Star Trek XII – Into Darkness – Review (No Spoilers On First Page)

Where No Man Has Gone Before…

Disclaimer: This is one of the articles that lost a lot of images in “The Hacking”, an event that happened to my blog at some point. Excuse the missing pics.

I went „Into Darkness” with very low expectations, since the 2009 movie was terrible, so I didn’t expect anything good to get out of it, with all the alternate universe and whatnot. The destruction of Vulcan from the previous movie was the last bit. I hated the new universe, with everything that brought with it. Except Spock Prime. Spock Prime rules! And yes, he comes back for a cameo!

First thing you notice in the movie are the lens flares. Yes, JJ Abrams still likes to play with a freaking flashlight everytime his crew tries to do something constructive, like for example filming a new Star Trek movie that actually has some quality in it.

The second thing you notice are the characters. Everybody from the first movie comes back, and some of them do it with style. Uhura is okay, I guess. She doesn’t shine throughout the movie, but doesn’t fade either. Don’t get me wrong, Zoe Saldana does a good job, and even speaks Klingon at some point. And she gets certainly more screen time than Chekov, who’s there just to say some lines while freaking out.

By the way, I have nothing against the actor playing Chekov, but I think his hair is wrong – they should have chosen someone with a haircut that resembled the original Chekov.  Or at least make his haircut look similar. That’s how they did it with the rest of them.

On the other hand, on Scotty (Simon Pegg) they try too much to force a James Doohan look, so as a character he’s funny as hell, but that forced haircut beats me. If you put Simon Pegg in a role, let him fuckin’ be Simon Pegg!

Leonard “Bones” McCoy is the best re-cast of the movie, I said this first after seeing Star Trek XI, but now it just confirms my statement. Karl Urban does an awesome job, and DeForest Kelley would be proud if he were alive right now. He manages to bring back the very essence of McCoy, and does so while maintaining a safe relation with the original character. He manages not only to bring back the attitude, but also to not seem like just another copy of the old version, like just a guy that imitates another (obviously better) guy. I wish DeForest Kelley would have been alive, perhaps we would have got a chance to see a McCoy Prime (eventually teasing Spock Prime).

The Spock-McCoy relationship is the same as in the original series. Yes, apparently they tried to bring back some stuff in order to please longtime fans, and trust me, they did it successfully. I loved every bit of the teasing between the two.

That being said, Kirk is weak. Chris Pine does not rise to my expectations, unlike Zachary Quinto, who does his job well although he’s no Leonard Nimoy. Pine is just blue eyes and show. I have nothing against him, but that’s why he was cast, I guess. To appease to female audience (he fails miserably, especially in the second movie, when all horny chicks seem to be into Benedict Cumberbatch – what the fuck do they see in that guy?), and to express the fact that Kirk had a very interesting sex life. Yes, he did, but William Shatner’s James Tiberius Kirk was so much more than that. I am sorry, but they failed in rebuilding his character.

Even Hikaru Sulu’s better than him. Props to John Cho for receiving the torch from George Takei (nice pun, eh?) and doing such a great job (another pun?) with his role. Him and Scotty were two nice surprises, since these two characters developed a lot in this movie.

We also have Christopher Pike, which is the same Pike from the 2009 movie and doesn’t get too much screen time, but his moments are pretty good, mainly because he punishes Kirk for his irrational actions. God, I enjoyed every bit of it!

And then there’s Admiral Marcus, played by Peter Weller, whom many of us will remember from Robocop, the 80s hit science fiction movie (did they use the word “blockbuster” back then?) that you should definitely watch if you did not until now. Admiral Marcus was the real villain of the movie, although  Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, John Harrison, had a thing or two to say in that direction, which was sad.

It was sad because Cumberbatch’s character was supposed to be the main villain himself, since he’s the most fierce rival Kirk ever had. You know this already, don’t you? Because everybody knew it except me, apparently. As one of my friends explained to me (and I totally agree with her opinion), the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch in this role was racist! Yes, you heard me! But I can’t tell you why for now. Actually I can, it’s because he played someone he shouldn’t have played. But I can’t get into details.

There’s also this… Best frame of the movie, by far! :))

Now, I’m getting on a second page, where I will explain everything, but unfortunately that implies some spoilers for people that have not yet seen the original series and the first movies. DO NOT GO ON THE SECOND PAGE BECAUSE IT HAS SPOILERS. GO ONLY IF YOU’VE SEEN THE MOVIE OR AT LEAST THE STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES EPISODE 1×22 SPACE SEED AND STAR TREK 2, THE SECOND MOVIE.

That being said, I want to hit this movie with 10/10, but I simply can’t because of Benedict Cumberbatch’s presence and the mock they made of that character. So I give it a full 8/10 as a movie. The script has full points, 10/10, and I want to say how much I appreciated the presence of classic elements from the first movies. So it’s worth paying for in theatres, especially if it’s in iMAX. 😀

If you’re wondering what I mean about classic stuff, check this out:

I wonder what he’s yelling? I can’t hear him…

Anyway, I have hopes for a new TV show. Because… well, spoilers. Check the next page if you’ve seen the movie. Or if you’re a Star Trek fan and are familiar with the whole rest of the series/movies.

Indru, The Writer

P.S.: Don’t go on the IMDB page of the movie unless you’ve seen it – MAJOR SPOILER.


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