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Star Trek Into Darkness

Title : Star Trek Into Darkness Rating : 4
Number : XII Stardate : 2259.55
First Aired : 2013 Year : 2259
Director : J.J. Abrams
Writers : Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Main Cast :
Anton Yelchin as Pavel ChekovChris Pine as James T. Kirk
John Cho as Hikaru SuluKarl Urban as Leonard McCoy
Simon Pegg as ScottyZachary Quinto as Spock
Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura
Guest Cast :
Jay Scully as Lieutenant Chapin
Mark Alexander Herz as Enterprise Security #1
Aisha Hinds as Navigation Officer Darwin
Alexandra Aristy as Starfleet HQ Staff #2
Alice Eve as Doctor Carol Marcus
Amanda Foreman as Ensign Brackett
Andrew Maiorano as Starfleet HQ Staff #3
Andy Demetrio as Obs.Deck Crew #6
Anjini Taneja Azhar as Lucille Harewood
Ariel D. King as Starfleet Civilian
Beau Billingslea as Captain Frank Abbott
Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan Noonien Singh
Brendan Norman as Enterprise Crew Engineer
Brent McGee as Enterprise Crew Engineer
Britanni Johnson as NYU Nurse
Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Christopher Pike
Chloe Act as Nikicha Tomser
Christopher Doohan as Transport Officer
Dave Kim as Starfleet Enlisted Soldier
David C. Waite as Star Fleet Command
Deep Roy as Keenser
Elly Kaye as Star Fleet Officer
Gary-7 as The Nibirian Elder
Gianna Simone as Deck Crew #7
Hiram A. Murray as Bar Patron
Jack Laufer as Doctor
Jacqueline King as Deck Crew #9
James Tran as Obs. Deck Crew #10
Jason Matthew Smith as Lieutenant G. P. Hendorff
Jeremy Raymond as Lead Nibiran
Jodi Johnston as USS Enterprise Bridge Crew
Jon Lee Brody as Enterprise Crew Security
Jonathan Dixon as Ensign Froman
Joseph Gatt as Science Officer 0718
Katarzyna Kowalczyk as Grasia Alien
Katie Cockrell as Girl in bed 1
Kellie Cockrell as Girl in bed 2
Kimberly Broumand as Madeline
Leni Ford as Cosmoe
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Melissa Baldridge as Deck Crew
Mike Kalinowski as Starfleet Officer
Nazneen Contractor as Rima Harewood
Nick E. Tarabay as Klingon
Ningning Deng as Deck Crew #11
Noel Clarke as Thomas Harewood
Omid Zader as Meter maid
Paris Benjamin as Enterprise Crew Engineer
Paul K. Daniel as Shuttle Pilot
Peet Montzingo as Bar Patron 2
Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus
Sean Blakemore as Klingon
Ser'Darius Blain as Soldier
Teebone Mitchell as Starfleet HQ Staff #1
Thomas W. Stewart as Enterprise Crew Engineer
Tom Archdeacon as Ensign Spyke
Tony Guma as Nibiran
Guest Reviews :
Rating : 2.1818 for 11 reviewsView existing reviewsAdd your own review
YATI : So at the start of the film Spock makes a big fuss about how Kirk mustn't violate the Prime Directive to come and save him. But using his device to save the natives from the volcano is already a violation of the Prime Directive, as Admiral Pike says to Earth. If Spock is such a stickler for the rules, why would he even go on this mission at all? Why would he agree to save the people on the planet? What makes one violation of the rules okay, but the next one wrong?

Much is made at the climax of the film that they need Khan alive to use his blood to cure Kirk. Well, why does that mean they need him alive? Can't they kill him and still use his blood?

Okay, so maybe they need a LOT of blood. Maybe they need gallons, more than one body full, and so they plan to drain it from Khan over time. But even if so... why do they need Khan at all? There are 72 other genetic supermen and women right there on the Enterprise! They even wake one up to put Kirk in his cryotube! Blow Khan's head off and Use that other guy's blood instead!

