Star Trek Into Darkness: The Gizmodo Australia Review


When I was a kid, I used to save up my pocket money and buy myself a copy of Sky And Space magazine every few months, but not for the articles. I wanted space porn. Images of nebulas, galaxies, stars and meteor showers to stick up on my wall. I envied the Hubble Telescope for what it saw, and dreamt of seeing it for myself one day. For his sequel to Star Trek, JJ Abrams has done nothing short take every space image I ever coveted, and use them to paint a picture of magnificent beauty called Star Trek Into Darkness: the best looking sci-fi movie of our time.

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Spoiler Warning: We tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but you can't review a movie without giving one or two things away. We have left out a detailed plot summary and included only necessary details, but still, if you don't want the movie spoiled for you why are you reading this in the first place?

Spoiler Free Review: It's amazing, go see it.

In a way, Star Trek Into Darkness takes the effects, scenes and action from the 2009 Star Trek and doubles-down to make it incredible. There's a space battle, shuttle missions, big explosions, people being vented into space. There's even a part where Captain Kirk gets into a spacesuit and ejects himself into open space between two ships, known in the film as "space-jumping". The action tropes are the same, but the visual effects crew have squeezed everything they can out of the frame to make it a simply incredible watch.

Space-jumps now have crazy mid-space debris dodging sequences, space battles are now set against beautiful planetary backdrops, ships look fierce and menacing, shuttles are high-tech and elegant and your favourite characters are back and more approachable than ever.


Into Darkness also doubles-down on the amount of future tech we get to look at, in ships and on Earth. London is a bustling, metallic metropolis in the far-flung future, while the Starfleet Academy set against the backdrop of San Francisco is a glowing, futuristic jewel of a city bathed in gold light. Every screen you see is transparent and features glowing blue light, while everything from cars to beds hover effortlessly. It's all beautiful to look at.

I'd go as far to say that Star Trek Into Darkness is the best looking sci-fi of our time.

That's a pretty big call, especially seeing as how it has to compete against the likes of Avatar, Sunshine, The Matrix Trilogy and the slightly-before-our-time epic, Blade Runner, but I'm standing by it. It's awesome. It both looks and sounds amazing, and you really will be blown away by it whether you see it in 3D or 2D.

The visuals of Into Darkness are stunning for anyone who loves a brilliant space battle or five, but where it loses me somewhat is in the details of the plot and how it treats the audience.

It's not a completely unbelievable story, to be honest: an agent of Starfleet goes rogue in the hopes of exposing a greater plot, gets hunted by our protagonists and all of the Star Trekking ensues. Where it lets you down is in the stakes. It toys with your emotions needlessly.


I won't give anything away, but it's like the whole movie sets up life or death scenarios for our protagonists that they have no hope of fighting their way out of, until the light suddenly clicks with one of the other characters who can instantly fix the problem. That means the stakes you were biting the back of your hand over due to stress just don't matter in the end. It's like the world's longest episode of House M.D, but in space.

This is kind of a spoiler, here, but take the crashing of the Enterprise back into the Earth's atmosphere as an example. The crew resigns itself to the fact that they're all going to die. Welp. Not to worry though, someone wanders into the reactor core and literally gives it a kick to make it work again, and the Enterprise is all hunky dory. That leads to a much more frustrating episode of 'let's turn your emotions into a piniata', but not one that I'll spoil for you here. FOr the hardcore Trekkies, keep watching that moment for a nice little homage to another Star Trek film.


I'd love a universe where the actions have consequences That being said, Into Darkness raises a really important point about combat strategies and the ethical implications of pursuing terrorists. How far is too far to catch a baddie?

Star Trek Into Darkness really is one of the best looking sci-fi movies of our time. It's more spectacular, more beautiful, more action-packed than just about anything I have seen in recent memory. It was always going to be difficult to follow-up the perfectly rebooted universe of Star Trek with a sequel, but JJ Abrams has raised the table stakes once again for every director looking to make a decent sci-fi.


