Star Trek: Into Darkness – Review


I caught Star Trek: Into Darkness on Blu Ray recently. I liked it a lot.  J.J. Abrams has now made two of the best Star Trek movies. Okay, if not best, then definitely rewatchable. If I had to pick three Star Trek movies to watch again, it would be his two and Wrath of Khan.

The opening scene of Into Darkness was awesome. I really like J.J. Abrams’s take on the Star Trek crew. He brings a sense of humor to the science fiction that really helps make these movies so enjoyable. His skill at mixing sci-fi and humor is at a Whedon-like level.

Probably what I liked most about Star Trek: Into Darkness was the complexity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, Commander John Harrison. In the movie, Harrison is a suped-up super-soldier that would put Captain America to shame. He marches through scenes of destruction with the resolve of a Terminator. Thankfully, Harrison is given more depth than that of  a cybernetic killing machine. He’s been used and abused by Starfleet and is seeking revenge against those who wronged him. But he’s not only seeking revenge. He’s trying to carve out a place for himself and his people in the galaxy, away from his abusers. He’s Starfleet’s greatest enemy, and it’s all Starfleet’s fault.

There were plenty of Easter Eggs for longtime Star Trek fans in Star Trek: Into Darkness. The most obvious one is the reveal that John Harrison’s real identity is Khan, who was the main villain in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I like that Khan is now a sleek weapon of destruction. Gone is the Elfquest-esque outfit that has definitely not aged well. Cumberbatch is as emotionless as Khan as he is as Sherlock. Watching Khan onscreen, I couldn’t help but think we were seeing what an evil Spock would be.


The radiation room scene where Kirk lies dying and Spock can do nothing to save his friend was a mirror of the classic scene at the end of Wrath of Khan. I love that Spock and Kirk were switched in this scene. If it played out the same way as the original, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. It would have just seemed like an unnecessary remake of a classic scene. But switching the two of them made for such a great nod to Star Trek II.  When Spock let out the iconic scream of “KHAAAAAAAAAAN!” my inner nerd fist-pumped (okay, I actually fist-pumped on my couch. There was nothing inner about it).

star trek into darkness kirkspock hands

I really like that Leonard Nimoy is still playing Spock Classic in this movie. I was wondering if he’d be cast to the side. But Abrams has definitely not forgotten the longtime fans while making Star Trek accessible for a new generation. In that way, his Star Trek movies are similar to BBC’s Doctor Who.

If the Star Trek movies are any indication of what we can expect to receive when J.J. Abrams tackles the Star Wars films, then I am one very excited Star Wars fan.