Our Spoiler-Free Review of Star Trek: Into Darkness

by Elizabeth Howell on May 16, 2013

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Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) as portrayed in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Credit: StarTrekMovie.com

Spock (Zachary Quinto) and James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) as portrayed in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Credit: StarTrekMovie.com

If you’re a fan of the rebooted 2009 Star Trek film, we think you’ll love the second edition. You’ll find similar whip-cracking dialog, inside jokes and action-filled storyline in the sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, which opens in theaters in the United States and several other countries today.

While the first movie introduced us to the characters, this movie is all about choices… moral choices, and when it is best to help somebody, as opposed to letting things be. That’s where things can get uncomfortable, though.

The film’s start portrays a moral dilemma in the first few minutes, with choices that bring upon punishment for the players involved. The consequences are quite logical — Spock would point that out — but when more dilemmas pile up at the end of the film, many decisions go unquestioned.

Yes, this is an action film and yes, the Star Trek franchise is one that never lets itself get slowed down by plot holes and inconsistencies. (The plot isn’t that groundbreaking, either.) Still, the movie could have benefitted from an extra five or 10 minutes to show the reasoning behind the final few choices. Thinking over what happened, there could be problems with what the crew decided to do.

Nyota Uhura as seen in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Credit: StarTrekMovie.com

Nyota Uhura as seen in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Credit: StarTrekMovie.com

Enough Tribble-like quibbling, though. Star Trek: Into Darkness pulls you in with an action sequence in the first few minutes, and the pace never lets up. Spock (Zachary Quinto)’s straightforward nature gets him into trouble — as usual — with James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), leading to quotable insults that generated audience guffaws in an advance screening Universe Today saw in Ottawa, Canada.

There’s enough time and, well, space for other characters to shine as well. While Nyota Uhura (Zoë Saldana) spends ample screen time mooning about her boyfriend, she proves to be an excellent and forceful translator. Scotty (Simon Pegg) also has a wonderful back-and-forth sequence late in the movie, breaking up some intense moments with his slapstick humor.

Also: Another character comes along and — with a presence that commands attention on the big screen — threatens to steal the show from our heroes. You don’t want to like them, but as you get to know them you realize they have reasons behind their actions.

What did you think of the film? Please share your thoughts in the comments

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

Anoop Saxena May 16, 2013 at 9:44 PM

I have said this elsewhere, they completely killed the spirit of Star Trek! Not just about the reasoning with the decisions, but the whole point of “selecting a guy” to lead Enterprises, the best of all, was turned on its head with abject apathy for “Prime directive”. A huge ship being build elsewhere, someone going in there undetected! I mean it was pedestrian honestly!

Deryck Balchan May 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Great Film For The Younger Generation. Many Flaws will be Seen by the Older Die Hard Fans.

Brenda Jean Louise May 17, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Well, I hear this and that. So, it looks like I’ll save the $$$ in going to the theater, and I’ll wait until they make a blue-ray disc of it, and I can watch it on my 60″ 3D TV and home theater unit without having to walk on a sticky garbage strewn movie theater floor.

Eric Pan May 17, 2013 at 8:22 PM

This was a fantastic movie. Two thumbs up. I have been a fan since the original episodes aired. This is fresh, up to date and follows Star Fleet Tradition.

By the way, in Insurrection, Admiral Dougherty was building a secret holo deck-ship using Federation resources. That precedent has been established.

Anoop Saxena May 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Well that was with the with help of “another race.. forgot the name.. one was Ba’ku”! Not exactly in our solar system…

But the point would be missed if we harped on just that issue. The plot was wafer thin! 2009 Star Trek was good! Nice plot. This one was just a Vengeance drama and I thought Wrath of the Khan probably had a more plausible plot!

Fraser Cain May 18, 2013 at 1:06 AM

I hate to disagree with Elizabeth, but I thought it was a pretty mediocre movie. I had trouble paying attention to the movie because the plot holes were so enormous. Some could have been easily fixed, while others were big enough to fly the Enterprise through.

I was really disappointed.

Christian Ready May 19, 2013 at 3:39 AM

Considering how this is supposed to be a completely new, alternative timeline with a blank canvass unburdened by canon, it was a tremendous disappointment to see that they chose to rehash a well-known storyline from the original series. Did Abrams and co, actually believe their version was better than the original, and therefore worth doing instead of telling us a completely brand-new story?

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