Comments

    I won’t give anything away, >>> This is kind of a spoiler, here, but take the crashing of the Enterprise back into the Earth’s atmosphere as an example.

    Sigh. Come on, some of us didnt know it was the Enterprise crashing in to San Fran.

      To be fair, is it really a spoiler if the trailer makes it explicit? I guess it could have turned out to be deceptive editing, but NCC-1701 is clearly visible on the ship falling in to the atmosphere, and rising out of the water.

        The trailer shows you those two things because it knows that THERE ARE SO MANY BETTER THINGS TO SEE

        The Enterprise rising out of the water is from the very first part of the movie. Not a spoiler as it was shown as a nine-minute IMAX preview not too long ago.

        The one crashing into the water is clearly not the Enterprise. The nacelles are spaced too wide and look different.

        No spoilers to be found here.

          i would like to get my hands on her nacelles if you know what i mean.

        it is not - it shows NC only in the above clip when its rising out of the water, but yes other trailers do show ncc 1701. not the same as crashing though.
        http://www.empireonline.com/features/star-trek-into-darkness-trailer-what-we-learned/p19
        http://www.empireonline.com/features/star-trek-into-darkness-trailer-what-we-learned/p20

      for that comment i'll let you know that it wasn't the enterprise!

    Definitely agree with you!
    The visual spectacle of this film was AMAZING, and it even had a great story to back it up.
    Pretty sure my jaw was open the whole film.

    That new ship looks like it's been influenced by the Galaxy class somewhat, just going by the snippet in the preview...

    EDIT: I dislike you gents^^ immensely! Can't wait to see this!

    Last edited 24/04/13 4:02 pm

      The ship in the first picture in this article looks more like the Excelsior than the Enterprise.

        Sorry, I meant Benedict's dark looking ship. Those nacelles on the 'new' Enterprise do look long, like the Excelsior's from that angle, huh?

    So basically the same "Ermagherd they're all going to...oh wait" from The Wrath of Khan? The best of all Star Trek films ever?

    Not sure why you're complaining.

      Considering that the way out in Khan required a real sacrifice (well until the next movie), I have to disagree. Thats a bit different than "oh hey, lets kick this and see if it works". Granted, he wasnt specific on the scene, perhaps there is a similar sacrifice (some of the trailers suggest it), but I kind of doubt it.

    If you really want a storyline and universe where consequences matter, why are you bothering with the new Star Trek? The whole universe is a reboot that undoes everything post-Scott Bakula's Enterprise anyway!

      It may not "Undo" anything.

      Hugh Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation eliminates paradoxes and possibly in some cases negations. It may be that when people just simply time travel back onto a previous time line they do not negate the one they came from, but rather branch of a new one from that point on.

      Additionally MWI gives way to infinite or near infinite universes (which in some cases could also by synonymous for time lines) and eliminates wave sync collpase. With that being said, one would then have to realize that every combination of event history would have to also infinitely repeat in various histories. So one way or another, that time line from original Trek universe should still exist out there anyways.

      But the branch off method seems like a likely choice, as it's a method Bad Robot has used before, specifically with Fringe and [blue] Walter Bishop explaining this in "The Road Not Taken". It also then would make LOST make a great deal of sense, as the Island may be a time machine that spans multiple time line being driven by an spiritual progress of an ethereal plane (collective conscience), as character may have been working through several histories and incarnations in order to "evolve" to a state of being able to reach a time line where they can "move on" from the Island in their next corporeal time line, while others still have "work to do".

    FOr the hardcore Trekkies, keep watching that moment for a nice little homage to another Star Trek film.

    What the hell man, you just gave away everything!

      Sif. There's still a bunch I could give away. We tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but you can't review a movie without giving one or two things away. We have left out a detailed plot summary and included only necessary details, but still, if you don't want the movie spoiled for you why are you reading this in the first place?

      Saying that there's an homage to look for isn't a spoiler. Saying what it is would be.

    While I'm sure this a very attractive film I'm sure it will fall short of the visual mastery of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Fifth Element. Two Sci-Fi films you seem to have overlooked.

    Big explosions have always put bums on seats.

