Star Trek Into Darkness follows the highly successful Star Trek (2009) which created a new Star Trek timeline. This film follows the story of Khan, a genetically engineered superhuman created 300 years before the film is set. Anyone who has seen the original films will know of Khan who was seen as the biggest threat to the Alliance as he seeks revenge upon those who created and mistreated his kind.
I was surprised that they did not create an entirely new “villain” for this film, however it was a great way to keep the original fan base on-side and showing they still respect the original stories. If they can make mention of events happening elsewhere which weren’t affected by the timeline shift in future films that would be a brilliant way to keep the link to the original timeline.
Khan was played by the spectacular Benedict Cumberbatch, most well-known as playing Sherlock in the latest BBC adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories – another portrayal that Cumberbatch pulls off effortlessly. Khan showed the determination and emotionless superiority that I actually feel the original Khan lacked – You can tell from his Icy demeanour that he just simply does not care about anyone but himself and his kind, and he will use anyone and do anything to achieve his aims. Of course there is a chance for him to return in a future film, however locked up with the others does not seem a safe proposition!
Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock were both brilliant together yet again, showing the brotherly nature that they eventually developed in the original series. Love-Hate relationship pretty much sums them up perfectly!
The supporting cast were all very good in their portrayals, however I still very much dislike Anton Yelchin as Chekov as he just does not seem to meld with the rest of the crew very well in my opinion. Also, there needed to be more Scotty (played by Simon Pegg) for the pure comedic value he brings to the films.
I liked the way the slightly brought in the “original” timeline Spock (played of course by the legendary Leonard Nimoy), whilst not totally breaking his own oath not to interfere with the new timeline he successfully warned young Spock of the sheer dangerous potential of Khan.
I personally felt that the first Star Trek (2009) provided a more entertaining experience however of course the creation of the new timeline was painful as it effectively killed off the original series and films but of course saved the producers from having to focus on continuity and allowed them to start the series afresh. Star Trek Into Darkness was in no way a lesser film, as it really felt more like watching one of the pre-reboot films with the same focus on human determination and character interaction.
There were so many nods to the Original Series that it didn’t feel like something too new, I loved seeing the Tribble have a positive role for once! On the same note I was happy to see that they kept the appearance of the Klingons as they were in the Original Series, maintaining continuity from the other timeline which would not have been affected, I hope that in the future films we will start to see the other Klingons too!
The 3D I feel let down the overall presentation of the film. Where it was used sparingly and just to improve the atmosphere it felt perfectly used, however in the action parts the usual things-flying-in-your-face-3D was used and simply felt distracting. The first film was in 2D and simply did not need 3D to improve it, I feel that the only reason this utilised 3D was because every other blockbuster is and so they simply felt they had to – A pity really. If you can’t make a 3D showing don’t fret, the 2D will probably be a better option anyway.
Overall this was a very good film that I highly recommend. It felt like watching one of the original films – Keeping the tension and atmosphere high whilst managing to keep a good level of humour throughout.