Take The Journey With ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (Movie Review)

Star Trek Into Darkness TNBeing a huge Star Wars fan all my life who frequently has called Star Trek boring, dull and lifeless with the exception of The Next Generation episodes Ashley Judd appeared in, I was astonished by how much fun I had with J.J. Abrams fresh take on the franchise back in 2009.  In my opinion, he resuscitated the franchise, made it enjoyable and brought much needed life and energy back into it, not to mention some really humorous moments too.  And for that, I appreciated J.J. Abrams even more as a filmmaker and didn’t even bat an eye when this sequel was announced back in 2011.  I have actually been anxiously awaiting its arrival in theaters.  I was so thrilled and taken aback by the first one, 2009’s Star Trek, that I have actually been genuinely pumped, geeked and excited for this next chapter in what I would presume to be a trilogy, Star Trek Into Darkness.  And quite honestly, I never thought I would ever utter those words that I am excited for something Star Trek.  It feels like a betrayal to everything Star Wars and that goes against all my rooted values, but sometimes you need to spice life up and stop being a hater, right?  Different is good!  Sometimes.

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So this time out, J. J. Abrams returns to helm the USS Enterprise once again with a script written by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.  The cast from the 2009 hit film returns with a few new faces.  John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Peter Weller and Anton Yelchin comprise the star-studded cast, sadly minus my girl, Rachel Nichols.  And in the grand scheme of things, this is actually the twelfth film in the Star Trek series, but make no mistake, this is a direct sequel to the 2009 flick.  Thanks be to God because the other franchises bore the bejesus out of me.

Unfortunately, although the film is heavily promoted as a 3D release, it’s only a post-conversion one in reality.  That’s disappointing to me because in my eyes it really only means money grab.  It fails in comparison to the marvelous 3D presentation of The Great Gatsby I witnessed last week, but quite surprisingly, it’s probably the best post conversion job I have seen done yet.  Although people deserve to get their monies worth, Hollywood, I really don’t have any quips with saying why not, check this one out in 3D if your wallet allows.  However, I have a sneaky suspicion that you’ll like this one regardless of what kind of presentation you see it in, that is if you like non-stop action and a bikini clad, for no reason at all, hot Alice Eve.  Do I have your attention now?  Good!  Read on by all means, please.

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What seems like a long road since the first film’s 2009 release, May 16th is finally here!  With no colons in the film’s title, it’s set after the events of the former film and we immediately find ourselves amidst the heat of the action as the USS Enterprise and its heroes, namely Kirk (Pine) and Spock (Quinto), attempt to save the inhabitants of Planet Nibiru from a volcanic eruption that threatens to wipe out civilization there.  Picture Raiders of the Lost Ark right here.   We open brilliantly in the middle of a high speed foot chase through what almost looks like an exotic pink forest with a hurried sense of urgency and nostalgia that magically transported me back to 1981, watching Indiana Jones flee from the natives in the jungle after taking the golden statue.  Hopefully you’re picking up what I’m dropping here.  I can’t think of a better way to open up a film than to drop you right in the heat of the action and let you catch up to it while your adrenaline pumps away.  Bravo J. J.!

However, no matter how heroic the actions of James T. Kirk were in the very beginning of this movie, as usual, he is scolded and eventually reprimanded for his inability to follow the rules no matter how successful he is, time after time.  He’s labeled as arrogant and sadly demoted to First Officer under the TLC care of Christopher Pike (Greenwood) who re-assumes responsibility of the Enterprise.  Simply put, Kirk isn’t ready for the chair yet.  Boo hoo.  Without dishing any spoilers, we all know this will change.  And change it does after a short B-story plot involving a certain family and a mysterious man unravels and results in an Enterprise facility in London being attacked (more like annihilated) and Federation officers being targeted.  It isn’t too long until Kirk and team are sent on a radical, secret mission to a planet far off that I think, deep down inside, every Trekkie wanted to see played out on the big screen once again.  Come on.  You know you did!

