Just as Alan Rickman stole the show from Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, so Benedict Cumberbatch trumps Chris Pine (Kirk) in this movie. Even so, the acting in Star Trek: Into Darkness is great throughout. The special FX are top notch (and groundbreaking in places). The set-pieces rock – albeit that they borrow from Bond and Star Wars a bit (if you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best, eh?). And the characterisation and humour are spot on, making you yearn for the original series all over again.
BUT, the plot is thin – more of a scenario really. And if you know your Star Trek episodes well, you’ll have seen this plot done a number of times before. Specifically, Lieutenant Data and Lore are in a near identical two-part storyline in Next Generation. We meet survivors of the Eugenics War who have superpowers and are something of a master-race. They are also evil geniuses, of course. Except that only one of them has been woken up in this film (Mr Cumberbatch). And he never even gets close to waking up the others – meaning he ends up seeming far less of a genius than he should be. This film fails to pull the trigger plotwise.
Am I being niggly? No. The film is a very decent watch, but it is not the game-changer I was expecting. The ‘Darkness’ promised in the title just isn’t there. Maybe I prefer things darker than most, but for my money Star Trek: Into Darkness cannot claim to be either gothic or epic. It’s earth-centric and all a bit domestic. Like an episode of EastEnders, but with a bigger budget. Now I exaggerate. See the film. You’ll enjoy it, especially if it’s raining out (and it usually is). I score it 9 out of 10, but I was hoping to give it 10.