Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness - Rated 12A in the UKStar Trek Into Darkness - 4 stars

Having quite enjoyed his first film in this reboot series I decided for my birthday I’d see where Abrams went with the story in Star Trek Into Darkness.

PlotStar Trek Into Darkness - Plot - 4 stars

Following on from the last Star Trek film was always going to be difficult. Now that the fans had over come the trepidation of someone doing a dreaded reboot it was time to see if J.J. could keep up the momentum.

After being thrown through what seems to be a super compressed episode of Star Trek before the opening credits the story line leads us by the hand, with very little in the way of huge twists this time, to its inevitable conclusion. As we go through the trials and tests I have to wonder, just when did it become so easy to get a promotion in the Federation? Also, why are all the leaders seemingly human? Unless of course the Federation is a carefully covered up dictatorship by the human race of course…

That said I really enjoyed the way that we explore the main characters through their own motivations and flaws throughout the film. If anything I think Spock was particularly good, bringing what I think was a much needed extra dimension to the Vulkan race with their finely controlled emotions rather than an almost robotic demeanour dictated completely by logic. Alice Eve’s entry into the film was perhaps predictable but actually I found her to be less uncomfortably interwoven into the story than the perhaps cliché and a little stilted parts of Scotty and Chekov.

Overall the plot was solid enough, certainly an enjoyable spin if a little contrived in places, but it wasn’t very complex either. With good pacing and generally following a believable path, in as much as it is possible with Star Trek, I didn’t get bored with it and came out entertained by the end looking forward to a potential third in this series of films.

CastStar Trek Into Darkness - Cast - 4 stars

What I found both enjoyable and over the top at the same time was the variety of people in this movie. From Kirk’s generically US farmland accent (how accurate it is I am not sure) to Alice Eve’s rather prim and proper English lady, mixed with reverb of a techno alien voice and Scotty’s immensely over the top broad speech there is a very diverse range. Which is what you expect considering the Federation’s multi cultural approach, but they were pushed too far I feel.

Speaking of Alice Eve I suspect she is going to have a lot of teenage fan boys out there as a result of this film, heck just fan boys of any age. In fact (nsfw, but that should be obvious) is probably evidence enough that this is already the case.

So given that there was a degree of excess in the acting, probably coming from the direction of Abrams, did I like the cast? Actually yes, they continue to portray the characters in such a way that they don’t lose their original personality yet are unique within this rebooted universe. Within Star Trek Into Darkness we have some nice little developments which I can see carrying through into a third film, which many fans are hoping will happen or at least be filmed prior to the new Star Wars films.

Visuals & EffectsStar Trek Into Darkness - Visuals & Effects - 4 stars

The obsession with lens flares by J.J. Abrams continues, and frankly it was very distracting.

However despite that the Enterprise zooms off at warp speed with a trail of glowing blue exhaust and the transport beam effect has its makeover, all set against grandiose backdrops which regularly feature massive explosions. Oh, and space ships which either rise from the sea or crash into it.

The simple fact is that this is all seamlessly integrated together, from costume through to set to world building in the background you don’t have anything standing out as clearly not belonging due to poor green screen or lighting.

Even the new Klingons look good with a nice new take which is faithful enough that I guess few Trekkies will have umbrage.

SoundtrackStar Trek Into Darkness - Soundtrack - 3 stars

The musical score in the soundtrack was actually fairly sparse I felt, probably because there was a lot of dialogue throughout the film so it would have crowded the sound stage. As a result the pacing of the film was pretty much entirely reliant on the editing and storyline, something I think could have been helped with better backing tracks (which of course the trailer makes use of due to its lack of speech).

There is however a nice contrast between scenes and environments giving you something to key on, with the expected high quality sound effects but nothing to really write home about. So overall I found this  part of the film to be pretty middle of the line, well executed but not amazing either.

Conclusion – Star Trek Into DarknessStar Trek Into Darkness - 4 stars

Other than the discovery of immortality and the over the top tips of the hat, nods, winks and elbow nudging to the old Star Trek it was an enjoyable film for anyone who likes a bit of SF. It came complete with pretty much everything needed in a Star Trek setting. If you aren’t a geek who is in to watching science fiction regularly though, this might be better kept for when you feel the urge.