To idly go where so many have ventured before
J.J. Abrams found success with his refreshing Star Trek rebirth four years ago, but plunges his enterprise into darkness with a lazily written sequel that lacks the charm and quality of its predecessor.
Regardless of having seen it or not, the original Star Trek franchise is almost universally renowned for its refreshing depiction of science fiction and the way in which its creator, Gene Roddenberry, breathed new life into a fading genre. While Abrams teased a similar approach with a delightfully referential, yet original remake, he betrays Roddenberry’s sentiments with a monotonous sci-fi sequel that seeks to veil its lack of creativity with cheap tricks.
A strong writing team consisting of a reunited Alex Kurtman and Robert Orci, from the 2009 film, and the addition of prolific science fiction writer Damon Lindelof, who previously penned Abrams’ Lost, create a surprisingly unambitious narrative that borrows so much from previous films that it fails to separate itself from any other conventional Hollywood fodder. Their fill-in-the-blanks plot is a repetitive onslaught of atypical blockbuster clichés separated by brief pauses that serve only to establish the next CGI-heavy spectacle. Plot holes the size of black holes plague the narrative and reduce this already weak script beyond the point of tolerance.
Into Darkness continues from where its predecessor left off as Abrams brings many of the successes, but sadly repeats many of the same mistakes. The only tangible difference is an increase in decibel level; with more explosions, more stunts, more phaser shots and almost constant bickering from the moment it begins. Dizzying camera movements, wanton destruction and all too familiar blinding lens flare result in a headache inducing film that rarely ceases its torment.
Where his previous film succeeded in offering a pleasing blend of originality and homage to entertain entry level audiences and Star Trek purists alike, this stale sequel distances both with its incompetence. The central message of boldly going where no man has gone before is a contradictory one to be repeated throughout such an uninspired, derivative film.