    "I’d go as far to say that Star Trek Into Darkness is the best looking sci-fi of our time."
    ....until the next one.

    Last edited 24/04/13 5:59 pm

    I am averting my eyes from the rest of the comments to make a single point.

    If you're going to write ANY KIND OF SPOILER, Luke... please indicate it so that there can be no doubt! "I'm not giving anything away" with the commentary that followed is certainly a spoiler - and not something that was simply contained to the trailers.

    In fact, I'm rather annoyed. Because by the time I realised it was a spoiler, you'd already spoiled it. Please put a spoiler alert in your title, bud, and then I can cry like a little b**** when the movie comes out, instead of right now.

      Added spoiler warning, but tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible.

      Dude, you're reading a review... what did you expect? Talk about logic fail...

    It is pretty obvious that they were not going to all crash and die considering this is set before the whole series so I don't see any spoiler there. If you think about it logically, say like a Vulcan, any life or death scene that involves anyone from the TV series is not going to end in the death of that character.

      Well, Vulcan has been destroyed (first major change that came to mind,,) in this "reboot" so the premise of what has come from the the original series may not be what will happen in this version..let's hear it for the multiverse!!

    I saw an advert for the movie on the Live dashboard yesterday.

    To me, it looks like they remade the last movie.

    Yet another Commonwealth type (Cumberbatch from that stinky Sherlock instead of our Bana) with a mysterious grudge, committing terrorist atrocities with powerful machines whilst the pretty young things save the day against improbable odds and a glossy backdrop.

    I saw this already! How about we actually explore the unknown for a change? :-(

    Given the Trek franchise itself has historically been a layer cake of derivatives, this is not a good sign. We now seem to have reached a point - only after one previous movie of the rebooted continuity - where the movie makers are so shy of genuinely surprising the audience that endless repetition is the way forward. Or are they just lazy, figuring anything goes?

    Either way, it does a disservice to the genre, and its fans.

    As for the idea of a "perfect reboot", something that starts with time travel and Nimoy's Spock as a central plank of the movie, is not confident of standing on its own. Enterprise was mutton dressed as lamb, and that show from the very pilot episode was all about a Time War (sorry RTD, they had it first and it still sucked) and nothing mattering - even then. These Abrams remix movies are no different. If you want consequences to stick - you have to ditch this. Otherwise, you get Superman flying around the Earth whenever Lois dies in an earthquake.

    I think the "bromance" angle with Kirk and Spock is a little tired. If there was an idea afoot to remake Wrath Of Khan (not seen the new movie, no idea if it's true so not a spoiler) I'd think it'd bring a nice new dynamic if McCoy died and this soured the Kirk-Spock friendship for a movie. (And I say that liking McCoy as a character, purely because it could make for better drama.) Then, instead of bringing him back to life, we got another doctor.

    Promote Chapel. Or, get someone entirely new and maybe fractious a la Pulasky from Next Generation. Before Nimoy was a lock in the post-60s revival, they had intended to go with a new character, a full Vulcan new graduate called Xon played by David Gautreaux.

    Let's see some more of that, and not let the inattentive and uncritical audiences slavishly applaud every serving of reheated leftovers. until that's all that's ever on the menu as though it were traditional to make sci fi this way. Firefly, Babylon 5 and more than a few other series on TV (American and otherwise) showed that there are better alternatives. A rebooted Star Trek movie series needs to embrace the liberties of 21st century cinema and not insist on looking back.

    Last edited 25/04/13 12:41 pm

      You lost me at "stinky Sherlock". Have you actually seen Sherlock? I'm glad you said that so I could ignore the rest of your comments because our taste is clearly too divergent. Without question the best television show I've ever seen, and Cumberbatch (in all his many roles) one of the best actors I've ever seen.

        As it happens Jenna, yes I have. I shan't ask how much television you've watched to declare it the best show you've ever seen nor your idiosyncratic criteria for doing so - it's great that you enjoy it. I'm more a fan of the Jeremy Brett and Victorian setting approach, so I don't. FWIW, the Robert Downey Jr movies also don't appeal. Moreover, neither of the leads in those approaches to the canon do much for me, at all.

