Star Trek Into Darkness hits all the right notes as a summer blockbuster movie. It has big-scale action combined with small frenetic sequences to keep the audience engaged. The cast’s banter adds humor along the way.
Upon closer inspection though, you’ve seen it all before. It’s a generic action-adventure with a revenge-driven plot laced with a political subtext. The directorial style still comes with lens flares, but with more close-up shots. It seems that Abrams has never met a wide shot that he liked.
It pulls the usual surprises of the good guys vs. bad guys narrative where the good guys are never really in peril. It has an indestructible supervillain that got involved with a misguided egotistical asshat within the organization.
Along with this is a soap opera in space that mostly focuses on the bromance between Kirk and Spock. Chris Pine is decent but his toned down frat boy Kirk isn’t memorable. Zachary Quinto’s Spock is still the cast’s strongest suit. The rest are underserved, except for Simon Pegg’s Scotty who had a bigger role.
Zoe Zaldana’s Uhuru is nothing but the worried girlfriend. Alice Eve’s Carol is mainly there to serve a gratuitous shot. Karl Urban’s Bones becomes the comic relief but doesn’t suit his persona. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a good performance, but his character is paper-thin.
All this aside, the sequel is still a serviceable piece of popcorn entertainment. Just don’t expect anything much.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Into Darkness is a generic action-adventure that remains chained to its mythology rather than to "go boldly where no man has gone before".