Tue
Apr 23 2013 4:10pm

Early Reviews for Star Trek Into Darkness Reveal Benedict Cumberbatch’s Identity

Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness identity revealed

Reviews are beginning to come in for Star Trek Into Darkness, which premiered in Australia on April 23rd, so we’ve rounded up some of the more prominent ones. So far, the non-spoiler reviews are generally on the positive side, with a little bit of hesitation.

The spoiler reviews tell a different story, however, and include the identity of the character Benedict Cumberbatch is playing. There are no visible spoilers in this article (but please consider the comments below a spoiler thread, and do not read past the end of the post if you do not want to be spoiled).

Most reviews are praising Star Trek Into Darkness for being exciting and fast-paced. Based on the breakneck speed of 2009’s Star Trek and the usual energy that J.J. Abrams instills in his films, this makes sense.

On Graffiti With Punctuation, Blake Howard writes about Abrams walking the line between a Star Wars style and a Star Trek world:

“Whether it’s being chased down and attacked at warp speed, fighting the sublime power at the centre of a Volcano, or the Enterprise in a spiral toward the surface of the Earth –  J.J. Abrams applies that big-budget action spectacle to the Trek franchise, whilst staying true to the brand. Trek is not Star Wars and the Enterprise isn’t running into an awaiting Empire armada hiding behind Endor’s moon – the Fleet’s directive is to find peaceful solutions. Abrams and his team find opportunities to show off the action and tension without all out warring. Abrams gets the characters at the core of Gene Rodenberry’s genius and vivid projection of the future; and uses them as the gateway to the greater mythology.”

Overall, Howard gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars.

IGN UK’s Lucy O’Brien has a positive review, though she hints this movie isn’t quite as good as its predecessor.

“Abrams doesn’t quite repeat this trick - although to call it a trick is doing him somewhat of a disservice -  but does manage to solidify Star Trek as one of our most palatable blockbuster franchises moving forward. While it may not be the most sophisticated of sci-fi spectacles you’ll see this year, Into Darkness will certainly be one of the most fun.”

O’Brien rated the movie 8/10.

3News.com’s David Farrier echoes the notions that this movie is in many ways, exactly what you expect it to be:

“If you were to put it bluntly, Into Darkness is more of what we saw in 2009. It’s a riveting action-adventure in space, complete with interpersonal relationships. The bro-mance between Kirk and Spock is in full force here. Grown men cry. And yes, it looks like a JJ Abrams film. There’s the lens flare, and the camera tracking a crashing spaceship might as well be a bigger version of the plane from the LOST pilot. Smoke billows and it all feels very real, like you could reach out and touch it.”

Farrier also praises Cumberbatch’s performance as an example of something this film has that is better than its predecessor.

A full (negative) spoiler review has shown up over on Furious FanBoys.com, written by Jeremy Conrad. Conrad isn’t happy about some of the plot details, including the identity of Cumberbatch's character, which can’t be discussed without including spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness. You can read the full review on FuriousFanBoys.com, including how the movie ends. Keep in mind that these spoilers are unsubstantiated.

For now, we’re continuing to take everything with a grain of salt and eagerly await Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty and whoever to show up in the U.S. on May 17th! [Again: The comments below may contain spoilers; do not read below this point if you want to avoid spoilerization!]


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com. Once Stubby thought it was Benedict Cumberbatch, but that turned out to be depressingly untrue.

47 comments
RobL
2. RobL
Memo to J.J. Abrams or the marketing staff or whoever seems to think fans will run out to see this movie because we can't wait to see who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing: I don't care. What I do care about is that you seem to have turned Star Trek into a mindless summer action movie in which the science doesn't even pretend to be plausible.
RobL
3. RobertX
I read the spoiler review. How supremely disappointing. I don't care how exciting it is that is just effed up.
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
@3, I almost think that bit about the ending HAS to be fake, I mean REALLY?

I mean the rest isn't riveting, but it's not terrible. But that ending, SRSLY?
F Shelley
5. FSS
read the spoiler review. i hope they're lying. i really really do...
RobL
6. TheSTN.net
Where is the spoiler review located at?
RobL
7. Erehwonnz
All of this sounds good to me. I'm not sure why folks are surprised about the identity of the villain. Wasn't this long known from pretty solid sources?

