"Hard to See in the Darkness"
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has Captain Kirk and his crew battling a rogue admiral and a deceptive, superhuman man who isn’t the person he says he is. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has some poignant references to previous STAR TREK movies and a redemptive, moral worldview, but the multiple openings and endings, excessive foul language, and a humanist line that’s not refuted are annoying and exhausting.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS gets lost. The script has several openings and several endings. The timing of the direction sometimes seems off. Moreover, there is some annoying content, including a significant, excessive amount of foul language.
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.
(C, BB, H, Ab, LLL, VV, S, A, DD, M) Light redemptive worldview with elements of sacrifice and symbolic resurrection and some strong moral elements like teaching to obey the rules, teaching and pleas to do the right thing and to act morally, and teaching loyalty, plus heroes oppose genocidal villain and another villain who seems to believe the ends justify the means, but mitigated by Spock saying at one point there are no miracles, although the doctor, McCoy, has some sort of references to God and the engineer, Scotty, makes an appeal to Captain Kirk while citing God, saying, “For the love of God” to Kirk; 36 obscenities (mostly “d” or “h” or “a**” words with some “s” words, two or three SOBs, and calling bad people “bas***d”) and four light profanities (such as MG); lots of action violence with many violent fights, villain crushes one person’s head between his hands so his head explodes but this isn’t shown, and he tries to do the same thing with Mr. Spock, many violent situations where people are blown into space, spaceships blow up, leading characters die, radiation poisoning, and villain breaks heroine’s leg, but not much blood; implied fornication when hero wakes up in bed with two girls and brief sexual kissing; shot of heroine in her dark bikini-looking underwear while changing into spacesuit and some revealing costumes and clothes; alcohol use; some possible suggestion of futuristic drug use; and, disobeying orders, following your heart, and turning against a bad father who’s doing some evil actions.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS opens with Captain Kirk being removed as Enterprise captain after violating a major rule. However, a traitor named Harrison attacks Starfleet’s leaders and escapes to the Klingons’ home planet. So, Admiral Marcus orders Kirk and his crew to follow Harrison to kill him. Spock urges Kirk to arrest Harrison instead. Harrison tells Kirk that Admiral Marcus is the real villain because Marcus wants to start a war with the Klingons. He implies Marcus wanted Kirk to kill him to silence him. Sure enough, Marcus suddenly appears commanding a new spaceship and threatens to blow up the disabled Enterprise if Kirk doesn’t surrender Harrison. Epic battles ensue, but Harrison’s story starts to unravel.
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.