Saturday, 11 May 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

So this is the twelfth Star Trek film, but it’s also worth pointing out that it is the second of this particular series. As with the first film, or the eleventh, characters reappear and are reimagined. For instance Carol Marcus appears in this story, this time with an English accent, maybe that’s due to Vulcan being destroyed, but of course without the knowledge of what she and Kirk got up to in a different timeline. I’m sure Spock would not tell them.

This film is concerned, mainly, with a man hunt for the criminal John Harrison. He destroys a Starfleet facility in London and eventually heads off across the galaxy to the Klingon homeworld, which I always think sounds like a DIY store. Captain Kirk, after being demoted and then reinstated, is sent after him with the orders to kill Harrison.

There is as well the ever burgeoning relationship between Kirk and Spock. In the original series it took decades for Spock to work out that to become a rounded individual that it’s useful to be in touch with your emotional self, even if you’re half Vulcan and half human. In these films it seems to have taken no time at all. Kirk’s character development seems to involve him discovering that a sense of duty is useful if you want to be a good Starship captain.

Peppered throughout the film are a number of in jokes, who knows what Section 31 is, who knew where Kronos was before it was explained in the script, who indeed knew who Carol Marcus is, what’s with the Motion Picture uniforms? To be honest though the whole film is one long in joke about the Star Trek series, however well-made it is. The only film I have ever seen, whilst being so aware of in jokes was the 2009 Star Trek film. Don’t get me wrong this doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

The context that needs to be taken into consideration is that of when the film was made. The film references events of terror that are happening today. We see attacks on cities in retaliation for previous events. We also see a regime willing to change itself root and branch in a reaction to these events. It seems that regimes are often willing to sacrifice the innocent to reach their aims.

The film is as thrilling, funny, well made and well written as the last one. Alongside the development of Kirk and Spock’s characters it’s encouraging to see how Scotty, Chekhov, Sulu and Uhura are being developed as well.