SPOILER ALERT! Turn away now if you don’t want to know anything about this movie… or you can skip down to the final paragraph for my rating. With that being said, let’s begin.
First off, let me say that there were three villains in movies in the 1980s that were the best villains of that decade. They were: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Ghostbusters), General Zod (Superman 2), and Khan Noonen Singh (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Now in 2013, I am getting 2 of those villains on the screen again! Is this good or bad? Well, the Zod topic is for that review when the time comes, but now I’m focusing on Khan.
We all knew that when JJ Abrams mentioned Benedict Cumberpatch is playing “John Harrison” that this was all a bunch of BS. Yes, he does technically play Harrison, but that is only a cover for who he truly is. The reveal of his true name (Khan) was surprising. I was hoping for another classic villain like Gary Mitchell, because to take Khan and redo him seemed like blasphemy. Here’s why: Ricardo Montalban was perfect as Khan. From his TV appearance in the classic Star Trek “Space Seed” episode, to the movie Wrath of Khan, he portrayed a likeable villain. He was just badass and cool, yet you still wanted to see him brought to justice. THere is also the fact that Khan was originally supposed to be of some Indian descent. Cumberpatch looks nothing like this at all.
Now that my complaints about him are out of the way, let’s talk about the movie was. Cumberpatch took my skepticism and threw it out the window. This after all, was a rebooted timeline, so the events of the original movies don’t necessarily have to take place in that way. Into Darkness takes place before the original five year mission of the crew, so we are meeting this character at a much earlier stage in the game. Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) as the secondary villain, and reason for Khan’s release from cryosleep, is just as good in the role. In fact, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, and Simon Pegg all played the parts well. I have to give special props to Karl Urban, whose Dr. McCoy is still dead on with DeForest Kelley’s.
Visuals, plot and humor were all executed with perfect precision. I didn’t find any of them out of place or unbelievable. My only problem is when Carol Marcus is seen in her bra and panties. Don’t get me wrong, she is absolutely beautiful, and I could spend hours staring at Alice Eve half naked or with even less on, but as pleasing as she is to the eye, there was no place for this scene. It didn’t fit. It was thrown in as eye candy. Eve did however do a superb job as well, and even looks like a younger version of Bibi Besch’s Carol Marcus.
I really like how they placed Khan back in cryo at the end as well. He and his 70 some other followers could come back as a threat at some point, and I really hope they do. Setting up the Klingons as the villains in the next movie also played out well. It seems war will be declared on earth by the alien species, but I could be overspeculating.
The various nods to the original timeline, and Leonard Nimoy having a surprise cameo again as an older Spock were spine tingling. I was excited to say the least. The reversal of deaths between Kirk and Spock, as well as the famous “Khaaaaaaannnn!” being shouted, were only the icing on the cake.
Maybe I’m praising it too much. Like I said, I had a few slight problems with it, but all in all it was an outstanding movie. It so far has only grossed just over 100 million dollars in one weekend, but I’m hoping this changes. My brother saw it with me, and his reaction was very similar to mine. Dan prepped himself by watching Space Seed and Star Trek 2 before hand, while my inner geek knowledge kept me aware of the original story.
All in all, I might have to admit that this could very well be the BEST Trek movie to date, and I think I have a new favorite. Star Trek Into Darkness gets 10 out of 10 stars from me. I’m hoping Dan chimes in the comments below as well, and am hoping for my dad to see it soon, as he was a big fan of the original. So, what did you all think?