At any rate, Trek films have rarely been about science. They have, rather, been action flicks with generally thin plots and little physical exploration of outer space. Where they have excelled is entirely in heart, in contemplating existential questions. From the spoilers, this film sounds like it will have a huge amount of heart, including some raw emotional beats, and that's really what Trek films tend to be about. So all of this sounds quite promising!

Anything that gets the younger folks (my peers, for what it's worth) into Trek is a massive thing and bodes well for the future of this franchise. I'll take some Wars in my Trek films for that price, as all Trek films tend to be a little more Wars than their televised counterparts.
Christopher Bennett
8. ChristopherLBennett
It's bizarre to hear people complaining about bad science in Trek movies as if that were a novelty. That ship sailed the moment the Genesis Device was conceived.
F Shelley
9. FSS
@7 - here's why: we've seen him before. Yes, this is a different plot (I guess), and some names and situations have been changed, but why, why, why can't they move past the stories already told (if this review is true, which I really hope it's not).
F Shelley
10. FSS
Also - Star Trek 2009 already stretched my patience anyway due to the overuse of catch phrases. "Damn it man!" "We need more power Scotty!" "I'm givin all she's got!" "You cheated" etc etc. It was like watching a tribute band.
RobL
11. Dianthus
@10. Gotta disagree with you there. As a fan of classic Trek, I loved the catch phrases! Nice continuity.
RobL
12. Alright Then
Same action figures, new sandbox.
It's pastiche. Nothing more.

Let me know when Trek is back on TV, where it belongs.
RobL
13. PhoebeSF
Man, this movie's going to be so BAD. It's not just that it's not *science* fiction. If those spoilers are true, that's a pretty poor understanding of, you know, science *fiction.*
Cain Latrani
14. CainS.Latrani
*reads spoiler review*

Hmm...

I think I'm gonna wait to see the movie. Somehow, I won't be surprised if that is way off from the actual movie. It reads like something a five year old wrote.

But that's just my opinion.
Shelly wb
15. shellywb
Please take the Star Wars movies away from JJ.
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
@14, Yeah I don't necesarily think a website called "FuriousFanboys" is the most credible. Sadly though, the idea SOUNDS like something Abrams would do.

@15, +1000
RobL
17. Aix
I'm sorry, FuriousFanboys didn't actually see the movie but reacted about an IMDB post?! Come on. That's just lazy!!! Give reviews and reactions when you've actually seen it!
RobL
18. Annie258
Don't know how credible it is, but some Aussies on Twitter are saying it's not Khan -- he is one of the fan theories but not one of the more popular ones.
RobL
19. Kangaroopente
Of course it's NOT Khan... It's NeoKhan!!! *ba-dum-dum* Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'll still see it atl least once, but damn what a waste if it's true. Cumby could easily be a "new" character instead.
Sky Thibedeau
20. SkylarkThibedeau
It's exactly what I thought it would be. A mash up in the new continuity. 'John Harrison' is taking care of his 'family'. And a deus ex machina worthy of the organians. Typical J.J. No its not LIMBO but it is! Darn you fanboys/grrls are smart.
Bridget McGovern
21. BMcGovern
To those flagging comments--we appreciate the heads up, but we're treating this as a spoiler thread (hence the two warnings earlier in the post). More and more information is going to leak out about the movie, inevitably: feel free to discuss that information here--and hopefully those who don't want to know will heed the bolded warnings above. And of course there are plenty of other posts about the movie on Tor.com that remain spoiler-free. Thanks!
RobL
22. Bones
I figured the spoilers for the ending were fake when I read where it was set. Really? That would be fucking stupid if it was set in that factory? It was at that point that I called BS on the whole thing. He may well be Khan, I don't know. It doesn't matter to me either way, I hope I'll enjoy the movie but that ending...please. Come on.
RobL
23. Bones
And also if that was the actual ending I'm sure more of the reviewers would be outraged to such an extent that their computers would be broken!
RobL
24. MoPed
Whiny crybabies! You should be happy that any Trek is on the big screen. You went out and paid to see clunkers like Insurrection and Nemesis - I'm sure your money won't be wasted see STID.
RobL
25. FelicityX15
What about 47 and Meghan's wooden box??? Did JJ reveal those secrets??
RobL
26. Superdude21
I don't know what the point was to REBOOTING this inot a brand, new universe if they are only going to REHASH Khan again.

