED PLANET- creating the Red
Planet on a backlot in a sequence which opens the movie
REBUILDING THE ENTERPRISE- Rebuilding the enterprise as a continuous set instead of separate sets like
in the last film
THE KLINGON HOMEWORLD- a look at the production
design of the Klingon homeworld and the Klingon’s overall look (which I feel isn’t as good as the look of the
Klingons from the original series movies and the TV shows).
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY- all about John Harrison
aka Khan and actor Benedict Cumberbatch who plays him
VENGEANCE IS COMING- how they redressed
the Enterprise to look like the Vengeance
SHIP TO SHIP- a behind-the-scenes look
at a sequence where two characters travel in space between two ships using a lot of green screen
MR. SPOCK AND MR. SPOCK- behind-the-scenes
of Leonard Nimoy preparing to do his one day cameo for the sequel
KIRK AND SPOCK-
BRAWL BY THE BAY- behind-the-scenes look
at how they filming the brawl on a floating barge sequence and the chase before it
CONTINUING THE MISSION- all about a volunteer
organization who are involved in the community and how they were involved as extras in one scene in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
VISUAL AFFECTION- a behind-the-scenes take
on the visual effects and how J.J. critiqued bad spelling on special effects shot like an English teacher.
Also all three theatrical trailers are
on the disc two.
Also included in the set are a digital
copy code and the movie in standard definition on DVD
FINAL ANALYSIS: Despite the marketing people unwisely splitting up the extras as retail exclusives (which didn’t
make Trek and blu-ray fans happy), the featurttes paint an excellent making-of a movie.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS isn’t as good as the last movie, but it isn’t as bad as the last two NEXT GENERATION
movies. Benedict Cumberbatch sails in his role as Khan. Hopefully, they create a sequel which comes up with something new instead of remaking old Star Trek in
new ways to mixed results.
This movie review is (c)5-17-2013 and blu-ray review is ©9-13-2013
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments
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