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Movie Review

Star Trek Into Darkness

MPAA Rating: PG-13for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Sequel IMAX 3D
Length:
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
May 17, 2013 (wide—3,700+ theaters)
DVD: September 10, 2013
Copyright, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

bravery, courage, self-sacrifice

taking responsibility for one’s own actions

sin

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

fornication in the Bible

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

lust (WebBible Encyclopedia)

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Featuring: Benedict CumberbatchJohn Harrison/Khan
Chris PineJames T. Kirk
Karl UrbanBones
Zoe SaldanaNyota Uhura
Alice Eve … Dr. Carol Marcus
Jon Lee Brody … Enterprise Crew Security
Simon PeggScotty
Zachary QuintoSpock
Anton YelchinPavel Chekov
John Cho … Hikaru Sulu
Felicity Wren … Starfleet Officer
Nolan North
Bruce Greenwood … Christopher Pike
more »
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: Paramount Pictures
Skydance Productions
Bad Robot
more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Prequel: “Star Trek” (2009)

Sequel: “Star Trek Beyond” (2016)

“Star Trek into Darkness” is both suspenseful and an action-packed sequel. While it is more eventful than its 2009 predecessor, there seems to be fewer stops for audience rest and thorough character development.

We find that James Kirk (Chris Pine) is in trouble with disregarding Federation regulations in order to save his friend Spock (Zachary Quinto). While he feels justified to save his friend, Spock disagrees since Kirk abandoned the rules and even lied to cover up his own mishap (Luke 16:10). The two polarized friends come at ethics from different angles: Spock believing right or wrong is defined by rules and logic, and Kirk following his gut instincts, since not everything is easily determined by rules.

The Enterprise fleet soon find themselves assigned in trying to track down a terrorist who’s behind Federation attacks. Spock and Captain Kirk soon find that everything is not quite perfect, and their decisions will not only affect their own crew, but the lives of others. I’ll stop there, as to not give away any more spoilers.

Kudos must be given to the screenwriters in not wasting any precious time in reintroducing the characters. This is a safe gamble, due to the likelihood of the theater audience already being familiar with the Star Trek franchise. More time is given in the development of Spock and Kirk’s friendship, and Kirk’s growth as a leader. I also enjoyed Scotty being given more screen time, although Uhura’s character isn’t used much other than a plot device.

Objectionable Content

The violence in this sequel is much darker and much more frequent than in the first installment, so parents should take note. From beginning to end, the action is mostly nonstop. There are plenty of explosions, punching, kicking and slapping. During the explosions, some people are sucked into space. A leg is broken, and a head is crushed off screen. Some people are graphically shot and die onscreen.

There is some sexual content in the film. Kirk is shown in bed with two female aliens. They are briefly under the sheets, and the girls are shown in their bra and panties. And Dr. Carol Marcus is shown in her undergarments when Kirk defies her orders and turns around while she’s changing clothes. In a passing scene, two aliens French kiss.

In all, I counted about 25 uses of profanity: 6 d*mns, 6 bast*rds, 5 hells, 4 a*s, 2 sh_t, and 2 SOBs. There are also a couple of brief scenes of people drinking and being drunk.

Kirk is known for his hotheadedness and, at times, rash thinking. He tends to go by his emotions and not think things through; he believes saving someone’s life, despite putting others at risk, is defendable (Proverbs 11:2). On the other hand, Spock prefers only reason, logic and the obedience of all rules (Romans 2:13). The movie examines these two perspectives. Is there ever a median? The answer is yes. Often times, secular rules are fallible, so we should spend time in prayer and ask for God’s guidance and wisdom for holy discernment. In Proverbs 2:6-9, it states:

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.”

Aside from the aforementioned, I thoroughly enjoyed this well-made sequel and cautiously recommend it, especially if you liked the 2009 installment. There are some good morals for teens: the value of friendship, going with what’s right (even if it’s unpopular), and laying down your life for the sake of friendship. However, if you’re a true Trekkie, you might find this film a bit of a disappointment. My advice is to treat J.J. Abram’s relaunch as a separate entity from the previous Star Trek movies.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—I enjoyed this film, but found it lacking the usual depth of soul searching that often comes with a Star Trek episode. The acting, filming, and feel of the movie were exemplary. I just didn’t care for the movie’s position of hopelessness and disbelief. Star Trek should be more positive than that.

