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  • Writer's pictureBen Kemper

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Or: The wrath of Cumberbatch

I must confess that while I greatly enjoyed Into Darkness, as a dark and edgy romp through time and space, I found it inferior to Adam’s first offering. The new installment is just as full of the honoring and offerings that made the first film so delightful and is of course filled with action and witty dialogue and profound moral instruction that make it a great science fiction film.

Yet, I cannot help but think that Into Darkness came out of the oven half baked in terms of story development. The crew of the Enterprise now comfortably settled with each other and the emotional subplots about understanding other people points of veiw and personal loyalty seem awfully forced. The one acceptation to this is Quinto who, as before, manages to bring dynamism and a solid arc to so famous a static character.

The film begins promisingly enough: a grieving couple seeking for away to restore their comatose daughter to life are offered a deal with the devil by John Harrison, a chilly brit with a big cat baritone and a penchant for long coats that go swish (sound familiar?). This leads to two attacks on Starfleet and fiery deaths galore which prompt everyones favorite loose cannon (pine) and his crews of talented eccentrics to go take on a highly sketchy mission to the very doorstep of their enemies in order to hunt Harrison down. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and the Enterprise is pitted against an enemy who outguns them out thinks them and has no compunctions about laying waste to earth.

One sore point is the sense of distorted retribution. While the murders of 43+ people are good reason enough to send our heroes on a dark path, the various Villains are not really given strong enough reasons to commit the horrible acts that they do. Some small bit of backstory or flashback would have been appreciated, especially since the writers make the killers so empathetic. Also, there is major twist that could have been underlined more but is left with its wells of angst untapped. Also Harrison’s last move of revenge is much more horrifying then it is referenced to be. It’s a shame to see such villains go to waste after all the wonderful work that was squandered on Nero in the last film.

Aside from all that I did enjoy the film greatly. Cumberbatch excels and is quite good at villainy when it suits him, his threats and manners are the most quotable since Heath Ledger’s Joker. Pegg also comes into his own both as a comedian and as a character of substance and Saldana finally is given a chance to use her considerable grit and prove that learning Klingon is not the time waste you might think.

I would encourage anyone to go see Into Darkness, and doff my hat to its "niftiness" but i don't think I'll see it twice in theaters as I did the last.

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