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So on the surface, sure Star Trek Into Darkness is a blockbuster, popcorn film.  However, to me it’s much more than that.  It’s a rousing visual and riveting space adventure that grabs ahold of you from the beginning and truly never lets you go.  Sure there’s no reason to see Alice Eve’s character bikini clad, but so what if we do?  Those three seconds of beauty were needed to tell this tell of bravery, camaraderie and leadership that touches all too sharply upon the fragile nature of our world currently, namely the fear we live in of terrorism.  Truly no one’s safe.  And wouldn’t it be grand to know that there’s a Federation out there devoted to peace keeping and procurement of aiding lifeforms to ensure their survival?  I think so.  And make no mistakes ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t your father’s Star Trek, but it is mine and I love it.

I can’t really talk in depth about the film’s story without ruining any of the secrets, so I’ll keep a tight lid on it just like Disney did with Iron Man 3’s villainous one.  But I will go on record by saying the following.  All the chemistry and humor the majority of us loved about the first film and its tangible character relationships/developments are here once again.  But the stakes are higher.  They’re bolder.  And more importantly, more mysterious.  What’s really the purpose of this secret mission Kirk is sent on?  Is it really to capture this terrorist or is there a hidden agenda the Federation isn’t letting anybody in on?  I’ll leave you to think about that.  That’s all I can say other than I think fans of the original Star Trek films will be relatively pleased at the revelations and events that unfold here.  Please keep in mind that these new Trek films are a reinterpreting of a legendary past franchise, not a butchering or a mockery of them.  This is a Star Trek universe for a brand new generation.  Keep your grumblings to a minimum and enjoy it for all its marvel and spectacular.  And if you have kids into sci-fi, take them too.  Build memories.    Forster relationships.  Grow those bonds.  This is why these movies are made…to bring us all together.

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In conclusion, all I have to say is this is how you do a summer blockbuster, not that lame a$$ Shane Black Iron Man 3 outing.   Star Trek Into Darkness is a ferocious and unforgiving frenzy of action, mayhem and most importantly a heaping serving of fun.   All I could hear in my head last night were the lyrics to that one pop song that goes something like this in a rhythmic fashion.  “This is how we do it.”  You hear that Aaron?  This is is how you do a summer blockbuster!  So drop what you are doing right now and go see this.   It doesn’t matter all that much if you haven’t seen the 2009 film, although the references may be helpful, or even if you are not a Star Trek fan in general, because I’m not.   You’re guaranteed to have a rowdy, hooting good time with this one.   And if you don’t, see if you accidentally checked your soul in at the door because this one’s a blast.   No time traveling.   No long introductions.   A pure blast of adrenaline from the start to a knockout finish.  This is how you do it, indeed.


This review in its entirety is dedicated to reviewer WSB Aaron Neuwirth.

Star Trek Into Darkness


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

7 Responses to “Take The Journey With ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (Movie Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    You seem to be confused. I am not against anyone enjoying the movie, I just don’t have a care for the franchise. I saw Into Darkness and its fine. It’s nothing more than blockbuster entertainment and it makes good use of IMAX, but I really don’t have much else to say about it.

  2. Brian White

    After all your talk you seen Star Trek?!! I’m so confused 🙁 Is this really Aaron Neuwirth? Never said you were against anyone seeing it…just wanted to dedicate the review to you. That’s all.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    All my talk? All I said was that I don’t care. And I specifically said I wasn’t not going to see it. If anything, the film had a good chance to impress me, which it did in terms of spectacle, to an extent, but I’m still just pretty meh overall. Kirk was less of a dick this time…so that’s something.

  4. Brian White

    Sorry 🙁 This is all I had to go on.

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    That “#2” joke makes so much more sense in context, but yeah, that’s me not caring.

  6. Gerard Iribe


  7. Gregg

    This movie was AWESOME. Benedict Cumberpatch brilliant as usual. Chris Pine makes a great Kirk (again). Alice Eve. Wow.