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Star Trek Into Darkness

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Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Into Darkness Poster.png
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What happens if you take some plot elements of The Wrath of Khan but remove what was good about it? This is what you get.
Genre: Science fiction
Directed By: J. J. Abrams
Produced By: J. J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
Damon Lindelof
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Written By: Damon Lindelof
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Based On: Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
Starring: John Cho
Benedict Cumberbatch
Alice Eve
Bruce Greenwood
Simon Pegg
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Zoe Saldana
Karl Urban
Peter Weller
Anton Yelchin
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Dan Mindel
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: April 23, 2013 (Sydney)
May 17, 2013 (United States)
Runtime: 132 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $185–190 million
Box Office: $467.4 million
Franchise: Star Trek
Prequel: Star Trek (2009)
Sequel: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

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.

Bad Qualities

  1. Like Star Trek: Nemesis, the story is a rehash 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.
  2. Character problems. For example:
    • Khan, in this movie, is nothing like he was in the original series and in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; even though this is in a different timeline, and changes to a character are to be expected as a result, the changes made to him here are too drastic.
    • Kirk's character arc (being demoted for his recklessness) doesn't really go anywhere.
    • 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).
    • What made Kirk and Khan's rivalry in the original timeline so intriguing is that the two characters had a history; none of that's here, meaning the conflicts with Khan have much less impact than they did in the original timeline.
    • Spock is massively out of character compared to most of the series. Here he's shown to be incapable of controlling his emotions and to be very interested in romance.
    • The Enterprise crew barely have anything to do with their own movie, as they're basically just caught in the middle of a conflict between Khan and Admiral Marcus.
  3. The story itself isn't interesting or engaging, especially compared to plots of the original Star Trek films and sometimes even the Next Generation films.
  4. Just like Man of Steel, this film uses a rather washed out "gritty" color palette template typically seen in war films, instead of bright colors like the previous films did.
  5. The movie tries to take itself way too dark and seriously; even the darker movies in the franchise, like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, had light-hearted moments.
  6. Khan here is a poorly-written character who bears little resemblance to his prime counterpart, 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Some plot holes. For example:
    • Much like Star Trek: Generations, Captain Kirk suffers an anticlimactic death by entering the radioactive chamber to realign the warp core.
    • The film cops out of Captain Kirk's death immediately, by using Khan's blood to revive him.
      • Worse still, this is copied 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.
  9. The one scene with Carol Marcus in her underwear was very unnecessary.

Good Qualities

  1. Most of the cast do a good job in their respective roles.
  2. The action sequences, while overblown, are exciting to watch.
  3. The special effects, much like the previous film, are fantastic.
  4. Great make-up effects on the aliens.
  5. Good soundtrack from Michael Giacchino.
  6. 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 necessary, saying that exhibiting the beauty of the female body doesn't detract from the strength of Carol's character.
  7. We do get a neat cameo from Spock Prime, and it's both really cool, but also bittersweet because this would be Leonard Nimoy's final time playing the character before his death two years later.
  8. Amazing cinematography.


Star Trek Into Darkness received critical acclaim from critics. 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.



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