Many fantasy/sci-fi franchises turn “dark” in their second or third films – once your heroes have some early triumphs, after all, it’s too tempting to take a big poo on them and see how they handle that. Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, isn’t being subtle about its Dark Fantasies, with that title.
And speaking of the name, why isn’t it punctuated Star Trek: Into Darkness, rather than one continuous phrase? Wouldn’t that conjure up less images of late night hiking? But I suspect linguistic pedantry isn’t what you’re reading this for. Let’s talk about the actual film for a while – no spoilers, I promise.
Star Trek Vs Sherlock – SMUG-OFF!
The premise of this film (aside from DARKNESS) is pitting the now-established Enterprise crew against Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison, one of those starey intense one-man-army trenchcoat villains, who pulls the now-popular baddie move of getting captured so he can speechify from his cell. (See also: Avengers and Skyfall). Unfortunately, it turns out not to be that simple.
Well, it’s unfortunate if you’re unlucky enough to be a crew member on that spaceship – good news for us viewers though, as the plot twists and turns are the main appeal here. Say what you will about this film, it gets through a lot of material. Like most new movies in the action genre, it’s a good spell over two hours, but doesn’t feel long, thanks to sheer volume of BANG and ZAP.
If you can see this film before the internet spoils the plot twists for you, give it a go. The momentum works even better when the swerves are a surprise.
Dammit Jim, I’m A Doctor, Not A Punctuation Tutor!
Having said that, it does finish rather suddenly. Hard to go into detail without utterly hypocrising my last paragraph, but I did feel a slight sense of “Oh, was that it?”. Interested to hear if others felt the same.
It’s a lot of fun while it’s going on, although not sure there was a strong character journey or theme, Iron Man 3 made me care more. But the effects look amazing and the actors are all up for it – special performance grades for Simon Pegg’s Scotty and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Quinto would be perfectly cast even if he never spoke, but pleasingly he acts the part well too.
Despite my spiel at the top, there isn’t that much DARK TREK here – it’s threatened at the start, but the film settles back into a familiar action space adventure tone, and fair enough – that’s what I came for. Star Trek Into Darkness is an exciting journey, packed with twists and cool action scenes, with heroes you care about enough to invest in their laser battles. I don’t think its quite achieved brilliance, but mission accomplished. Would’ve still liked a colon or a hyphen in the title though.