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Star Trek: Into Darkness - Film Review

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published May 18th 2013
An old enemy becomes unrecognisable
star trek into darkness, odeon, poster

The sequel to J.J. Abram's Star Trek prequel has just come out in cinemas. Originally planned for 2010, the film was delayed due to the director's commitments on other projects; this gave fans ample time to speculate, theorise, and spread rumours about all the possibilities the film held. With such hot anticipation, it is no surprise that Star Trek: Into Darkness knocked the Iron Man 3 off its pedestal and reached first place in the UK & Ireland box office with a grand total of 8.4 million between Thursday and Sunday.

But just because a lot of people went to see the film does not necessarily mean that it was any good. Abrams repeats the same mistakes that he made with Star Trek XI, relying too much on lens flares, mindless explosions, and quick quips to make up for a lack of plot and exposition. While most director's consider exposition a necessary evil, Abram's does not seem to consider it necessary at all. In the last film he eschewed any technical information, such as what an earth red matter was or where it came from; in Star Trek: Into Darkness he 'forgets' to mention where McCoy obtained a tribble, or the motivations behind an evil admiral's un-Starfleet actions.

The rather sketchy plot begins with Kirk being demoted for breaking the Prime Directive, but it seems rather pointless considering that he is reinstated as captain about ten minutes later.

After an attack on a Starfleet facility, Kirk and his crew are sent on a mission to kill the man responsible; a rogue agent called 'John Harrison'. Or so we are led to believe. Kirk decides to capture Harrison rather than kill him, but this act of mercy reveals are dark secret. John Harrison is not all he appears to be, and his true identity puts the whole of Earth at risk.

Admittedly, there is better character development than in the last film, at least between Kirk and Spock. Scotty also adds a few comedic moments, but the other characters are rather left by the sidelines. Sulu has a brief moment of glory in the captain's chair, Chekov is forgotten about in Engineering, Uhura is nothing more than 'Spock's girl', and Abrams can't resist showing off Carol Marcus in her underwear.

General sci-fi fans will be irritated by the lack of scientific accuracy, - such as the 'fact' that you will explode rather than implode when exposed to space - but those looking for non-stop action, mindless explosions, and pretty visual effects will get their money's worth. Star Trek fans looking for some esoteric Roddenberry ethos, on the other hand, will be sadly disappointed, even with a clever role reversal between Kirk and Spock during the climax.
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Why? If you like action and explosions, then go for it
When: Out now
Where: When you're in the mood for mindless entertainment
Cost: Price of your local cinema ticket
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