Great Moment : Lots of nice moments in this. Kirk trying to beat Khan up and failing utterly whilst Khan just stands there is a nice moment, as is Khan's utter demolition of the Klingons. Spock's rampage of revenge and justice is probably my favourite moment though.
Body Count : Lots!

An unknown number perished in the London bombing, certainly several but probably in excess of 50. Several more die when Khan attacks the meeting, including Admiral Pike. The entire crews of three Klingon D4 class ships are killed, mostly by Khan. An unknown number of Enterprise personnel are killed when the USS Vengeance attacks the Enterprise. Several members of the Vengeance crew are killed during the attack on that ship - notably the security man that Scotty kills by ejecting him into Vacuum, and then about ten more Vengeance personnel as they fight their way onto the bridge. Khan murders Admiral Marcus. The bulk of the Vengeance crew probably die when Spock detonates the advanced torpedoes - the ship is stated to be designed for a minimal complement, so this was probably in the region of a few dozen rather than hundreds. An unknown number of people are killed when the Vengeance crashlands, but given that several large buildings are completely demolished the death toll here probably runs into the thousands.

And finally, Kirk sacrifices himself to save the ship. But he is only a little bit dead, and he gets better.

Factoid : Paramount asked J.J. Abrams to make the film in 3D. However, Abrams wanted to make it in 2D in the IMAX format. As a compromise they film was filmed as Abrams wanted and then converted to 3D in post production, the first time that this has ever been done for any Trek movie.

Steven Spielberg recommended Benedict Cumberbatch to J.J. Abrams after he worked with Cumberbatch on the movie War Horse.

Benedict Cumberbatch recorded his screen test in a friend's kitchen using an iPhone.

Christopher Doohan, the son of the original Scotty James Doohan, appears as a Transport Officer alongside the current Scotty, Simon Pegg.

Quote : "Spock, nobody knows the rules better than you but there has got to be an exception!" - Kirk to Spock

Kirk : "If Spock were here and I were there... what would he do?"
McCoy : "He'd let you die."

"A five year mission Spock! That's deep space, that's uncharted territory, think how incredible that's going to be!" - Kirk to Spock.

Kirk : "Well sir volatile is all relative, maybe our data was off."
Pike : "Or maybe it didn't erupt because Mr. Spock detonated a cold fusion device inside it right after a civilisation that's barely invented the wheel happened to see a starship rising out of their ocean!"

Spock : "Had the mission gone to plan, Admiral, the indigenous species would not have been aware of our interference."
Pike : "That's a technicality!"
Spock : "I am Vulcan sir, we embrace technicality."

"That's your problem, you think you're infallible. You think you can't make a mistake. It's a pattern with you. The rules are for other people. And what's worse is, you're using blind luck to justify your playing god!" - Pike to Kirk

Pike : "You're going to be my first officer. Admiral Marcus took some convincing. But every now and then I can make a good case."
Kirk : "What did you tell him?"
Pike : "The truth. That I believe in you. That if anybody deserves a second chance it's Jim Kirk.
Kirk : "I don't know what to say..."
Pike : "That is a first. It's going to be okay, son."

"You park at the edge of the neutral zone, you lock on to Harrison's position, you fire, you kill him, and you haul ass." - Admiral Marcus to Kirk.

"That's what scares me! This is clearly a military operation... is that what we are now? Because I thought we were explorers!" - Scotty to Kirk.

"Attention John Harrison. This is Captain Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise. A shuttle of highly trained officers is on its way to your location. If you do not surrender to them immediately, I will unleash the entire payload of advanced long-range torpedoes currently locked on to your location. You have two minutes to confirm your compliance. Refusal to do so will result in your obliteration. And If you test me, you will fail." - Sulu to "Harrison".

