Star Trek Into Darkness both Impresses and Disappoints


Abhijeet Singh ’15


Edsman Rating: B

Star Trek Into Darkness, released on Friday, May 17th, is the sequel to the critical and commercial success that was the 2009 reboot. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana, the film is directed once again by J.J. Abrams. While the first film shows how the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise came together, the second takes them to all new ground, from a terrorist attack on a futuristic London to a mysterious villain and an explosive finale that takes place in the final frontier that Star Trek is known for— space. After a wait of four years, does the crew of the Enterprise return in all their glory? Well, yes, perhaps, but only two of them.

Into Darkness is a decent film in and of itself, with great action sequences, a fair share of emotional moments, and some interesting plot moments. However, the issue is that is not a very good Star Trek film. Just like James Bond films distinguish themselves from the average spy thriller, Star Trek is supposed to prove its distinction from other science fiction films, yet it fails to do this. Much of the dynamic and loveable crew that the series is known for is drowned out, as Kirk and Spock seem to be the only two to receive any character development or a substantial story. The funny Scotty and intelligent Uhura are just background characters that set up for the aforementioned two protagonists. This contradicts the workings of the original, which made each character possess his or her unique storyline and character elements.

When it comes to the plot, Into Darkness seems to be a master at creating suspense, yet often hurts itself with an overdose of unnecessary plot twists— one succeeds the other before the former can be comprehended by the audience. Rather than create shock value, this ploy results in a rather convoluted story throughout much of the film. The action sequences, on the other hand, impress in a variety of ways. From a pod pursuit in London to a grand finale in outer space, and some interesting scenes on exotic planets— the film provides eye candy to a reasonable extent. This, sadly, does not translate to a substantial film, but rather carries the film on when the plot fails to do so.

As someone who loved the original Star Trek for its combination of stellar character development, entertaining action, and balanced plot, this is a disappointing review to write. Into Darkness if often fun and fast-paced, yet when it’s not, and one is forced to face its plot, the shortcomings are clear. If you are seeking an enjoyable movie, look no further. If you want the proper follow up to the exceptional 2009 reboot, well, you might have to just keep waiting.