        I trust you haven't run away screaming now... ;-)

        I'm a bit puzzled as to why that matters so much to you when the topic being discussed here is the relative merits of the new Star Trek movie, but it's good that you took the time to share your thoughts! :-)

        Last edited 26/04/13 7:49 pm

        You lost me at "stinky Sherlock".

        Same here. I havent seen Sherlock and no intention to see it, but Cumberbatch has impressed me in "Tinker, Tailor.." and at least from the trailers he seems to have some credible presence, even if its another piss-poor plot. I like Bana too, but presence often is not his thing and in ST he was about as one-dimensional as one can get (to be fair, the plot there didnt give him anything really).

      At least you're honest with your tag "Paulthegrouch".

      Seriously, you know it is Star Trek right? And openly described by the producers as a "reboot"?

      What you describe above isn't a better way of doing Star Trek. It is a completely different movie franchise. The entire Star Trek universe was built on the premise that none of the main characters die. Hence the (while mathematically incorrect) popular reference to the "red shirts".

      The entire thrust of the reboot is to expose a younger generation to the central concepts of the Star Trek universe with an updated visual appeal and new actors. It obviously doesn't want to disenfranchise existing fans, hence the reboot.

      Your post above isn't an idea for a new approach to Star Trek. It is a miss-mash of poor ideas from every sic-fi film/tv show you've enjoyed.

      PS - I went and saw the film last night. Highly recommended.

        I was also honest with my views about the movie - which at the time, it seemed only Luke had seen. That they aren't popular is neither here nor there. Still, it's great you and others liked the movie.

        To your point about what you see as being authentic Star Trek, some questions.

        Did you consider the deaths of the D's first security officer and the NX's engineer canonical?

        How about Kirk? Indeed, Spock himself was going to kark it in WOK but feedback changed things. Perhaps the lack of a "remember" scene in Generations was proof enough that in fact Star Trek was capable of adapting to change. The earlier and later deaths I mentioned (in TNG and ENT) suggest as much, too. Ditto the viewers!

        Tradition beyond purpose is what I was dissatisfied with as a viewer, of the STID trailer and the previous movie. It need hardly be this way, especially as the makers are not constrained by 1960s TV standards. There can be and are other ways to tell a rollicking space adventure, even a Star Trek one, without ceaseless repetition and playing safe instead of making something fresh. Abrams has the clout to do it, but is either too fannish (at least, in the "no change" vein) or can't be bothered to try, outside the most meagre trivialities.

        Fine, Spock's paired off with Uhura. But Star Trek isn't just about who's got a special friend. And the very best should surprise, entertain, even make us think. (Movies that do none of this are for electric monks. ) Instead it's just celebrity and canon spotting, with endless lashings of lens flare and in-jokes. Maybe that's enough for you, but not for me. Ditto the structure of the plot, which I'm sorry looks too much like the first movie, and with heaping helpings of WOK, if the comments here are on-point. Might as well watch one of the many free movies made by fan groups, that either star TOS cast or revisit material from those old episodes. The bar needs to be higher than this.

        I gave but one limited off the cuff example of how to change things a little, by killing McCoy for keeps. (Some say the new Uhura performs his function dramatically anyway.) Deaths of major cast have happened in Trek before, so why not again? But many other avenues exist for making Abrams' remix fresher. There are always ways, if you look to find them. More than a few old guard weren't sure what to make of Worf, when TNG was new. Of course, it was a sensible choice to tinker with expectations in this way. But a change is only as good as what you make of it. Making the scary implacable Borg pitiful (Hugh) then sexy but humanized (7 of 9) OTOH...

        I don't think we should give the current film series a pass because it's "Star Trek" or "a reboot". It should be judged on its own merits. I think what we got in 2009+ is the very "miss-mash" you suggest I'm championing. Lots of razzle dazzle, lots of pace, but for all that still running in one place whilst claiming to be the new hotness. And like the 2005+ version of Doctor Who which equally grew a new audience by doing basically the same, it lost itself in order to attract people who never would have wanted to watch it in the first place.