"You misunderstand. It is true I chose not to feel anything on realising that my own life was ending. As Admiral Pike was dying I joined with his consciousness and experienced what he felt at the moment of his passing. Anger... confusion... loneliness... fear. I have experienced those feelings before, multiplied exponentially on the day my planet was destroyed. Such a feeling is something I choose never to experience again. Nyota, you mistake my choice not to feel as a reflection of my not caring. Well I assure you, the truth is precisely the opposite." - Spock to Uhura

"Let me explain what's happening here. You are a criminal. I watched you murder innocent men and women. I was authorised to end you, and the only reason why you are still alive is because I am allowing it. So shut your mouth!" - Kirk to Khan

"Oh, well now! If it isn't Captain James Tiberius Perfect-hair!" - Scotty to Kirk.

"My crew is my family, Kirk. Is there anything you would not do for your family?" Khan to Kirk.

"You're right! What I'm about to do, it doesn't make any sense. It's not logical, it is a gut feeling. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do... I only know what I can do. The Enterprise and her crew need someone in that chair who knows what he's doing. And it's not me. It's you, Spock." - Kirk to Spock.

Spock : "As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk, yours alone. That being said... Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you."
"Spock : "Did you defeat him?"
Spock : "At great cost... yes."

"Dammit man I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!" - McCoy to Spock

Scotty : "I thought he was helping us!"
Kirk : "I'm pretty sure we're helping him."

"Well Kirk. Seems apt to return you to your crew. After all, no ship should go down without her Captain." - Khan to Kirk.

"KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" - Spock screaming in grief

"Oh, don't be so melodramatic. You were barely dead." - McCoy to Kirk.

McCoy : "Once we caught him, I synthesised a serum from his... super blood. Tell me, are you feeling homicidal, power mad, despotic?"
Kirk : "No more than usual."

"There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are taken from us. But that’s not who we are. We are here today to re-christen the USS Enterprise and to honour those who lost their lives nearly one year ago. When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the Captain’s Oath. Words I didn’t appreciate at the time. Now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were and who we must be again. And those words? Space... the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, her five year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no one has gone before."


Plotline

Please be warned in advance that this is a FULL SPOILER DESCRIPTION of the film. It reveals every detail of the plot from beginning to end.

We open with the Enterprise on a mission to a class M planet on which a primitive society is threatened with extinction by an erupting volcano. The Enterprise is hidden in the ocean nearby whilst Spock is dropped into the volcano by shuttle to use a cold fusion device to stabilise it. When the shuttle is damaged he is stranded - and Kirk brings the ship up in full view of the locals to rescue him, a clear violation of the Prime Directive. Although Kirk obscures these facts in his report to Starfleet Spock does not, and Kirk is relieved of his command and demoted to Commander whilst Spock is reassigned.

Meanwhile in London a Starfleet officer detonates a terrorist bomb on the orders of the mysterious John Harrison. The man's daughter had some sort of serious illness, and Harrison's blood is somehow able to cure her - with detonating the bomb being the price for her life. Starfleet's crisis team assembles to discuss their response, led by the aggressive Admiral Marcus. Kirk wonders why a relatively unimportant data archive was targeted - only to realise that the intention was to provoke exactly this meeting so that it could be targeted in turn. At that moment Harrison appears outside in a gunship, blasting the room and killing many there, including Admiral Pike. Kirk manages to bring down the gunship but Harrison beams out using a miniature transwarp beaming device, escaping.

Scotty examines the device, determining that Harrison has beamed to a deserted city on the Klingon homeworld, Kronos. Kirk asks Admiral Marcus for the Enterprise back and permission to go after him. Marcus agrees, telling Kirk that he will place a number of very long range photon torpedoes aboard the Enterprise. It will go to the edge of Klingon space and launch the weapons at Harrison's coordinates, killing him without violating Klingon space. When Kirk opines that the mission may well provoke war with the Klingons Admiral Marcus replies that war is inevitable anyway.

