STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
Hard to See in the Darkness
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto,
Zoe Saldana, Benedict
Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Simon
Pegg, Alic Eve, Bruce
Greenwood, Anton Yelchin,
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 132 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures/Viacom
Director: J.J. Abrams
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Chernov, David
Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Paul
Producer: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Damon
Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman,
Writer: Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman,
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman
Philippe Dauman, CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Film Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000; Website: www.paramount.com
The movie opens with the Enterprise exploring a primitive planet. To save Spock, Captain Kirk lets the natives see the starship, violating the Prime Directive not to change a primitive planet’s culture or history.
Back in 2259 San Francisco, Captain Kirk is removed as commander of the starship and reduced to first mate. Then, a Starfleet traitor named Harrison wipes out a top-secret Starfleet weapons facility in London. All the commanders are called to strategize at headquarters in San Francisco, and Harrison tries to wipe them all out. During the battle, Kirk’s friend and mentor, Admiral Pike, is killed. After the battle, Harrison transports to a remote spot on the Klingon home planet.
Kirk is given back his command by the head of Starfleet, Admiral Marcus, and he goes on a mission to kill Harrison in Klingon territory with newly developed photon torpedoes. However, Spock convinces Kirk it’s wrong to kill the man without a trial. Making matters worse, the Enterprise has undergone a mysterious engine malfunction. So, Kirk decides to arrest Harrison on a remote section of the Klingon homeworld while the Enterprise is being repaired.
Things get even more complicated when Harrison shows up and saves Kirk and his people from some Klingon soldiers. During the battle, it seems as if Harrison has superhuman strength.
[POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW] After the battle, Harrison tells Captain Kirk that Admiral Marcus is the real villain because Marcus wants to start a war with the Klingons. He says Marcus wanted Kirk to kill him to silence him. Sure enough, Marcus suddenly appears commanding a new spaceship and threatens to blow up the Enterprise if Kirk doesn’t give Harrison to him.
Epic battles ensue. Meanwhile, Harrison’s story starts to unravel. Will Kirk find out the truth before he and his friends are killed?
A great movie makes you feel good after watching it. With some poignant references to the best STAR TREK movie ever, THE WRATH OF KHAN, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS isn’t a total disaster, but it ultimately exhausts the viewer. For example, the movie has several cobbled-together openings and two or three endings. Perhaps Director JJ Abrams and his writers had their minds on other productions. Some of the timing in the action scenes seems very clunky. Instead of building suspense, they dissipate it. Dr. McCoy and Scotty have some positive references to God but Spock says at one point that there are no miracles, and it seems as if the heroes do everything themselves. In addition, there’s a ridiculous shot of Captain Kirk waking up in a bed between two alien women with tails, and another shot shows the admiral’s daughter in her dark underwear while she’s changing into a spacesuit. [SPOILERS FOLLOW] Also, when her father dies, the daughter seems not to care at all. Of course, he does turn out to be a bad guy who believes that the ends justify the means, so the movie does make some strong moral points.
The script to STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS contains some plot holes. For example, Kirk and his team never stop to wonder why Admiral Marcus has given them 72 new photon torpedoes to kill Harrison. Wouldn’t two or three be enough? Also, Harrison flees to the Klingons’ section of space, yet he tries to convince Kirk that Admiral Marcus is the one who wants to start a war with the Klingons. Why should Harrison flee there if he wants to stop the admiral’s dastardly plan?
There are some other problems. For instance, the ending has the Starfleet officers dressed in old Soviet-style uniforms and an obnoxious UN-type flag. The movie also contains a gratuitous, excessive number of obscenities. Finally, at one point, Spock says the many are more important than the one, a true recipe for a disappointing movie about a not-so-heroic Captain Kirk.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has some poignant references to previous STAR TREK movies and a redemptive, moral worldview. However, it has several cobbled-together openings and endings. Also, some action scenes lack suspense. Despite some positive references to God, Spock says there are no miracles. There’s also a brief bedroom scene and an excessive number of obscenities. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.