Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into DarknessTitle: “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Gene Roddenberry (created by)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Again, this is a movie that I came into with a lot of bias. I enjoyed the old “Star Trek” television series and the movies (well, some of the movies). If there was one movie that had so much potential yet became such a letdown, it was “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

The previous “Star Trek” was enjoyable and exciting, even if it wasn’t perfect. As a reboot of the franchise, I give the filmmakers credit for having made the reboot part of the plot rather than just saying, “This is what we’re doing now because we say so. Deal with it!” For those who don’t know, the previous movie involved a time travel plot that altered the past and created a new timeline, so everything is now new and has an in-movie explanation for being different from the original series. Which was the reason that “Star Trek Into Darkness” was so disappointing.

In this film, the Federation is dealing with a terrorist who seems to know all their military and security secrets and is bent on their destruction. How this ultimately plays out will cause the audience to ask what the point of the reboot was. All this movie did was recycle old plots and characters from the original timeline, so much so that it amounts to little more than lazy writing and a lack of imagination. With a whole new world opened up through the reboot, why did they feel the need to go back to old plotlines?

It gets worse. Not only are old plots recycled, but old scenes are recycled. But they’re not just recycled. They are altered just enough that it’s not just retreading old stories, but parodying them. In what was supposed to be a particularly serious scene, people in the audience were laughing because the way the scene was recreated was ridiculous. And the deus ex machina ending will leave the audience shaking their head. Handwavium seems to have survived to this timeline.

Admittedly, the movie does have some good action and decent special effects, but not much we haven’t seen in the previous movie (aside from the neat effect of a Starship crashing into San Francisco; that was nicely done). If you haven’t seen any of the old Star Trek series or movies, this might be a bit more enjoyable, but if you know anything at all about the old series, this movie becomes a bit of a groaner.

This makes me more than a little concerned for J.J. Abrams’ take on “Star Wars.”

“Star Trek Into Darkness” earns 2 out of 5 stars.

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