40 years of Trek lore to gather from and all this time, all this wait all they do is bring back KHAN? Really Abrams?

I kinda hoped John Harrison would just be that. His own unique identity. But he HAS to be Khan. That is flippin BULLCRAP
RobL
27. Kirk's Shadow
What is really mindblowing is that all these so called "fans" are complaining about the villain. Hey, if you don't want to see Star Trek Villains in a Star Trek movie then go see Oblivion.
RobL
28. The Dreamer
I hoped beyond all hope that Mr. (ahem) Abrams would grow a pair and introduce Geirrod Agnarsson who was the engineer who became the first superbeing created when the SS Valiant encountered the energy field at the edge of the galaxy and that Captain was forced to blow up his ship.

I hoped beyond hope that if it wasn't Gary Mitchell, the badie from "where no man has gone before" it would be this guy coming out of left field and filling out the story of the Valiant. But noooooo... just more TV dinner left overs. Oh well, hope lives... lived.
Chris Nelly
29. Aeryl
I actually don't mind the Khan thing, I can deal with that. It's the blood thing at the end that gets me.

But I suspect that part mught be a fake out, but then again you honestly can't put Tribbles past JJ
nico kanakaris
30. kanakaris
i completely agree that having gone to see disaters like nemesis and insurrection this will propably be a better movie,i was so dissapointed in these 2 movies that it completely threw me off star trek for quite some time,i thought they had lost it completely...then came that hiddeous enterprise tv series crew and my faith was gone...allmost for good.now having seen the 2009 trek,and this one ahead i think they are on the right path but...future projectsshould not be done again by jj abrahams as he obviously has a certain print on all his projects that they should move on and take the next film from another point of view.and also...what is it about that cumberbatch that egnites so much vibe???i havent seen the film yet but the buzz about this guy is rediculusly intense??
nico kanakaris
31. kanakaris
and please leave that rediculus lens flare out.it's fine one or two timesbut the way they have been using this its just annoying
RobL
32. MzVengenz
@kanakaris
Climberbatch has a huge following that started in the UK and has since drifted to the US. Mostly centered around his role of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show Sherlock.
Charley McCue
33. Kansan52
The spoiler ending made me laugh.

Of course, NCC1701 being constructed on Earth and not in a space port jumped the shark for me. The whole premise of Voyager was that it was the first starship able to take off from a planet's surface.

The isn't Star Trek, it's simply an explotive use of beloved characters. When I think of it as NOT Star Trek, then I can watch it, even enjoy it.

But just when it seems they've done what they can to spoil Star Trek for me, they make the Enterprise a submarine. Now this.

Oh well. Maybe they will make enough money that the next reboot will be to bring back Star Trek.
Chris Nelly
34. Aeryl
In one of the shots of Alice Eve in her black underwear, there was lens flare OFF THE BRA!!!
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
Maybe JJ is trying to reveal what bras are made of in the future... boldly going where no man... well, nevermind.
Chris Nelly
37. Aeryl
@36, :^P

No, just the bra's made of some shiny black polyblend, which is a bit reflective, so LENS FLARE!!
RobL
38. Lynn Crain
That's the trouble with everyone. They are looking for the old Star Trek. This one is in a parallel universe and NOT the one we're in. The original was in ours, TNG was in ours, Voyager and DS9 was in ours. The new Star Trek isn't and nothing should be equated with it at all except the characters. There should be some continuity and similarities but it should never be the same nor should the characters act the same nor should exactly the same events happen. If it did, that would be in our world. Let's all be thankful that a series we loved has been resurrected. If you're looking for more of the same, get the DVDs from the old individual series and watch them.

As for me, I'll go with the kick-ass, never-in-my-life-would-I-have-thought-that-up movie which will keep me coming back for more.
RobL
39. savannah
So he's technically... both of the names that have been floated. Clever, but I now am not sure if I owe my brother $5 or he owes me, or if we are even.
RobL
40. The Dreamer
"That's the trouble with everyone. They are looking for the old Star
Trek. This one is in a parallel universe and NOT the one we're in."

It's sort of like saying James Bond is a female in a parallel universe and that's fine. Janet Bond is still the kick-ass, womanizing, super secret agent, it's just she's a chick in a parallel universe? Is it still Bond? No, not really, but now we can have all sorts of fun and do lots of lazy writing, throw in the shock and awe, break-neck speed plot and clean up at the box office because the world suffers from ADD.

