Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Captain Kirk ponders what to do.

Captain Kirk ponders what to do.

Exam hell at Cornell University has just ended in time for The Pop Culture Historian to be able to hit summer blockbuster season!

Star Trek Into Darkness is the follow up to 2009’s reboot of the classic Star Trek franchise, and it follows Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) as he is caught up in a Federation cover-up involving the genetically engineered superhuman Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Almost as soon as the movie started, I was in awe of the special effects. The opening scene involved Kirk running through (CG) jungle to distract an alien race while Spock (Zachary Quinto) was attempting to trigger a device that would prevent a volcano from erupting and thus save these aliens. The jungle was created such that it would be a believable alien environment. In the meantime, the effects inside the volcano demonstrated very painstaking detail. Not only that, but that scene was just a hint as to what would come for the rest of the movie. Star Trek Into Darkness was a movie with plenty of eye candy to behold.

As somebody who actually did not see 2009’s Star Trek, I did appreciate the fact that the sequel was written so that even I could appreciate it. However, the Star Trek television series were known to be very philosophical (the ethics of ‘killing’ an android in an episode of The Next Generation comes to mind), which I found to not be the case in Star Trek Into Darkness; the movie felt like an orgy of eye candy that was much more concerned with entertaining than it was with provoking thought. Additionally, I found myself able to predict a few plot points.

Aside from that, the movie was technically top-notch where the entire cast turned in some fine performances. Benedict Cumberbatch (currently most famous for being Sherlock) was absolutely frightening as the movie’s villain, and I was equally impressed by that of Peter Weller (the titular RoboCop) as Federation Admiral Marcus. Simon Pegg’s Scotty provided ample comic relief.

Overall, I would characterize Star Trek Into Darkness as a fun, popcorn movie to see, much in the same vain as last year’s The Avengers. It’s not a particularly deep movie, at least not as deep as other movies and shows in the Star Trek franchise, but it’s fun enough to warrant checking out. I’m admittedly curious as to what more diehard Star Trek fans thought of this.

Score: 3/4