I loved the first installment of this J. J. Abrams vision, and this one was enjoyable, too, but I would have loved more character development for Khan and his part in scrutinizing the human condition. Maybe I need to see it again to see if I missed something. It was a great piece of art, despite my scrutiny.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Trina, age 45 (USA)
Positive—If you are familiar with the original Star Trek series, you will absolutely love this film. It has many references that tie back to episodes of the TV show and the movie the Wrath of Khan. I won’t spoil it by sharing any of them, but this movie lays the foundation for the lifelong friendship between Spock and Kirk. Overall, it is very enjoyable and from today’s movie standards is relatively clean. There is one very brief scene with Kirk in bed with 2 aliens, but nothing is seen. There are a few curse words, but no more than something on television. There are several fight scenes and some intense action, but this is a great movie for adults and teenagers. My husband and I recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C. Nelson, age 52 (USA)
Positive—I loved this film. It showcased things like courage and self-sacrifice, while also asking its leading man to learn to take responsibility for his actions. To quote Spock, on several occasions, “it elicited an emotional response” from the audience. The acting is superb, the plot was easy to follow but intriguing and full of surprises. There’s even a subtle Christ parallel in Kirk’s sacrificial actions in the second half.

I went with my dad, who has never been a Trekkie, and he was impressed. It’s not perfect (there’s a lot of swearing, and Kirk is a ladies man), but it was entertaining, insightful, thought-provoking, and just plain fun. This is what a summer movie ought to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Charity, age 30 (USA)
Positive—I loved this film. The best movie of the year so far. Everything you want from a blockbuster movie and Star Trek. A well done sequel. Excellent set designs, costumes, score, acting, action, special effects, and good morale. The movie also stresses the importance of being human with Spock, as he is half human.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michael, age 18 (USA)
Positive—I will keep this short and sweet, Best movie I have seen in several years (keep in mind that the 2009 version of Star Trek was my first Trek movie). Skip “Iron Man 3,” and go see a movie that entertains, provokes thought and touches your emotions! This movie was amazing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Shane Mason, age 34 (USA)
Positive—I thought this film was excellent in every aspect. I have been a Star Trek fan all my life, and there’s no reason to not include this film within the overall canon. The story was completely entertaining, the action completely thrilling, and the mood of the film was enthralling… I don’t know of anyone who didn’t cry at that wonderful scene with Kirk and Spock toward the last.

Reading the other comments on the film, I’m not sure what they’re talking about in regards to a “missed message”. The crew faced overwhelming odds to destroy evil… and through extreme sacrifice, the good prevailed. The message of hope rang throughout the entire film. It does bother me that almost all of the above comments discussed the scene in which Kirk was in bed with two women. Who cares? Today’s society is not the same society as in my grandfather’s courting days, which does not mean to say that society has strayed, we’re just more relaxed in our lives and our faith. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David, age 38 (USA)
Positive—Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike—hold on to your seats! This is a great movie!! Kudos to JJ Abrams on his top quality, true to the television series movie making efforts once more. Thank you to Christian Answers for warning me to cover my daughter’s eyes for the very brief bedroom scene with Kirk; otherwise a stellar movie. Loved how the Tribble was worked in, though I had the feeling I was the only one in the theatre who picked up on it (no trouble with them here!).

Excellent cast portrayals! There are several great laughs, and the pacing between these scenes and the action scenes is fast and well balanced. As all Trekkies are aware, The Federation’s whole existence is based on honour and integrity, so seeing the two main characters walk straight into the throws of death to save others in spite of the danger to their own lives is “the only logical thing to do, as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” There’s even an opportunity to tear up for the sentimental at heart. And talk about edge-of-your-seat action! Please tell me we are embarking on several more voyages —I just can’t wait!! Oh, and the “bad guy” was amazing… Encore! encore!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mrs Terry, age 55 (Canada)
Neutral
Neutral—I am a little confused by all of the positive comments. Though this movie was better than the 80’s Star Trek movies, it was not a great movie. This is supposed to be a family show, and we see Captain Kirk in bed with two female aliens. So our hero is a sleaze? I would be interested to know for what purpose that scene was in the movie. Though I was entertained by some parts of this movie, I will probably not see it again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Paul, age 52 (USA)
Negative
Negative—In the opening scene we find the hero in bed with two females of a different species, extras left over from Avatar. OKAY, so I can hear the objections about flawed men still being good men but how low have we sunk that this type of on screen behavior seems acceptable? At its worst it smacks of bestiality at its best… well there is no best for it. Yet there it is. Was it important that we see this for character development? So he’s morally loose, we get it. We already got it in the first film’s bedroom scene. At the adult theater multiplex you have to insert more money to see the rest of the film, but this time it went right on.