The weapons are duly loaded, accompanied by science officer and weapon specialist Carol Marcus, who is Admiral Marcus's daughter. She snuck aboard under the alias of Wallis, he mother's maiden name, because she is suspicious of the weapons, which she knows nothing about despite being a close confidant of her father. Scotty is equally suspicious, as he is unable to scan the shielded interior of the weapons, and refuses to accept them aboard despite a direct order from Kirk. He resigns in protest, which Kirk accepts, and is left behind as the ship warps for Klingon space.

The ship's warp drive breaks down as they reach the edge of Klingon space, leaving the Enterprise stranded. Kirk decides that it is too much of a risk to fire on the Klingon planet, and instead takes a small trading ship they have aboard after a previous incident (the "Mudd incident") and heads down to capture Harrison. The ship is intercepted by several small Klingon vessels as it arrives, and Uhura attempts to talk their way out of it - only for Harrison to show up and start a pitched battle in which he slaughters most of the Kligons himself, displaying incredible physical prowess. He then willingly surrenders himself to Kirk, and the group return to the Enterprise.

Kirk questions Harrison, who gives him a set of coordinates near to Earth and says that the answers he seeks are there. Kirk contacts Scotty and asks him to check it out; the Engineer takes a shuttle and goes to investigate, finding a group of shuttles approaching a gigantic space station of some sort. He follows them inside, mingling amongst them.

Meanwhile Harrison reveals his origin - he is Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically enhanced humanoid from Earth's Eugenics wars. He and a band of his followers were discovered drifting in cold storage in a spaceship by Starfleet some years earlier. Admiral Marcus revived Khan and put him to work devising new weapons for use against the Klingons. Khan tried to smuggle his people to safety - that's what the advanced torpedoes are, their interiors shielded from sensors because each one contains one of the cold storage pods with one of Khan's people in it.

Marcus arrives in the USS Vengeance, a gigantic Dreadnought several times larger, faster and more powerful than the Enterprise. When Kirk refuses to hand Khan and his people over for execution Marcus opens fire on the Enterprise, damaging the ship. Carol tries to use her relationship with her father to stop him from attacking but he just beams her off the ship and prepares to finish the Enterprise off. But at the last second the Vengeance's weapons are paralysed by Scotty, who stowed aboard at Jupiter.

Kirk and Khan agree that Marcus is their common enemy and decided to work together against him. They make a daring space jump across from the Enterprise to the Vengeance and together with Scotty they storm the bridge and gain control. Scotty immediately stuns Khan on Kirk's orders, to ensure that he doesn't betray them. However Khan quickly recovers, beating both Kirk, Scotty and Carol Marcus and gaining control of the Vengeance.

He demands that Spock beam aboard the torpedoes with his people in them in return for the three captives, and the exchange is made. However, Spock has armed the weapons - they all detonate, badly damaging the Vengeance.

The Enterprise power grid fails and the ship begins to fall towards Earth, threatening to burn up in the atmosphere. Kirk makes his way to the warp core, exposing himself to massive amounts of radiation but managing to fix it just in time for Sulu to stabilise the ship in the atmosphere. Spock comes down to Engineering and he and Kirk bid one another goodbye as the Captain dies. Moments later the Vengeance screams through the atmosphere past the Enterprise - Khan is still alive and targeting the giant ship to crashland on Starfleet command. It does, causing massive damage to the area. Amazingly, Khan survives the crash. Spock beams down and chases him through the city, determined to avenge Kirk's death. However, McCoy realises the amazing healing properties of Khan's "super blood" and wonders if they might be able to use it to repair the radiation damage to Kirk's body and return him to life. They quickly freeze Kirk and Uhura beams down to inform Spock that they need Khan alive. Between them they manage to subdue Khan and capture him once more. Kirk is duly saved.

A year later the Enterprise is repaired, with Kirk back in command, and ready to set out on a historic five year mission of exploration - the longest ever undertaken by Starfleet.

Analysis

So, was it good? Yes it was!