        Last edited 11/05/13 1:03 pm

          "I don't think we should give the current film series a pass because it's "Star Trek" or "a reboot". It should be judged on its own merits."

          I think this sums up your argument. That is, contradictory.

          You've just written two pretty long posts that outline why it is a bad film because it doesn't do anything new. You've judged it entirely on the basis of 40 odd years of Star Trek history.

          But now the film should be judged on its own merits? Or should it be judged on the lack of "new" plot devices and the fact that it sticks to the Star Trek formula? Which one is it?

          To anyone reading the comments on the review above. Go see the film and enjoy it!

            Let's recap. I'm dissatisfied with what I see as the lack of vitality in these new movies.

            You say that I am missing the point and that I should bear in mind that the "entire Star Trek universe was built on the premise that none of the main characters die."

            Yet in fact, this isn't so - Trek has had perma-deaths before, big screen and small.

            Rather than concede your error about change being alien to the Trek formula (and I give examples beyond death) you seem to be suggesting that it's refreshing that the Abrams movies eschew it.

            If you think it doesn't matter what went before, why make an easily disproven assertion that you claim supports your view that Trek a la Abrams is great and just right? I respectfully submit that the contradiction is your own, not mine.

            Trek's narrative range seems to have gone from static to partially dynamic and now back to static again under these movies, which no doubt to you makes it more authentic and/or creative and/or enjoyable and/or accessible and/or something else.

            Let me ask though, in all seriousness: as a franchise of movies, why make the same thing over and over? For you, presumably, because that's traditionally how Trek should be/is. Again, I don't think that follows although I will accept well enough that this may be your personal preference. Again, be it Trek or anything else, I don't see that as a sufficient draw to go buy a movie ticket. Variety isn't just a trade paper - it adds spice to life. Otherwise you get Easter Island, monotony - all the way down. Anything, no matter how terrific, can't help but lose its lustre under such conditions. Even discussing films on the internet... ;-)

            But, to each their own. Enjoy STID and Trek 2009+, IDIC and LLAP! :-)

            Last edited 11/05/13 5:04 pm

              I suggest you've put opinions into my comments that simply aren't there. If you're going to make assertions about my opinions then I suggest you provide quotes in support. Like this...

              As you say, "variety... adds spice to life."

              I think you should abandon all future Star Trek films. You seem unable to look at a reboot as an opportunity to introduce the "next generation" (groan) to the Star Trek universe.

              Speaking of The Next Generation I could go on about the complete lack of original concepts (unless you think swapping a logical Vulcan who goes on to discover emotion with a robot who has an emotion chip implanted is original.) That said, I enjoyed The Next Generation immensely.

              Welcome to getting old Paul. Old ideas become new. History repeats. Story lines get rehashed.

              In the case of the latest Star Trek film they have done a great job of refreshing the franchise. It was exciting, funny and visually spectacular.

              If that isn't for you then get the original series on Blu-Ray and continue posting "grouchy" comments about how you've seen it all before...

                So do you deny you claimed something provably false, that main characters don't croak in Trek? If you knew it was erroneous, why offer it to substantiate your view? Clearly quoting you isn't enough to get you to concede the point at this stage, so I'll let it pass.

                You'll of course recall that I mentioned change is as good as what one makes of it, and that the narrative range of Trek to date has offered at best partial dynamism. That holds for all of the Treks, in my view. However I think that sort of evolution (from rigidity to increasing fluidity) isn't bad but rather healthy, and is to be expected, encouraged and embraced rather than shunned in a new series of movies but near as I can see it's the latter that's happened for no good reason other than to "play safe". As I've said, I think there's ample scope for making something much fresher for cinema than the current offering, far more so than TNG was to TOS say, whilst still being Trek.

                When and if the 2009+ version gets around to trying that, I'll give it another chance.

                Got the BRs, thanks. But I don't think a desire for more lively Trek is a sign of aging, any more than a willingness to applaud the new stuff is a hallmark of youthfulness.

