Star Trek into Darkness – talking points (no spoilers)

Last week saw the release of Star Trek ‘we couldn’t come up with a decent title for this film’. I went to see it on the weekend and here’s some brief thoughts (with no spoilers for those who haven’t seen it yet).

– I thought it was very good. Not Avengers-good, but still highly enjoyable.

– Two good Star Trek films in a row. Surely a first?

– The interplay between the characters, especially Kirk, Spock and McCoy, is great, probably the best thing about it. I’m not sure why so many people dislike the portrayal of Kirk as a snotty git. I thought the whole point about a young Captain Kirk was that he was a snotty git.

– Things move quickly, perhaps too quickly at times. The pace is so breakneck that sometimes there’s no room for things to breathe. For the most part though I was happy to be carried along for the ride.

– Unsurprisingly Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent, I can’t wait to hear him as Smaug.

– I don’t think I’ll ever 100% get used to seeing Simon Pegg in a film like this . . .

– . . . though it’s not as strange as Noel Clarke’s brief appearance, what the hell? Between this and John Barrowman in Zero Dark Thirty I half expect Arthur Darville to pop up briefly in Man of Steel or something.

– I liked the redshirt jokes.

– Alice Eve *swoons* Sorry, where was I . . .

Some have lamented (and will continue to lament) that this latest iteration of the franchise isn’t ‘proper Star Trek’. Certainly the action quotient has gone up with the last two films and they’re hardly in the league of 2001 in terms of thought-provoking science fiction. But at the same time they’re a long way from being brainless affairs. And frankly they’re miles better than Voyager, Enterprise or over half the films to date. The franchise was lying face down in a puddle before this reboot, and I think the last two films deserve credit for doing a Casino Royale/Batman Begins and successfully resurrecting a moribund series.


Charlie Panayiotou (try pronouncing that) works as Editorial Manager for Gollancz. Possibly the only person at Orion with a BSc, he spends too much money on CDs rather than just downloading everything and reads various Japanese comics. If you want to make friends with him, just tell him how much you hate The Big Bang Theory.
  • Hmmm, not sure I agree with all this – but then again, it’s boring to agree on everything!

    Personally, I’d say there are at least three good Trek films in a row (6, 7 and 8) and I’m afraid this whole reboot just isn’t for me.

    The film(s) are very slick, very flashy and I can completely see why they’re popular in the age of the Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster. Like you say though, the film moves at breakneck speed and at times I was wishing it would just slow down a bit, taking a more measured approach to storytelling.Too many things seemed to happen too quickly, and while there were a few nice character moments and gags, there was no time for any kind of introspection that didn’t come across as lazy and cliched.

    There were a few homages to that which had gone previously (tribbles, klingons, the Kirk/Spock engine room scene) but I just thought they were a bit lazily done, as a knowing wink that lacked the subtlety I’d have hoped for.

    And I’m sorry, I just can’t get over the feeling that each films feels like a bunch of impersonators trying hard, and mostly failing, to recapture the magic of old characters.

    The strength of the old films was that they built on years of familiarity between characters and cast, but for me, these films just don’t have enough love and tenderness in them to match even the later TNG films.

    I might just be a miserable old fan though!