So i'm no Star Trek purist, grew up with Picard rather than Kirk so although i've seen the original series and movies and understand the references I greatly appreciate the modern take of these last two moviies.
Star Trek Into Darkness is the follow up to J.J. Abrams Star Trek (2009) reboot. In London in a secret underground Star Fleet archive an explosion rocks the city killing innocent people, not long after that Star Trek headquarters itself is attacked, both incidents can be tracked down to one rogue Star Fleet agent. With friends of Kirk dead the enterprise heads off on a mission to track the man down but not all is as it seems.
I rather enjoyed the story, it has fairly good pacing throughout, at no point was I bored by events going on. The cast once again step into their previous iconic roles with Karl Urban and Zachery Quinto as Bones and Spock especially standing out though Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as the main villain simply stole the movie for me, what an actor, he was genuinely menacing. I'm not personally sold on Chris Pine as Kirk though, he's great during the action but his performance is a little over shadowed by the other actors in other places. Doesn't harm the experience however.
The special effects are truly outstanding on my TV, the seamless integration of them into the film creates a level of believability, keeping the immersion. One of the better looking blu-rays image quality wise i've seen.
The only downside with the film is the lack of extras on the disc, essentially just half a dozen making of videos for certain scenes in the film that only run collectively for maybe 35-40 minutes. The film was so good however it didn't bother me much but should be noted for others who enjoy the extra features.
+ Fantastic pacing.
+ Some excellent performances.
+ Benedict Cumberbatch.
+ Fantastic special effects.
- Blu-Ray extras are lacking for such a big budget film.
on 9 October 2015
Enthralling from beginning-to-end, J.J. Abrams has performed another masterstroke in following up his Star Trek reboot with an even greater sequel - and like the first, the film follows the set-pattern laid out by its distant (or maybe not so distant, as things stand...) rival, the Star Wars franchise. The success of the film lies predominantly in its narrative and its characters, as never are you not entertained or gripped by what is going on. And nor does the film shy away from morals, or emotional content, when it needs to, giving you the very essence that the 'film-world' it has created is a real one - where any character can get taken away, at any given moment. A great score, great use of visuals, and even greater chemistry between the 'new' James Kirk and Spock, it's difficult to see how they will surpass this feat. The glowing light has to be Brit Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as the character "John Harrison", the sheer awe he possesses completely outstripping the two leading men - which is saying something, considering both are excellent in reprising their roles. Much like the first film, also, 'Star Trek - Into Darkness' works cleverly in regards to the original films, following the timeline and history of the franchise, but altering it through innovative and creative writing techniques wherever possible - in particular, a very famous sequence (to not give it away), which in this film is played out slightly differently, but still has the same emotional effect. Without doubt, the spectacle of the year thus far, and it's difficult to see how the forthcoming summer blockbusters will beat it. Films like this are what the cinema was made for - imaginative, exciting, euphoria-inducing, overwhelming. Storytelling at its simplest, yet filmmaking at its finest. Can hardly wait for the inevitable follow-up.
on 1 September 2013
Love the film so that's why it's gets a three stars but how the special features have been released is a joke.
On the disk you get 35mins of extras all in HD
Creating the Red Planet
Attack on Starfleet
The Klingon Home World
The Enemy of My Enemy
Ship to Ship
Brawl by the Bay
Sainsburys will have an exclusive bonuse disk with another 35mins of extras
The Voyage Begins... Again
Rebuilding the Enterprise
Vengeance is Coming
Me. Spock and Mr. Spock
Kirk and Spock
Tesco Blinkbox Online service gets 20mins extras which I think are
Down With the Ship
NIF: Home of the Core
Unlocking the Cut
The Sound of Music and FX
( [...] )
iTunes gets the audio commentary
Plus this version is the full IMAX scenes (ie no black bars in certain shots)
(which if you have the blu ray you can actually claim for free with the digital copy code, just claim it on itunes)
This is all a bad joke. But then there more if you want the special case like a metal one or one that comes with a ship then you can only get that from Play.com and even at £50 it still dosent come with the special features. So annoying as a fan.
on 8 July 2014
I loved the original series and upgraded to blu-ray with all the 3 series, I then purchased the latest star trek film and loved it, I then got this film and was blown away. The film has a great story and harks back to the original series with some great one liners and the ending is awesome. I got this cheap and it was well worth it, what can they do next?
on 5 December 2015
A competent sequel to Star Trek (2009). The film is a little bit too close of a copy to The Wrath of Khan but does at least deliver a fresh take on it. One big weakness in the writing I thought was killing off a main character and then immediately bringing him back, which ultimately cheapens the experience and will make the audience in the future less invested in character deaths when it becomes obvious the dead person will quickly return back to life. Star Trek is not the only offender at all, even great films like the Dark Knight, The Lord of the Rings and Captain America the Winter Solider have done it.