                  It wasn't the reference to the death of main characters I was referring to. That was the bit where you actually did quote me... Even though I dispute your position I can't be bothered getting into a long winded argument.

                  It was that I believe Star Trek shouldn't change it's basic formula out of a sense of tradition. I made no claim about tradition or otherwise. I couldn't give a rat's arse if they changed the formula and called it Star Trek. I was commenting on a movie review not Star Trek canon.

                  If you'd quoted me correctly you'd see that the point I made was:

                  1. Why change it? It works.
                  2. A reboot exists to bring in new people without disenfranchising existing fans.
                  3. If you're going to move away from a well made approach to a franchise then create a new franchise.

                  However lack lustre you think JJ Abrams' approach is I'd suggest the success of his movies is counter to your argument.

                  Taken as a film, independent of your desire for change, it was excellent.

                  You just seem unable to withdraw your subjective desire for a "fresh" approach from a reasonable assessment of the film.

                  And no, a desire for a new approach is not a sign of youthfulness. It is a sign you feel you've seen it all before. The irony is not lost on me either especially given the plot of the film and its relationship to the original films. If anything JJ Abrams' is probably delighted with your reaction.

                  PS - The death thing... Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan v Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Christ, it is even referenced in the film that Kirk hadn't had anyone killed as captain...

                  PPS - I look forward to your long-winded response

                  PPPS - I don't really...

      As much as your comment seems overly negative, I have to agree with you. It's happening in most 'blockbuster' movies these days. Its almost feels like they are robotically ticking boxes for comedy, action, effects, emotion without constructing a cohesive story that can draw you in. Feels very disjointed and rushed. Where are the directors that aren't afraid of stepping beyond the tried and tested formulas? When are we going to have another NEW idea like the Matrix was when it came out. Did anyone else feel like Iron Man 3 was a hodge-podge of cool effects with minimal cause for emotional investment in the characters? The moments that had the potential to do so felt rushed. Comedic one-liners were literally mumbled by the actors.

      District 9's Neill Blomkamp, now THERE's a director :). Awesome movie. Can't wait for Elysium!

      As a sci-fi lover, I'll be going to see Star Trek for the visual spectacle of it all. I'm not expecting to be sucked into the storyline. I hope I'm proved wrong!

        Well, you pointed out Blomkamp. There are others, like del Toro, who has done some very good stuff earlier on. The Wachowskis hat little cred, before they burst onto the scene with Matrix (which by the way, while taking a lot of cred and being impressive with its visuals, was highly derivative of a bunch of animes and "Dark City", some if it by coincidence, some by purpose). They were backed by the Weinstein-brothers, who are both big in studio-activity and have a lot of vision, when it comes to directors/writers. And Matrix at the time was not meant to be a blockbuster either, it was very much an against the trend-piece, which took everyone by surprise. The directors are there and they will always be, in fact, these days its probably easier to make any kind of movie than ever before. Thanks to stuff like crowdfunding, one can even generate very decent budgets, that would never be generated by studios for the same concept. Also independent movies have it easier to gain recognition than ever, due to new forms of distribution and advertising.

        I think, when we take a serious look back at stand-out projects of the past, the circumstances back then havent really been that much different. Studios like to play it safe often, but sometimes also take significant risks. In both cases there was reward and severe punishments (some ambitious projects actually broke studios). Some of the now fondly remembered achievements, sci-fi or otherwise, came together more or less by accident (Spielberg on Jaws "why are you trying to have me make a b-movie?", the "exciting" production of Camerons "Aliens", "Apocalypse Now", then there are great-ambitions-projects like Alien3, that more or less failed spectacularly etc...and these are just the ones, that actually produced a releasable movie).

        Taking a hard serious look at previous Trek-movies, one could find all kinds of problems with many of them. We now fondly remember some movies, that, really, when judged without the "looking back"-factor, do not stand up quite so well (Voyage Home was highly contemporary with its environmental issues to the point of being a bit tacky, its humor also was quite formulaic, yet I think most people like it quite a bit, First Contact was a routine action movie, with cardboard good and bad guys and predictable plot, yet it is mostly praised as being one of the best etc.)

