Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 science-fiction action film directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci. It is the twelfth installment in the Star Trek film franchise and the sequel to the 2009 film Star Trek, as the second in a rebooted film series. Star Trek Into Darkness premiered at Event Cinemas in Sydney, Australia, on April 23, 2013, and was released on May 9 in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Peru, with other countries following.
The film was released on May 17 in the United States and Canada, opening at IMAX cinemas a day earlier.
A sequel, Star Trek Beyond was released on July 22, 2016.
The crew of the Starship Enterprise returns home after an act of terrorism within its own organization destroys most of Starfleet and what it represents, leaving Earth in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his people (Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana) on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction, thereby propelling all of them into an epic game of life and death.
- Like Star Trek: Nemesis, the story is nothing more than a retread of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. And this time it actually is an out-and-out copy of The Wrath of Khan, as Nemesis at least did it with a new villain and a different premise.
- There was controversy over changing Khan's race. Whereas in the original series he was Indian, here he's white (it's explained in a prequel comic that he had surgery).
- Kirk's character arc (being demoted for his recklessness) doesn't really go anywhere.
- The story itself isn't interesting or engaging, especially compared to plots of the original Star Trek films and sometimes the Next Generation films.
- The Enterprise crew barely even have any relevance to their own movie, as they're basically just caught in the middle of a conflict between Khan and Admiral Marcus.
- The film uses a rather washed out "gritty" color palette template typically seen in war films, instead of bright colors like the previous films did.
- Speaking of said tone, the movie tries to take itself way too dark and seriously; even the weaker Star Trek films like Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis had light-hearted moments.
- Not to mention, but Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek: First Contact and to an extent Star Trek: Nemesis executed there darker and more serious tones well and much better than this and those films didn't take themselves way too seriously.
- Khan here is a poorly-written character who bears little resemblance to his prime counterpart, most notably lacking the traits that made the original interesting.
- Speaking of which, Admiral Marcus is actually a better main villain than Khan is, since his backstory and motives are far more interesting than the one the movie gives to Khan. Unfortunately, Marcus is killed with about a half-hour of the movie remaining, and then just forgotten about.
- Much like Star Trek: Generations, Captain Kirk suffers an anticlimactic death by entering the radioactive chamber to realign the warp core.
- The infamous scene where Spock shouts Khan's name after witnessing Kirk's death can be obnoxious to some viewers and is flat out cringe-worthy.
- The film cops out of Captain Kirk's death immediately, by using Khan's blood to revive him.
- Worse still, this is ripped off from an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where Neelix was killed in an accident and the crew used the nanoprobes in Seven of Nine's blood to bring him back to life.
- Needless padding that makes the film feel longer than it actually is.
- Spock is massively out of character compared to most of the series. He is shown to be far more interested in the romance than he is supposed to be, along with the aforementioned infamous shout.
- That scene with Carol Marcus in her underwear was very unnecessary.
- Most of the cast do a good job in their respective roles.
- The action sequences, while overblown, are exciting to watch.
- The special effects, much like the previous film, are fantastic.
- Great make-up effects on the aliens.
- Good soundtrack from Michael Giacchino.
- Alice Eve didn't feel exploited while filming the scene of Carol Marcus in her underwear, even going as far to say that she believes that the scene isn't unecessary, saying that exhibiting the beauty of the female body doesn't detract from the strength of Carol's character.
Star Trek Into Darkness received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval "Certified Fresh" rating of 84%, based on 292 reviews, with an average rating of 7.43/10. The site's consensus reads, "Visually spectacular and suitably action packed, Star Trek Into Darkness is a rock-solid installment in the venerable sci-fi franchise, even if it's not as fresh as its predecessor.". On Metacritic, the film has a 72% indicating "Generally Favorable Reviews".
On the other hand, the reception from fans and audiences has become divisive in recent years, with some fans considering it to be the second-worst Star Trek movie after Star Trek V: The Final Frontier to the point where the weaker Star Trek films like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: Insurrection, and to an extent Star Trek: Nemesis, once considered the lesser films in the franchise, are now looked on more favorably in hindsight by some fans.