Thursday, 31 October 2013

Film review - Star Trek: Into Darkness

I finally got around to watching the new Star Trek film earlier in the week, and it's a really good one, up there with The Voyage Home & First Contact for best Star Trek film. One of the things I really love about these new Star Trek films is the cast. I mean, there's a much sexier version of Uhuru, there's the classic geekiness of Simon Pegg as Scotty and the slightly nervous geek factor of Anton Yelchin as a Chekov, and this film has got the actor of the moment, Benedict Cumberbatch as bad guy Khan.

What's interesting about this film is that its a sort of re-make of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I say sort of because it is only loosely similar. There's a bad guy called Khan who lived hundreds of years in the past, but was cryogenically frozen. In the original Star Trek series, after being woken, he was exiled by Kirk after attempting to steal the Enterprise. Years later he escapes and goes after Kirk to extract his revenge, hence the 'Wrath of Khan'. In the new film he's had no prior dealings with Kirk, so doesn't have a vendetta against the Enterprise or its captain but is merely pursuing his own agenda. In fact, at a couple of points you are questioning whether he really is the bad guy, then you remember he's called Khan... In the hands of another actor, this might detract from the role, but Cumberbatch plays it very well.

The ending of the film is quite different too, but again superficially similar. If you've seen the original film and remember what happened, you'll be wondering if history will repeat itself. I won't spoil it by saying any more, except that the the Tribble is the clue...

I've heard that you would enjoy the film more if you re-watched Wrath of Khan first. I didn't, and loved the new film. I am tempted to go back and watch Wrath of Khan again now though...

I'll give it 9/10. A thoroughly enjoyable film that I'd watch again.