Bendedict Cumberbatch as Commander John Harrison
J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” launches the first great blockbuster of the 2013 summer. The film launches straight into action with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) running away from a primitive civilization on a distant planet whilst Spock (Zachary Quint) stops the imminent destruction of the planet from a volcano. Shortly after returning to Earth and Kirk being stripped of his command of the Enterprise, Starfleet finds itself under siege from former Starfleet agent John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). “Into Darkness” also brings about the addition of Alice Eve as Carol Marcus (Kirk’s ex and mother of his child in non-alternate reality).
I’m just going to go ahead and spoil it but Harrison is Khan, one of Star Trek’s most famous villains. There are some slight continuity issues with including Khan due to London being destroyed during WWIII in the Star Trek cannon. Nevertheless, Cumberbatch is thrilling to see as Khan though and a far superior villain to that of Eric Bana’s Nero in the 2009 “Star Trek”.
That said, I feel that Abrams and the writers of “Into Darkness” may have stepped into murky waters with utilizing Khan as the main villain of the film. This film will undoubtedly be compared to “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan”, the series most acclaimed film. Justly so though, the film gives a fair too many winks to fans of the series by essentially mirroring many elements of “Wrath of Khan”. The film even goes as far as including the famed Khan scream of “Wrath of Khan”. “Into Darkness” brings back one of the greatest things of the rest of the Star Trek cannon though and that is the commentary on real life world issues. Khan’s characterization is surely based upon the post 9/11 world that we live in and it’s a joy to see Star Trek going back to using these metaphorical themes that reflect our contemporary society.
Winking aside, the film is a thrilling ride for Star Trek fans and for those who wish to enjoy a good popcorn flick this summer. The film corrects many of the missteps of the first film with a better constructed plot, better characterizations, and more SImon Pegg. For the record, more Simon Pegg is always on my list of things a movie could use.