Jul 302013

Title: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

That can’t be good…


Kirk and the crew battle a terrorist from a secret branch of Starfleet who turns out to be an old and formidable foe. Along the way they fight Klingons, each other, and an even more treacherous villainy that throws the whole affair into a moral gray area that speak to themes that may be familiar in our contemporary lives.

Appropriate for:

Ages 12 and up

The film is rated PG-13 with good reason. Director J.J. Abrams has a tendency to augment all the explody with violence that is meant to raise the stakes for the characters but he all too often goes a little overboard with the human cost. Also, the movie has at least one underwear shot that is so gratuitous any prurient interest is immediately replaced with the thought, “Seriously?”

12-year-old boys may have a different reaction.

Content Warnings:

There is a scene in which the main villain shoots up a room full of Starfleet officers. This is probably the bloodiest scene in the movie but in a strange way not necessarily the most violent. This movie is very punchy, at times brutally so. There are scenes when the savagery of one character beating another is almost too much to bear. This is a testament to the acting, particularly that of Benedict Cumberbatch, but is questionable as a selling point. There are a few swears, some drinking, Kirk – a man of loose morals – in bed with two alien women of same, and the aforementioned gratuitous lingerie shot.

The Scoop (contains spoilers if you really have no idea who the villain is):

Merran loved this movie, she found it thrilling and I have to say I agree. Is it right for our 12-year-old son? No. But he has a passion for non-violence that could give a Buddhist monk a run for his money. Generally speaking, however, 12-year-old boys with a thirst for adventure (garnished with a side of sex and violence) will find it invigorating.

After watching this one I felt an urge to go back and revisit Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and was amazed to find how slow and awkward it seemed set next to what is essentially Star Trek XII. The Wrath of Khan is widely acknowledged to be the best of the Star Trek movie franchise but I would be willing to hold this one up next to it as a close contender. If you’re thinking of seeing Into Darkness I would suggest a little homework to enliven the experience. Start by watching the original Star Trek episode “Space Seed” followed by Wrath of Khan and then move on to Into Darkness. I did this recently and was delighted to find how nicely “Space Seed” led into Wrath of Khan and both inform Into Darkness.

I imagine J.J. Abrams is going to step back to a producer role and focus his energy on the new Star Wars movies but I think it’s safe to say he’s breathed vital new life into what was becoming an exceptionally stale series.

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment or have something to add?

Scroll down just a little…the comments are Right There!

Let me know what you think.

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