Movie Review – Star Trek Into Darkness

WARNING: Spoilers. There are plot giveaways in this review. (But nothing big so stop having a cry and read the damn review!)



IMDB Rating: 8.4 out of 10 (8,017 votes)

Director: J.J. Abrams

The poster for Star Trek Into Darkness.

The poster for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Star Trek Into Darkness, while barely venturing “where no man has gone before”, barely does anything wrong either.

Let’s start with the writing, which is fantastic. The dialogue is very character specific and doesn’t contradict each characters moral situation. The writers, most notably Damon Lindelof, all recouped from previous duds to write this script – “Cowboys and Aliens” for Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and “Prometheus” for Lindelof. They did a fine job with this one.

Spock’s writing is definitely the best in the film, because it’s extremely hard to get right, but somehow they do. Spot on, actually. Kirk’s dialogue is great. His humour and style that most women would find offensive, is captivating and relatable, in the sense that every guy on planet Earth wish that that was the way they could talk. One-liners, advances and sarcastic humour – who wouldn’t wanna talk like that?

Scotty is also hilarious. His lovable quirks, like his silly British accent and his alien friend, make him a lovable character in general. So, basically, dialogue standards throughout the film are through the roof. The only bad line was the over-the-top cry of “KHAAAAN”. All it did was make me think of Seinfeld.

I'd love to live in a city that looks like this...minus the explosion, of course.

I’d love to live in a city that looks like this…minus the explosion, of course.

And on that note, the performances in Star Trek Into Darkness are captivating across the board. The producers nailed the casting, picking all the right people to play all the right parts. From Simon Pegg, to Karl Urban – my favourite characters by the way –, the casting was great. And the acting enveloped you. It brought you into the characters world, and into their mind.

Quinto made Spock the most relatable character in the entire film; the somewhat shy, smart-guy who doesn’t really fit in, is inside all of us. And it’s especially amazing seeing as Spock is meant to be basically emotionless. How he did that is beyond me.

Benedict Cumberbatch is especially superb as the main villain in the film, Khan. I did think, in the beginning, that John Harrison was a lame name, much like Jack Harper (Oblivion), but it turns out his simplistic name makes total sense in terms of the story. And Cumberbatch is terrifically evil. He brings a dark, unpredictable presence to the character that I loved. It was a Bardem-like evil.

J.J. Abrams went for a little less lens-flare, and a little more character in directing Star Trek Into Darkness. And I thought his direction was marvellous. I’d love to do a little research as to how he did those space shots, because they are magnificent. He seems to have a great sense of what audiences want to see. He played a huge role in this film being as enjoyable as it was.

I loved this shot. So much.

I loved this shot. So much.

The visual effects were amazing in this film. Not just ordinary amazing, either. They were pop-my-eyes-out-of-the-sockets amazing. I don’t know how much money they put into the effects side of this film, but it would’ve been at least 50% of it. Money well spent, too. They could recoup the total budget of this film on ticket sales from people just wanting to see the effects in a cinema.

And the set design, too, was unbelievably good. Scott Chambliss, Production Designer, did a super job designing the sets for the film. All the sets were really well built and looked great. I would mention specific Art Directors too but, you know, there were 11 Art Directors for this film. Oh well. At least it’s good to see people like Abrams are hiring lots of people. Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Star Trek Into Darkness had impeccable editing, not only of shots, but of sound as well. The whole film was put together cohesively, adding a level of interest to the shots and angles. Plus, the sound in this film was great. Especially Khan’s hands cracking Admiral Marcus’ head. How eerily epic was that?

How could you fault that set design.

How could you fault that set design.

The soundtrack was extremely epic and room-filling. It was a wonderful score, put together by Michael Giacchino. Giacchino has a good reputation, not only composing for the last Star Trek film, but also creating the chilling soundtrack from Super 8 – a personal favourite thriller of mine – and the hauntingly sweet music from Up. His themes for the film were heroic and bold, like the somewhat brash Captain himself.

Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t just about making a good-looking movie with polish. It was about creating a cohesive story, with interesting characters, and it did that well. It delved into the idea of selfless acts, and the impact ones selfless act has on another.

I really enjoyed this movie, and not because it looked good. Because it was good.

MY RATING: 8 out of 10.

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2 responses to “Movie Review – Star Trek Into Darkness

  1. Was just about to post my review actually. I basically agree with this in it’s entirety. The one thing I did say is how I really adored seeing the alien planet at the beginning, and how I was hoping for more exploration, where as the last half an hour was more ship espionage, just like before.

    • Agree. Think they dropped that whole planet thing too easily. The warrior guys were drawing the ship in the dirt…should’ve explored that I think. Thanks for the comment and read!

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