All the references to death (and there are a few) give not even a hint of any spiritual approach. “Ya just die.” And a whole bunch of characters do. The subject is approached with all the wisdom a teen could muster guided by an adult armed with a three ring binder lesson plan in a high school health class. I came very close to leaving the theater with this film (as I did with Denzel Washington’s “Flight”), but stayed on. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brian, age 61 (USA)
Neutral—Two very disturbing scenes. One, the Matrix-like bad guy , looking very much like a video game that glorifies violence and killing, and a possible “inspiration” to killers who go into schools and shoot kids. It reminded me of the killers at Columbine, strutting about annihilating everyone in sight.

The other scene I found very troubling is the visual of an aircraft slamming into buildings, killing thousands, a scene that after 911 takes on a whole new meaning. As a reformed Trekkie, I can tell you they have taken the flaws of the characters and made them into very offensive in modesty issues and swearing. The violence is very graphic at times, even though this makes for a very exciting film, it is teaching us one thing rather disturbing: life is expendable, if the cause in your eyes is grand enough, and a woman is an object to be obtained.

I don’t like these messages, I hope we learn very soon what type of an impact our movies are having, and start making more films that speak life instead of so much death.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tim Stromer, age 47 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie, I thought I was very fun and thrilling and fans of the previous film will enjoy it. This film is darker than the last (Hence the title: Into Darkness) However, it is still light hearted and fun throughout most of the film. It was also more violent than the last. Lots of people get sucked out into space in multiple scenes, there is lots of punching and kicking and even a character who crushes peoples heads with his bare hands!

Be warned that because of this it is more intense that the last film so young children (under the age of 10) will probably find it disturbing.

There was also a very brief scene where Kirk gets out of bed with two women in underwear but not much is seen as the bed sheets cover them. There is another scene where we briefly see a woman getting changed and in her underwear (as seen in trailer) but again it is very brief and only lasts for about 2-3 seconds. The language is fairly minimal, but includes a couple of S-Words and several mild profanities.

Overall, I think this is a very enjoyable film that will probably make you laugh, cry and have you on the edge of your seat. I would recommend it for any teens or adults who like actions films.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Benjamin, age 16 (Australia)
Positive—I am, and have been, a Star Trek fan for some years now. While I have no posters, or collectible action figures, or games, I have seen the majority of the various television series and I would be untruthful if I said that Star Trek had no influence over my choice of a college major. All this is to say that I went in with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. Throughout the movie, there were both grand plot arcs as well as small minutia that alluded to the original series. There was even a subtle Red Shirt joke.

While I am hardly old enough to say I reminisced about the good ol” days, those portions of the movie, when mixed with the new and exciting, were just enough to push the movie quality over the top. Of course, any movie that can be called “good” cannot support itself by the laurels of the past. On this account, “Star Trek Into Darkness” also succeeded. Some of the deeper moral issues addressed are Isolationism vs. Interference in other cultures, Following orders vs. Following ethical guidelines, Selfishness vs. Selflessness, as well as lessons on duty, honor, courage, vengeance, family, and most every other topic under the sun. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Hayden, age 17 (USA)
Positive—A great movie, I have to say better than the first one. The action is more intense in this one. The acting was great, and the actor playing Kahn played an excellent villain, I’m impressed. I really don’t know why they had to put sex scenes in there, but thankfully, they are short. I’m also glad to see Spock get more into the action, as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Taylor, age 15 (USA)
Positive—Prepare for pure awesomeness! I watched this a few weeks after it came out. It was fun, action packed, and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was way better than the first movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ysabel Mystic Of Fairyland, age 14 (USA)
Positive—The film was well-made. J.J. Abrams expands the universe of Star Trek, Khan as one of the best villains, Cumberbatch makes a great tribute to Ricardo Montalbán. The film contains courage, loyalty, friendship, revenge. Spock is the reason and the logic of the Enterprise while Kirk is more energetic and more fast. The Enterprise wants retribution taking Khan to the Federation to pay for the death of many people. Maybe the film lacks of spiritual content but it’s an awesome film. Must see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sergio De La Cruz, age 17 (Guatemala)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Personally, I just don’t understand approving of this. The review alone tells me that Christ would not approve of me personally going to this movie. What was listed on the article was… Profanity—Heavy. God’s Word says, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place… let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.” (Ephesians 5:4, 6, 7). I share in love. I’m not any better than anyone. But is it possible we are being partners with the world by paying for them to promote profanity? Would Christ sit with us to watch girls in their bra and panties?
—Paul, age 47 (USA)

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