In this case 'Magic Blood' heals the our dead character, a very convenient solution, and a touch lazy from the writers. Given the story was co-written by Roberto Orci who has penned such classics as The Amazing Spider-man 2 & Transformers 2 what did we expect?
The plot is a also a bit of a copy of the first film, some very dangerous mad baddie is out for revenge against the Federation, cue action. Exactly like the first film it will take another emotional breakdown from Spock before he's ready to stop the villain. The studio refusing to admit Benjamin Cumberbatch was playing Khan had nobody convinced, everyone knew he would be. Also I'm not really sure what Carol Marcus was there to do other than take off her clothes...
Having said that the direction, pacing, action sequences, visuals and editing were all brilliant. In the hands of a lesser director this film couldn't have been nearly so good. So this gets at 3 stars for that.
on 14 April 2014
There's no hanging around in this film - it's up and (literally) running from the opening scene as Kirk is pursued by a group of floury looking aliens, wonky enough to have graced the original TV series. Meanwhile, in London, Benedict Cumberbatch is up to no good while wearing another terrific coat. Following an attack on Star Fleet, Kirk and the Enterprise embark on a mission of revenge at the behest of repellent hawk, Admiral Marcus and the resulting battle of wits, phasers and conscience is great fun and hugely entertaining.
All the familiar Star Trek tropes are present - Kirk and Spock's bromance is developing nicely, Scotty is tetchy as ever, Checkov is earnest and eager. There's the moral tussle too - is lashing out in revenge really the right course of action? When you invent a weapon of mass destruction should you really be surprised to find it turned on you? Kirks's character & the leadership qualities he has in spades are shown as maturing nicely as he wrestles with all the issues dealing with John Harrison throw up.
Never having seen most of the original cast films Khan had no resonance for me but as he's portrayed here he made for a fascinating and complex villain. His cause wasn't completely unjust, his grievance against Star Fleet and Admiral Marcus genuine. Even when he's being helpful he's quietly menacing & obviously untrustworthy but never less than compelling.
I deducted one star because of really disappointing extras on the DVD. Two five minute features - one detailing how a set piece was designed and shot, the other concerning John Harrison. Not even a gag reel.
Great fun and lots of bang for your buck. Recommended.
on 9 January 2014
Star Trek Into Darkness is an interesting mixed bag. It's almost as though the creative minds involved decided that they wanted to stretch the formula and style a bit further to hammer home the point that the new Trek movies weren't going to suffer from the safe over-familiarity of the old. This time it's resulted in a bumpy road loaded with goodies in between a few minor misfires.
Let's get the 'bad' out of the way first: -
The tone overall is more serious than the last movie. While some viewers won't mind, others may. It didn't bother me much, but it was noticeable.
The villain's identity was impossible to keep under wraps in this day and age of social media leaks, and although I'm not going to spoil it here, knowing it in advance does flavour how you feel about the movie, especially the earlier scenes where we're not supposed to know much about Cumberbatch's character.
Several major characters who enlivened the first movie get almost no screen time here. Chekov gets little to do except look panicked, and even Simon Pegg's Scotty is largely sidelined. The Kirk/Spock banter and spiky friendship gets a fun workout for the first third of the film, but then gets largely forgotten as the chase develops and the tone darkens.
Finally, the plot feels rather like a string of exciting events strung together, rather than a particularly coherently told story.
The Good: -
It opens fantastically, with a brilliant, visually inventive and very entertaining escapade.
Kirk and Spock's relationship gets to develop and evolve, with a lot of fun moments.
The effects are stunning, including a lot of scenery and ideas I haven't seen done before.
Cumberbatch is a thrilling and dangerous character, more than able to fascinate the viewer even in a scene with several of the lead characters.
The film also advances the 'politics' a little, bringing in a traditional Star Trek species in an important storyline role.
Into Darkness is very much Star Trek's 'anti-terrorism' story and if analysed, many elements tie in discreetly as commentary on how America has reacted post 9/11. However, while 'darker' than the previous film, it doesn't take itself too seriously and does come packed with surprises and thrills, and ties up some storyline elements in very clever ways.
Top-drawer big-budget Hollywood fare at it's 'almost' best, and a film that gives great hopes for the series' continuing future.
on 6 January 2014
From the blistering opening to the brutal finale Into Darkness builds upon everything its predecessor set up to offer a bigger, better and more emotional story.
