Remember that excited feeling you had when seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” for the first time ever? How about that stunned feeling you felt when Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker he’s his father? That’s the sort of feelings I walked away with after watching “Star Trek Into Darkness.” I’m so happy I avoided all spoilers for it. I walked into the movie blindly and was so thrilled I couldn’t stop smiling through the entire thing.
After a terrorist attack on the Federation council, James T. Kirk sets out with the crew of the Enterprise in search of the man. The terrorist, John Harrison, has fled into Klingon territory. Kirk is ordered to take him out through the use of a torpedo. Kirk disobeys orders and travels into Klingon space to capture the terrorist and bring him back to Earth where he will stand trial for his crimes. However, a rogue Starfleet officer wants to take justice into his own hands and only Kirk and the Enterprise stand in his way.
I’ve read a few of the reviews floating around out there and must say I agree with some of them. “Into Darkness” is a true “Star Trek” film. While the 2009 film was full of action and humor, it didn’t have the social commentary Trekkies came to expect from earlier entries. That’s not the case with “Into Darkness.” What we get here is the best of both worlds. The action aspect of “Star Wars” is still present, but it’s coupled with the smarts “Star Trek” is known for.
There are so many fun little tributes to the original series in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” What’s crazy is none of them feel desperately forced into the story. Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof peppered the homages throughout an already exciting storyline, which helped long-time “Trek” lovers find something familiar to latch on to. At the same time, the references wouldn’t leave someone new to the franchise wondering what’s happening.
My only real complaint with “Star Trek Into Darkness” is the handling of the McCoy character. Writers took a funny habit the good doctor had in the original TV series and drove it into the ground. Every time we see McCoy, he uses some sort of metaphor to describe the situation. It starts to feel like the stale joke your buddy tells every time you see him. After the first ten times, it’s just not funny anymore. How many different plays on, “Dammit, Jim! I’m a doctor not a speed boat captain!” can you laugh at before it gets old?
I was impressed with the CGI and special effects in the film. The movie looks beautiful and the actors meld seamlessly with their artificial backgrounds. There are times where the Enterprise looks a bit animated, but it’s nothing to complain about.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is the movie die-hard Trekkies wanted to see in 2009. All the elements creator Gene Rodenberry wanted the show to have are present. However, it comes wrapped in a package that will appeal to a broader audience.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Celebrating 45 Years of ‘Star Trek:’ Three Most Important Films
44 Years Ago: Mr. Spock Gives Us the Hand and Utters ‘Live Long and Prosper’ for the First Time
‘Star Trek’ Enterprise Pizza Cutter the Logical Choice