Early UK & NZ Into Darkness Reviews Very Positive – Including Empire, Total Film, Guardian and more May 1, 2013by Geri Schear , Filed under: Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback
There are more reviews for Star Trek Into Darkness coming in from overseas and and they remain, in general, very positive; even, in some cases, glowing. Today we take a look at some of the latest (spoiler-free) reviews coming from the mainstream press in the UK and New Zealand including Empire, The Guardian, Total Film and many more.
Early UK & NZ Into Darkness Reviews Very Positive
A few days ago TrekMovie reported on the first reviews for Star Trek Into Darkness (primarily coming out of Australia). More are now coming online, now including some of the mainstream press in the UK and New Zealand. The latest reviews have the film earning earned 4 to 4.5 stars out of five from the NZ and UK critics. The consensus is the film is a fast-paced action adventure romp and while it’s not perfect, none of its flaws are fatal.
Below are some quotes and summaries of the latest reviews. Again note that while the reviews are spoiler-free the comments below some of them are not so bear that in mind before clicking the links.
The UK’s Empire Magazine: 4/5 stars. Its reviewer Ian Freer extols the film’s sense of fun and adds,
“If this is Abrams’ final frontier, he has left Star Trek in a good place, both in the fictional universe and as a franchise. In some sense; the title is misleading. Into Darkness is a blast, fun, funny, spectacular and exhilarating. The rule of great even numbered Trek movies continues.”
In addition to the print review, Empire also offers a podcast which covers Star Trek into Darkness in addition to some other films, such as Iron Man 3. The Star Trek part of the discussion begins at 52:30 minutes and lasts ten minutes. James Dyer discusses lens flare, 3D adaptations and Klingons. He adds it feels "Trekkier than the first film’, it is much faster paced and is lovingly put together": Empire Podcast
Total Film: 4/5 stars. Reviewer Matthew Leyland notes:
“Mostly, this is fantastic fun: a two-hours-plus blockbuster that doesn’t bog down in exposition or sag in the middle. There are reversals and rug-pulls galore, most of them executed with whiplash skill… this is a franchise flick that demands fanboy foreknowledge far less than it does slack jaws and high stamina.”
Unlike their colleagues in Australia who gave the film a mere 2/5 stars, Time Out UK gives the film 4/5 stars. Dave Calhoun comments that it is
"[Star Trek Into Darkness is] a stop-gap tale that’s modest, fun and briefly amusing rather than one that breaks new ground or offers hugely memorable set pieces.”
However, he goes on to add:
"Only when we’re treated to a gratuitous, over-the-shoulder underwear shot of Alice Eve as the Enterprise’s new recruit does this breeziness tip into recklessness. It’s here that we sense the filmmakers’ worry that the whole thing might be a bit too boyish and sexless."
UK Guardian: 4/5 stars. Andrew Pulver says the film is
"an astute, exhilarating concoction"
Digital Spy: 4/5 Stars. Emma Dibdin focuses on the characterizations in her review, saying:
“It’s character-rich writing across the board that makes Into Darkness the triumph it is but Spock’s journey stands out, re-introducing emotional seems from 2009′s Star Trek and taking them to their logical (if you will) extreme…There are moments in Cumber-batch’s hypnotic, placid performance where you’ll question whether Harrison is a villain at all – until he strikes, and you wonder how you ever doubted it. He is genuinely terrifying, quasi-reptilian, combining visceral physical threat with a knack for emotional manipulation that wrong-foots Kirk in much the same way it does us.”
Clickonline 4/5 Stars. Reviewer Daniel Anderson is also impressed, saying
“Star Trek Into Darkness is the finest film yet from JJ Abrams, something that bodes well for his future take on that other great franchise, Star Wars Episode VII. Great action, a compelling story and a spectacular performance from Benedict Cumberbatch make this one of the highlights of the summer movie season.”
UK site Den of Geek: 4/5 Stars. Chris Pine fans should be happy with Simon Brew’s review which notes:
"It’s arguably Chris Pine who’s the hidden-in-plain-sight gem here. His James Tiberius Kirk bubbles with humour, rebellion and non-conformity, before revealing a steel undercoat when re-quired. "They conclude, "“An exciting, entertaining and pretty excellent blockbuster. Let the clamour for another film start right here…”
The UK’s HeyUGuys: 4/5 stars. Reviewer Jon Lyus is even more effusive about the film, saying:
“Star Trek Into Darkness will send Trekkers into paroxysms of delight. The rest of the audience will be thrown back and forth from enjoyment to frustration but ultimately leave satisfied.”
New Zealand’s Stuff: 4.5/5 stars. Chris Gardner, says:
“Abrams has crafted another movie with anchors in Star Trek’s past and today’s reality which will be embraced equally by film goers who know a tribble from a trill and those who don’t.”. (You should be aware that the full review contains spoilers.)
The feeling of the current crop of reviews could be all summed up in the New Zealand Herald 4/5 star review. Russell Bailie writes,
"[Star Trek Into Darkness is] one heck of an epic action flick that proves in this blockbuster season, superheroes aren’t everything… Never heard of this Star Trek thing before? Here’s a great place to start.”
Bottom Line: So Far So Good
While the film still has only been reviewed by a fraction of the total movie reviewer population worldwide, the response so far appears quite positive.
TrekMovie will continue to monitor overseas reviews as the film premieres work their way to North America.
EDITOR’S NOTE: TrekMovie.com First Review Coming May 10.
An update from an earlier post regarding TrekMovie review of Star Trek Into Darkness. As of now TrekMovie’s review of Into Darkness is set to go up on May 10th, which is the embargo date for USA-based outlets (as the film opens wide in North America on May 17th). If Paramount changes its rules then TrekMovie will post a review as soon as allowable.