JJ Abrams' first take on Star Trek was a bold move to modernise the franchise but didnt work on every level. Even though we know these characters the film suffered from the usual origin story trappings as we had to get to know these characters with new faces. Free of those reigns Into Darkness doesn't pause for breath.
The action is superb and thrilling. Everything a blockbuster film should be. With dog-fighting, fisticuffs and gun fights, this pretty much caters for every taste. The opening volcanic scene offers suspense and emotion and it is a testament to the writers that this is not the only time you will be left wondering if a key character will survive.
As with the first film Star Trek lives and dies on the relationships between its crew members. Once again this is where the film excels. The relationship between Spock and Kirk in particular is powerful and funny with an easy going feel to it. All the supporting characters have their moments to shine and this brings together a whole crew of people you can easily spend more time with.
The story is interesteing without being too clever for its own good and provides enough suspense and twists to hold your attention easily for the running time. Into Darkness zips along at a great rate and before you know the finale is upon you.
With the inclusion of a memorable baddie, providing Benedict Cumberbatch with some great moments to shine, this really is the Start Trek film to beat. Improving on every aspect of the first rebooted film and including some unforgettable moments this is surely one of the stand out films of the year. Fantastic fun.
on 18 December 2013
This is the main reason why I love cinema, I've been a trekkie since I was a little boy and I've watched all Star Trek movies and almost all the TV episodes.... after saying that I have to confirm this one is my favorite from all of them!
An amazing and intense fight!
While watching this masterpiece it is quite obvious that it will remember you to the second film "Wrath of Khan" as there are many scenes that look almost the same but with some different arguments or places.
This is a year after the events from last film (Star Trek 2009), Kirk is still the captain of the USS Enterprise with is amazing crew...all of them come back for this adventure and most of them have more screen time than the last film, this are good news. But after saving a planet for its destruction, they have to come back to Earth to save it from a man called John Harrison who wants to destroy the entire Academy Fleet (I'm trying to not spoil anything important to the plot). After some amazing action scenes we learn that this man's real name is Khan.
While I was at the cinema watching this film, a person said "OMFG!" when the main villain says "My real name is Khan". This film makes you feel everything the actors feel, the sadness, the laughs and even the horror...and that's quite difficult to make, it's not only the amazing acting but also the music and camera positions and effects.
Benedict does an excellent and sinister Khan this time!
The special effect and action scenes are many and amazingly well done (better than the last one, and that was hard to top!) and it's good to see the Enterprise again and, this time fighting an times three bigger ship called USS Vengeance. But the best from the film is the acting, Chris Pine is a better and more believable Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto does an excellent job as Spock (he was a little cold at the last film, here's much better), the rest of the crew is amazing as Simong Pegg again as the funny Scotty. Alice Eve is a nice add to the family.
But if I had to choose the best actor from the movie it has to be Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, he's the greatest actor from this generation and he even tops his acting as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC's show Sherlock...he makes a stronger and serious Khan which was a great change...he deserves an Oscar from that amazing and perfect performance!
You will like this film even if you're not a Star Trek fan as it has an interesting plot, an amazing villain and a cast of actors that can even top the original ones!
on 4 November 2013
This film serves as a bridge between the first film and the TV series, ending with the crew setting out on its five year mission. There are spectacular special effects (the scene inside the volcano is just as spectacular even when you see in the extras how it was done on the set), humour and strong links to the TV series. However, there are also a series of hard to believe incongruities: how plausible is a (presumably) intense sexual relationship between Spock and Uhura? In the film we hear that Christine Chapel has obtained a transfer and feels happier for it but, the reason is not that Spock cannot be interested in her, but instead that she can't stand seeing him in a deep emotional relationship with a crewmate! Vulcan has been destroyed, so there is a New Vulcan, but presumably populated by only the tiny handful of survivors rescued from the disaster, unlike the world portrayed in the TV series (I kept expecting to find that time would be mysteriously reversed and that the destruction of Vulcan had never happened). We see a replay of the story of the encounter with the Botany Bay, but played out in a totally different way., etc.
Benedict Cumberbach is magnificent, but is a very different version of Khan to the one familiar from the original TV series and the films. However, there is no question that he is extremely menacing and, in his way, more human than Ricardo Montalban.
For the die-hard trekkies, such details will probably annoy them intensely. However,. if you take this simply as a sequel to the first film, showing how the crew relationships developed and what happened before the events in the TV series, you will most probably love the film.