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May 27, 2013 | by  | in Arts Film |
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Film Review – Star Trek Into Darkness

Disclaimer: I had never seen, read or heard any kind of Star Trek product before seeing Star Trek Into Darkness.

As a result, I am unable to offer any insight into whether it ‘stays true to the original’. But this isn’t really necessary, anyway. Star Trek Into Darkness is a very good film in its own right. Helmed by the seemingly evergreen J. J. Abrams, Into Darkness epitomises everything great about the Hollywood blockbuster—it’s big, flashy, compelling, and a little bit corny.

The relationship between Captain Kirk (Pine) and his co-pilot Spock (Zachary Quinto) is really the heart of the film. Kirk is impulsive and macho, while Spock favours brains over brawn. If nothing else, the film can be seen as a meditation on the merits of their two very different leadership styles. How should one behave in a time of crisis? Is it morally acceptable to make decisions purely for the greater good?

However, I don’t wish to give the impression that Into Darkness is an intellectual film, because it isn’t. It is a big, silly blockbuster. Still, it is very much worth seeing, not least due to the fine performances of Pine, Quinto, Cumberbatch and Simon Pegg (as Scotty of “Beam me up, Scotty!” fame). The script is tight and the camaraderie enjoyable.

On the other hand, the film lacks originality. Captain Kirk seems little more than a genre archetype—the overconfident but talented young cadet who flouts the rules and puts his whole crew in danger, getting “suspended from duty” as a result. How many police procedurals have you seen that in before?

Nevertheless, it seems a little unfair to criticise a film spawned from a 1960s TV show—with 11 previous films based on the same show—for lacking originality. Originality is not the point. Enjoyment is the point, and Into Darkness offers it in spades.


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