Why not simply make LOST the movie and leave some folk's iconic characters alone? huh? well... that ain't gonna happen. It's Hollywood.
RobL
41. Wierzbowski
That IS the real ending. Reading the description makes it sound terrible, but once you see everything put together, the film actually works. Don't be so quick to judge without seeing the movie - that's just silly fanboy bitching. It's a ton of fun and extremely entertaining. I agree that having the Kirk and Spock roles from Wrath of Kahn switch is a little bit eye-roll inducing, but it serves it's purpose for the characters. I wish they hadn't chickened out and brought Kirk back in this movie though. No balls. It could have been this new franchises Empire Strikes Back - and although it's nowhere near that good in quality, it could have raised the stakes for a summer blockbuster. As it is, it's a blast to watch. Like it or not, this new Trek is here to stay, and while it doesn't share the magic of the original films, no one can deny that it has revitalized the franchise. I'm a huge Trek fan, and I enjoy these new films for what they are. I don't get the extreme hatred people have for them. At least they attempt to offer more than the Michael Bay trash that comes out every few years. Old Trek is dead, and I for one would rather have new Trek, than no Trek. Wierzbowski, out.
RobL
42. banksie
"Of course, NCC1701 being constructed on Earth and not in a space port
jumped the shark for me. The whole premise of Voyager was that it was
the first starship able to take off from a planet's surface."

You need to check your star trek lore a little more. Constitution class Enterprise was built in the San Francisco shipyards. While the secondary hull was never meant to do atmospheric entry the primary hull (aka saucer dish) was able to land on a planetary surface. This was a once only trip and was intended for emergencies where the primary hull was used as a large lifeboat and seperated away from the secondary hull and engines. (This was never seen in TOS but is mentioned in the series writers bible.)

Galaxy class was the first to allow attach/detach cycles of the saucer. It also was constructed at the Utopia Planitia yards orbiting Mars.

Intrepid class like Voyager was the first designed for the whole ship to take off/land through an atmosphere under it's own power.

But there is nothing wrong with the Enterprise being built on the ground and then being towed into orbit once assembled. Indeed the hazards of EVA work argue that there are good reasons for building on the ground if your hull can cope with the stresses.
RobL
43. rillmad
i'm just mad that they went for whitey mcwhiterson to play khan an obviously NON white villain. like seriously jj and co?? you couldn't have gone looking for at the very least, another latino actor?? or better yet, and actual south asian dude??? instead you went for the whitest person alive, the epitome of upper class england!??

i really hope the media calls him out on this bullshit when the movie gets officially released everywhere because there is white washing, and then there is painting everything in the bloody room white.
Anthony Pero
45. anthonypero
Actually, sociologists estimate that nearly 1/3 of the world's Caucasian population is descended from Gehngis Khan. Its almost as likely that Cumberpatch could claim the name Khan as some random Asian actor. ;)
RobL
46. Miffy
According to IMDB several Latino actors were considered for the role of "John Harrison" before Cumberbatch got the part, which given the role of Khan was originally played by RICARDO MONTALBAN is a giveaway in itself.

Benedict got the part because a) there is a tradition in Hollywood blockbusters of casting amazingly talented British actors as villains and letting them run rings around their American costars yet ultimately be defeated by them because Americans have a horrendous love-hate relationship with the UK and this is very cathartic for them; b) Ben is quickly becoming the hottest actor in the UK and has the potential to cross over in the US market in a big way; and c) he is an amazingly talented performer who has the potential to be a major international star, which could in itself do a lot for the "Star Trek" franchise given that Khan is being set up to return someday.
RobL
48. Jones
Didn't read spoilers, only that Bene is Khan. Now i'm reading through the comments, and laughing my ass of, cause almost everyone seems pissed of about it. I remember at the beginning when the movie was in preproduction and was being filmed, everyone wanted it to be Khan, or another guy who i do not remember. They really wanted it to be one of them! When they found out it was ONLY John Harrison. Man that sucked.. And now, people are pissed about it being Khan.. Lol, you can't sattisfy anyone these days. Not anyone..
Chris Nelly
49. Aeryl
If you didn't read the review, then you have no idea what we are complaining about. It's not that Cumbervillain is Khan, it's the rest of the story.

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