On the whole, this is a worthy sequel to the first of the reboot films. That one was kind of an origin story for the new universe, giving us what amount to origin stories for both Kirk and Spock and showing us how they overcame their differences and difficulties and came to be on the bridge of the Enterprise together.

Now we get a "pride goeth before a fall" Kirk has had the big chair for about a year now, and he's very much played it his way - breaking the rules, doing what he thinks is right no matter what. And more importantly, getting away with it. It's pretty clear that Admiral Pike has been acting as something of a protector to Kirk, shielding his career from harm despite the many occasions where he's done things his own way. This follows on from the first film well, because it was to reintroduce this kind of maverick spirit into Starfleet that Pike went out and recruited Kirk in the first place. But as the opening shows us, even Pike has started to worry that Kirk goes too far, pushes too hard, trusts to luck too much. And when Kirk oversteps the mark, Pike lets him take the fall.

But of course, this isn't enough for Kirk to really learn his lesson. When Pike is killed Kirk pushes his way back into the big chair, and sets out to do what he always does - fight back, rules be damned. So he rushes in like a bull in a china shop, and really does get damn near everybody killed. It works well with his character arc.

Spock also gets a chance to grow, facing both his own death and Kirk's and being forced to admit that he cares about these people no matter what he says about being unable to feel emotions. All of the cast are doing well at reinventing these roles whilst keeping them grounded in the original depictions, but Quinto is perhaps the single best performance in this series so far. He does a magnificent job as Spock. In fact my only quibble here is that this Spock resorts to asking old Spock for a little advice concerning Khan. It's obviously intended as a nice nod to the original characters, and it's just an in-passing thing - old Spock doesn't simply hand them a way out of the problem or anything. Still, it's not a great choice because it undercuts Quinto's Spock, making it look like he's going to run back and dip the well of secret knowledge any time things get tough.

The other characters notably all get their moments. Chekov gets to be promoted to chief engineer, Sulu gets to sit in the big chair, Uhura gets to help with the Klingons and at the end with Khan, Scotty gets to sabotage the Vengeance and save the Enterprise. As in the last film, the writers are very careful to make sure that every character gets at least one significant moment of their own.

Then we have Benedict Cumberbatch's Khan. This is one place where Into Darkness doesn't quite match up to Star Trek II. Cumberbatch does a great job as Khan... but as written, this Khan is just not as strong a character as Montleban's Khan was. You can excuse it because the two have different back stories - Star Trek II Khan was dealing with decades spent in a hellhole planet whilst he watched his "family" die, including his wife, all the while blaming Kirk. He was a raging ball of hate aimed at one target, and it made the core of the film a very personal conflict. Here, Khan's rage isn't directed at Kirk at all. Kirk is just kind of in his way, even on his side for part of the time. So that conflict isn't really there the way it was, and it makes Khan's vengeance quest a bit directionless. It's still good, and still a good performance... just not a fantastic one.

Much will be written and said of the "death scene". It really does tread a fine line between simply ripping off Star Trek II and doing its own thing. Flipping it and making it Kirk who dies rather than Spock is a nice touch, and I especially like how they alluded to this with each character saying "I only did what you would have done". That aspect ties it into the theme of the film and the development of the characters really well, with Kirk showing that he can make the hard choices and not depend on some grand stroke of intuitive luck, and Spock showing that he can do the smart and devious thing to win in an otherwise impossible situation. Personally I think they mostly succeeded with this scene. Yes, it does become it's own thing and work within the context of this film and avoid simply plundering last one. But at the same time, it just doesn't have the depth of emotion for the audience that Star Trek II did. A lot of that is because we just haven't spent as much time with these characters as we had with the originals, and a lot of it is because Star Trek II had the guts to end the film on that note, with Spock dead and the crew grieving. Here, we get the death scene and then replay this universe's version of Star Trek III over the last 10 minutes. So what sense of loss is there only lasts a few minutes and then Kirk is okay again.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 4,361 Last updated : 3 Jun 2013