        I agree that The Matrix looked impressive, from a stylistic and technical standpoint. Quite influential, naturally enough. But at the time it came out, I had no interest in seeing it. It sounded a bit old hat, ideas-wise. Doctor Who in 1976 did it already, mercifully without Keanu Reeves! ;-)

        Although District 9 wasn't entirely to my taste, I did like what it offered - a way to tell an interesting story in a near-real world using science fictional ideas to explore the human condition. And it wasn't a very expensive movie, either! I think it's rather a pity that anthology series like The Twilight Zone are out of fashion, along with 25 minute dramas of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents vein. Television could do well to give us something like that again. Even in black and white! :-)

        As to Iron Man, can't say. Could scarcely endure the first one, not returned. Kinda over the plethora of superpeople movies, to be honest. And quite fed up with terrorists as baddies in these things. Of course terrorists are bad. Duh! But can't we see other varieties of villain? Even in the cowboy-obsessed 1950s, not all battles were with Native Americans, you know? I'd rather something more like Grant Morrison's Brotherhood Of Dada for a change - but c'est la vie.

      Geeze, you came to that conclusion by watching a trailer... you deserve a medal! you're so awesome.

      Anyway the next movie will be your exploration flick going by the fact they leave on a 5 year journey to the unknown at the end of this one. So if you really don't want to see a movie that has gotten nothing but good reviews and appraisals then by all means skip it and wait for the next one, which probably wont be up to your standards anyway and you'll be back here to dribble more filth.

      Meh, whilst I agree with you on a certain level that a lot of this is rehashed and not particularly deep, as an exercise in entertainment and reaching otherwise non-sci fi appreciating audiences this film manages to hit all the right notes.

      I personally didn't like all the black hole nonsense in the first 'reboot' (given that star trek historically attempted to apply what was theoretically accurate, the films depiction of strangely 2D black holes that allowed time travel without obliterating the matter it absorbed was irritating), so this film - with its themes of moral hazard in pursuing the strategic platform of preemptive war whilst controlling the narrative at home through the silencing of whistle-blowers - was had a much more engaging story in my view.

      In any case, this film has already succeeded in bringing in huge plaudits and approval from audiences, effectively justifying its huge cost and setting up another sequel. From a business perspective therefore, the film is a perfect sequel. And before you accuse me of extolling the virtues of the economic tendency to pander to the lowest common denominator to make a buck, let me just say that this is hardly new; from Shakespeare to Dickens through the modern age, pandering to power (political or corporate) has been the only currency worth writing for.

      Last edited 10/05/13 11:04 am

    A couple of plot holes and excessive fan service, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. JJ sure knows how to take you on a wild ride.

    Movie is OK. Worth watching. But:
    Where is Earth's planetary defense system?
    Escape pods anyone? Kirk's father had plenty of them...
    Dilithium chamber of this size???

    Last edited 10/05/13 9:56 am

      For the first question: I'd say that the defence system - assuming there was one - wouldn't activate for a federation ship (which the USS Vengence is).
      2: Spok actually orders everyone to the escape pods when they're reentering earth, but they all decide they'd miss him too much, so they hang about. Kirk probably didn't bother because they were getting their ass kicked so bad they hardly had time.
      3. Yeah, pretty massive.

        1. Two Federation ships firing on each other and nobody concerned?
        2: I remember, but they did not show the main crew escaping. Ahhh, who cares about the crew.

    So would anyone recommend the 3D version over 2D?

      Not really... I only watched it in 3D because that was the only decent session available, but it really adds nothing to the experience. In fact I often find myself looking for an excuse to take the bloody glasses off.

      Since you've never seen the Enterprise in 3D... I thoroughly recommend it. A thing of beauty, made more beautiful.

