What a wild ride! Star Trek: Into Darkness is a triumph. From the opening scene with a race again hostile natives and an erupting volcano to the ending with the hope of new discoveries, this movie has it all–epic bromance, humor, genetically enhanced beings, Klingons, a wannabe warlord, suicide bomber, explosions, death, mayhem, space battles, violence, and other good stuff. It was a handwringer to be sure and I had to consciously stop myself from doing it. But beyond the non-stop action was the visual pleasure this movie provides. The cinematography was beautiful, and while several shots were reminiscent of J. J. Abrams first Star Trek movie, this entire film was a feast for the eyes.
Benedict Cumberbatch is chilling as Kahn, taking this villain to a whole new level. He’s intelligent, ruthless, and cold. His voice, his look, everything about him screams formidable adversary. As a genetically enhanced being, he outwits Kirk at every turn. And it is only when Kirk and Spock work to understand each other better that they are able to prevail.
Kirk and Spock develop a lasting friendship in this movie as both learn to accept what the other has to offer. Spock strives to understand and articulate his friendship with Kirk and his relationship with Uhura better, which helps make him more human in a Vultany sort of way. Even though we see a bit more of his human side, he’s still Spock–logical and at times infuriating, but just as lovable too.
James Kirk is sent on a personal journey of his own during this movie as he comes to terms with sudden fame, irresponsible actions, death, and shame. He is forced to grow up and by doing so, embraces his responsibilities to his crew. We see some much-needed growth in his character to make him worthy to captain the Enterprise.
While this is a new version of the Kahn story line is great, all is not as it seems. Abrams did a lot to keep me guessing, but I was still found some of it to be predictable. But the movie was so good, I just didn’t care. Ha-ha! The original movie series was all but dead in the water, having run its course. But this new version makes me giddy with excitement at the possibilities. Abrams took a well-loved Star Trek classic and made it his own.
My daughter loved this so much, we went home and watched the 1982 version of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. Tonight she plans to watch Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. So it is with great pride that I announce… a Trekkie is born!