Our Daily Beard
Well, I went and saw Star Trek: Into Darkness!
Honestly, I didn’t really detect a direct correlation between plot and title, except that space is dark. Also, there’s an implied progression into metaphorical darkness in any story that contains life threatening peril, but I don’t think that’s it.
I mean, you might as well call it ‘Star Trek: Progressively Serious Events’ or ‘Star Trek: Here Are Some Dangerous Situations.’
Maybe it’s referring to the darkness festering in Khan’s heart?
Anyway, Khan’s heart is certainly all about the darkness. It’s not made very clear why, except that he and his genetically enhanced crew were used and thrown aside by the Feds and he’s not just vengeful, but out to kill anyone who displeases him even if they’re been honourable and helpful. It’s a bit reminiscent of Nero from the first film, the king of overreactions- ‘My planet was destroyed by a natural disaster that couldn’t really be prevented, but you were trying to prevent it? Well then, I’m going to destroy your planet, in the past.’
Sorry, where was I?
This instalment has a nice bit of character development for Kirkyboy and Spockster (well, more than the average action film) on top of a solid plot equal in stature to any of the previous Star Trek films. There are genuinely funny moments, truly great visuals (discounting J.J. Abrams’ love of blinding you with flashing lights in every scene, even if it’s a quiet one) and top quality acting.
Cumberbatch, obviously, is excellent. Goes without saying. He’s quite intimidating, at times, though I’d have liked to see more scenes of him interacting with the crew of the Enterprise. There was definitely room for some more cat-and-mouse dialogue. How does he compare to the original Khan? Well, he’s quite a different character, so I don’t really want to ‘go there’. Cumby’s Khan is less hammy and 80s, at least. On that note, there are some nods to Wrath of Khan in this movie, though its clearly not a direct remake- I can’t say what they are, but you’ll probably be expecting them anyway!
Quinto, again, great as ever. Both he and Pine come across as being a few years older and wiser than in the first film- which seems like an obvious thing to say, but its noticeable when done right. Hell, even Peter Weller is good, though his character doesn’t get much attention.
There’s a new woman, because it seems there has to be to keep men interested in films. She gets her kit off for a few seconds in a very ‘token’ feeling panties shot, just like in the first film. It’s okay though because she’s smart and independent. I forget her name. Blonde-panty-scientist-not-Uhura.
A highlight for me was that we get to see Klingons for the first time since the reboot, and they look cool, which is saying something. They don’t look like fake-tanned men with pasties stuck to their foreheads, anyway. There’s another classic Star Trek alien to spot too…
Not much else to report without committing spoiler crimes. It’s a fun film, as good as the previous, well thought out with solid acting. The plot is simple and direct (the twists are as obvious as a horse in a bin, but they serve their purpose to drive events forward) and has a pleasing dose of the classic Star Trek vibe- the application of strategy in order to win against the odds. I’ve always liked that angle in Star Trek, because it’s far more pleasing than brainless big-guns action and it suits the naval atmosphere of the franchise.
Oh, yeah, I got a free Starfleet pin badge, too. I’m cool!