    Well, it seems Abrams simply continues his approach of "form over function". Sounds a bit like Matrix 3, but less messed up, or Avatar, but less grandiose. I also find it disappointing, that the tendency these days seems to be to focus on shiny pictures, but completely abandon things like character-development and intelligent plot-lines. Avatar was an excellent example there and Abrams ST seems to follow it step by step.

    Its ironic, because esp characters are being discussed these days in pre-launch PR for almost every movie more than anything else (probably due to actors having more media presence thanks to social and online media than they had 20 years ago and they want to play up their involvement). Yet what we get on the screen is cardboard-cutouts, even if they are arguably played by capable actors, which makes it all so sad and story-writing, which basically tries to come up with new ways of insulting the audiences intelligence.

    I am going to watch it, just as I have seen every previous ST-movie, but I am pretty sure, my general feeling after leaving the cinema will be "Yeah well...whats for dinner?". To be fair, there werent many ST movies before, where I felt differently (except for the complete gut-punch, that was Nemesis). I'd say, Trek on TV might be fit for another start, but thats probably not going to happen at least for another ten years.

      The Avatar comparison is ill-suited and almost unfair I would say. Avatar was very pretty garbage in my opinion. It was also one of the most predictable pieces of Eco-propaganda I've seen (I'm by no means anti-conservation either - I just hate black and white pandering).
      For me Into-Darkness was much more interesting and nuanced than Avatar, whilst also being a significantly more enjoyable film to watch. It's a film that doesn't take itself too seriously, and whilst it panders to Trek fans with several little homages it's overall script isn't infused with the same sort of politicised nonsense. Sure, it presents a serious ethical dilemma that resonates with the war on terror and the hostile fear of the unknown that has helped fuel the narrative (though not the actual strategic goals) behind the two wars it spawned, but it doesn't ram it down your throat.
      Also, the film isn't devoid of character development either. It's fair to say that Kirk doesn't change much, but Spok undergoes some change and the conflicts between the characters are pretty engaging. No simplistic "I gonna get me some 'unobtainium' (seriously? "unobtainium"?) whether I have to walk over the dead of an entire planet.

      Last edited 10/05/13 12:40 pm

        I agree, that Abrams Star Trek does not do tacky messaging like Cameron (who really is juvenile in his approach to the point of loathing). I think, the whole Avatar & ST-thing, from my point of view is more connected on the "form over function"-level that I mentioned. Its script is not ideology-infused, but rather sets its ambitions very low from the out-set. I havent seen Into Darkness yet (as hinted upon), so perhaps my impression will be different than with the first one.

          Well to be honest I was never much of a Trek fan, but whilst there are certain things that annoy me about both the Abrams films (the black hole thing in the first one annoyed me no end given how bore no reflection to what theoretical physicists actually think they are like), this film is the stronger of the two in my view. In fact it's one of the more enjoyable sci-fi films I've seen for a while (certainly a huge amount better than the nonsense that was Oblivion). It all depends what you want from it - it's not going to give you the sort of character depth a Dostoyevsky novel will, nor will it offer the same consequences for big decisions, but it isn't meant to be that kind of story.

    star wars > star trek

      I would have said that before the Phantom Menace... but that film and its 2 sequels sorta changed that.

      You mean, in terms of generational deterioration? I agree...

      The latest Star Trek definitely has Star Wars like elements. Some of the music, dark environments and uniforms were distinctly Star Wars-esque. In my opinion at least. At a few points in the movie it sounded like a John Williams score. And some of the hats had a distinctly Empire like styling...

    Just saw it today. Bloody awesome.

    Instead of over analysing this movie......Worth watching 4.5/5 stars movie. Worth watching a second time on DVD as well. 3D rendering of scenes and Kahn's excellent acting amongst other things we have come to expect from the Star Trek franchise makes it a must watch.

    Agree, if you don't want spoilers don't read the post until after you see the movie.

    Saw it yesterday. Absolutely incredible, possibly one of, if not THE, best star trek film out there!!!!

    Saw it this morning. Honestly, I think it'd be a fine film for anyone that hasn't seen either Star Trek 2 or Nemesis, as this film has copied elements from both and is not better for it.

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