Indeed, some patience would have been nice. The initial set-up in Adam Cozad and David Koepp’s screenplay is so rushed in getting to the point that the characters miss an opportunity to be fleshed out. However, in fairness, it’s a slick, rollicking popcorn movie with a far-fetched plot and a nice sense of humour, so probably best not to take it too seriously.
With a name like Into Darkness, one may be expecting more elements of evil and anarchy. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of rampant destruction aboard the latest Star Trek vehicle, but darkness does not seem to be the proper definition. The words “Into Darkness” could really be replaced by the words “sacrificial” and “loyalty”.
The idea of the prodigal son returning home after an extended absence has been done a lot in movies. Because it’s so thematically rich though, unlike other plot cliché’s, it’s also been done well, memorably in movies like The Indian Runner, You Can Count on Me, No Looking Back and in Australia’s own (extremely worthy, early Russell Crowe vehicle) The Crossing.