Average User Score: 7.8May 17, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Star Trek Into Darkness should be renamed Star Trek In Name Only. What has always distinguished Star Trek from other sci-fi is the thoughtful and nuanced way that philosophical and sociological commentary was woven into the stories. Star Trek is not just a lot of sci-fi nonsense but a meaningful exploration of what it means to be human. In the past, Star Trek has been intelligent and character driven. Now it is all fancy CGI and snappy one-liners. Abram’s Star Trek is an action-for-action’s sake Kirk and Spock buddy flick. The “surprises” Abrams plants aren’t surprises if you’re familiar with the Star Trek universe. His preference for violence and political intrigue makes Abrams’ vision more Star Wars than Star Trek.
The fill-in-the-blanks plot is a repetitive onslaught of video-game like CGI sequences separated by brief breaks used to set up the next CGI spectacle. The first half begins with a scene taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark and quickly moves to The Return of the King’s Mount Doom. Cumberbatch’s attack on Starfleet HQ is a scene stolen from Godfather 3. When Cumberbatch is captured, he and Pine briefly become caricatures of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling from Silence of the Lambs. The second half attempts to remake The Wrath of Khan but is backwards and upside down. Instead it is practically a beat-for-beat repeat of the identically plotted Star Trek Nemesis.
The cast was the best thing about the last movie but not this time. The other familiar crew members each get a brief moment in the spotlight but for the most part they fixate on comedic asides. The romance between Uhura and Spock is unnecessary and actually diminishes Uhura’s character. Alice Eve is little more than eye candy. Peter Weller’s Admiral Marcus is a disappointment. Karl Urban was eerily good as McCoy last time but stays in the background this time, a third wheel on the Kirk/Spock bicycle. Pine’s beefy frat-boy Kirk is an exaggeration of Shatner’s Kirk. When he is angry he sounds like a bratty child. Cuberbatch’s performance is the best thing this time and overshadows everyone else.
I left the theater thinking that my free passes were over-priced.… Expand