This movie review was originally posted on a website called Kernel Critic, which no longer exists.
Star Trek Into Darkness is the second movie in the “rebooted” series that is based upon the characters from the original Star Trek television series (and, in part, the movies that involved the original characters). I am impressed by how well the actors in the “rebooted” films have captured the essence of the characters that they are portraying.
Captain Kirk (played by Chris Pine) is overconfident, emotional, and incredibly lucky with how his choices turn out. Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) is logical and rational. Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) is smart, quick thinking, and fearless.
At the same time, they have added some subtle differences that make the new versions of the familiar characters that much more interesting. There is a romance between Spock and Uhura that did not exist in the original series, but works quite well in the “rebooted” versions. The result is that viewers get a vivid look at the inner emotions of each character in a way that hadn’t been presented before.
Kirk goes through a period of growth and maturity as a result of some of his decisions in this movie, and this gives viewers a glimpse of what a young Kirk was like, before the Enterprise went on its five year mission into space.
Star Trek Into Darkness introduces a character that existed in the original series but is new to the “rebooted” series. Khan (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is the main “bad guy” of the movie. He brings us a very different version of Khan, as compared to the Khan played by Ricardo Montalban in the original television series and the Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan movie.
In Star Trek Into Darkness, Khan is a super soldier who has been altered in ways that make him stronger, and more intelligent, than a typical human. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a Khan that is calculated, calm, and capable of incredibly violent actions. I found this calm version of Khan, who can maim and kill without hesitation, absolutely terrifying. He is the monster that can blend into society, unnoticed, when it suits him to do so.
Viewers of the movie quickly realize that Khan is the person behind the acts of terrorism against Star Fleet that set the story into motion. Without giving away any “spoilers”, I can say that the Enterprise is sent out on a (somewhat secretive) mission to find Khan and stop him.
As a fan of Star Trek, I had concerns that Star Trek Into Darkness would be little more than a remake of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This worried me, because I didn’t think it would work very well. Instead, Star Trek Into Darkness has a plot line that goes in a completely different direction. There are a couple of things that happen in the new movie that echo the original, but it is done in a way that honors the roots of the series (rather than copying them).
Star Trek Into Darkness is a fast paced, action packed, sci-fi movie that gives Star Trek fans everything that they are looking for. Khan is a terrifying figure and extremely effective at not only planning his actions, but also in carrying them out. The heroes, Kirk, Spock, and Uhura, along with the crew of the Enterprise, have quite the battle on their hands to stop Khan.
Star Trek Into Darkness strengthens the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and Uhura.