I finally got around to watching Star Trek: Into Darkness today, and boy was it a let down. I should actually preface these thoughts by saying that I’m a pretty big Star Trek nerd. I don’t actually consider myself a “Trekkie” or “Trekker” or whatever they want to be called now, I don’t cosplay for the most part (I have a uniform I wear on Halloween), and I still haven’t actually seen all of the episodes (working on Voyager and Enterprise). I certainly know some people who would be classified under the “Trekkie” heading, but even though I am a big fan, I am not one of “those people”.
Having said all of that… ST:ID had SO MUCH POTENTIAL. Like, a lot. Khan, the main villain from the second Star Trek movie is the villain here portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, and he does an absolutely amazing job. However, his character is not nearly as well developed as it should be. In the original series, we had the episode that explained where Khan came from and what he was doing with gene manipulation, so Star Trek II already had some of this backstory and could further expand on it, which it did. Deep Space 9 took it further with Doctor Bashir actually being a product of gene manipulation, which the crew found out about in later episodes. This created a morality discussion that did not happen AT ALL in ST:ID, and I feel like that’s really what the movie was missing. IF Khan was tampering with people’s DNA, and they’ve been on ice for 300 years, why? Obviously there was some moral decision that people made at some point in time to do that, so why not discuss it?
Also, I know it’s supposed to be an alternate timeline, but DS9 discussed the eugenics wars, which Khan had a role in, at great length. There were no mention of those in ST:ID. Hopefully the next movie will dive deeper into the morality of the decisions we make instead of being a CGI-fest Hollywood blockbuster action movie.
I still give the movie 4/5 stars because it’s really not that bad, it just had the potential to be so much better. The acting by Cumberbatch brings it way up, but I am getting very tired of JJ Abrams freaking lens flares.
One other note, Spock is really annoying in this movie.