The remake you didn’t need
Star Trek: Into Darkness
J. J. Abrams
May 17, 2013
Never before has a movie so polarized my love and hatred in one moment. Two of my favourite sci-fi movies are Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and 2009’s self-titled Star Trek. So disclaimer: This movie’s rating will be biased because of my history with the franchise.
The actors in Star Trek: Into Darkness almost all provide amazing performances. Chris Pine as Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spok are comparable in the original performances of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
Alongside them Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Mr. Scott, Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard McCoy, John Cho as Mr. Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Ensign Chekov bring great emotion to their characters — regardless of how little screen time they have. However the one actor who fails to come anywhere close to competing with the original is Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan.
His Khan Noonien Singh is very subdued and only has two emotions: emotionless expositor and raging lunatic. Wrath of Khan’s Ricardo Montalban, on the other hand, had a certain fire to his performance. When he walked into a room you could feel his presence, whereas Cumberbatch feels more like a prop for the others to act around. This is the greatest failing of this movie.
On the other side is the action and effects. Once again J. J. Abrams shows that he can truly control the sci-fi action. The opening scenes are filled with amazing chases while the middle and ending are jammed with intense fights — while still leaving enough calm moments for the characters to breath and have character development. The middle fight scene between Kirk, Khan and a squad of Klingons (Klingons!) felt very realistic.
Another problem in this movie is that is feels at time like pop-culture reference porn. Between the Khan scream, a crew member dying to fix a reactor and the new character of Carol Marcus this movie constantly alludes to Wrath of Khan. This can be amusing in movies but in this one all it does is reminds me how much I wish I was watching Wrath of Khan.
In conclusion this is a fun sci-fi action movie that unfortunately does not stand alone but instead takes too much from a previous better movie.
However, for those who are not bugged by these numerous references or who had never seen Wrath of Khan, I would recommend this film.
For those have similar bias as me and have a great love for Wrath of Khan, I would recommend one watch but I will warn that it will not come anywhere close to the original.
My final rating of this movie is 7/10. It is a good movie and had it not taken so much from Wrath of Khan I would have given it a better rating.