If we ignore talent and the ability to write a coherent sentence without grammatical errors one of my greatest weaknesses as a blogger is my inconsistent rating system. I rate my films based on my mood at the time of writing rather than being objective – it means that more often than not bad films score ridiculously high and great films score a lot lower than deserved.
Prior to writing this blog I went back and read my review of Star Trek and was shocked to find that I had given it 10/10. This has thrown me completely as I have never considered watching the film since I viewed it in the cinema.
Despite my apparent love for Star Trek I had little interest in Star Trek Into Darkness. I was always going to see it in the cinema but it is more out of loyalty to Summer Season than the Starship Enterprise.
PLOT: After an attack on Starship Command Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is sent to the Klingon world of Kronos to track down John Harrison aka Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) the terrorist responsible. Khan is brought on board the Enterprise however when Admiral Wallace (Peter Weller) arrives in the USS Vengeance it becomes clear that both Khan and the Admiral are keeping secrets. END PLOT
I have no knowledge of Star Trek but my ignorance of this particular world is my greatest ally as I have nothing to compare this film to.
Once Star Trek Into Darkness settles down the plot unexpectedly plays out like a thriller with Kirk trying to work out whether he should trust Khan or the Admiral. It flows well but despite the 130min (IMDB) it felt like nothing much actually happened.
There was nothing in Star Trek Into Darkness that wasn’t urgent – whether it be capturing Khan, feeling from the Admiral or saving the Enterprise. The vast majority of the film was spent running away from an ever present threat of danger but Star Trek Into Darkness had no tension whatsoever. I am not green enough to believe that the Enterprise would crash or Captain Kirk was in danger. The drama was there; unfortunately it was handled in the most predictable ways possible.
The strongest aspect of Star Trek Into Darkness is the cast. Chris Pine is excellent as Captain Kirk and is matched by Zachary Quinto as Spock. The two lead the film with ease and have an obvious chemistry.
Simon Pegg’s fame is still growing which accounts for his extra screen time. Pegg is good fun as Scotty and provides most of the comic relief but he was in danger of becoming irritating.
The supporting cast are fine but Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin and John Cho feel very underused.
There was much internet excitement over the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. I wish I could say I felt the same but I have never watched Sherlock although he did make an excellent William Pitt. Cumberbatch the best thing in the entire film and he really commits to his grandiose performance.
Star Trek Into Darkness had an enormous budget of $185million (IMDB) but the action and effects felt very average. There were a few decent fights between Khan, Kirk and Spock but the jaw dropping set pieces you expect from such a large budget were not there.
I knew that Star Trek Into Darkness would be hard to review as I realised before the halfway point of the film that I just didn’t care. Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t a bad film but it offers nothing new to the casual viewer with no pre-existing affection for the franchise. It gets 5/10.