In 2009, J.J Abrams rebooted the “Star Trek” movie franchise in a way that managed to delight old fans, thrill new ones, while still maintaining a sense of continuity with the classic series. That’s a major achievement for any director, but topping your own work is a lot harder than many people realize. So could Abrams bring the new/old magic back a second time in the long-awaited sequel, “Star Trek into Darkness?” Let’s find out!
In the year 2259, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise encounter a deadly threat in the form of Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant terrorist who launches an attack on Starfleet and all it represents. Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew then become embroiled in a deadly game in which they must chase down Khan before he sparks an interplanetary war and rains down further destruction upon the Federation.
Creating a sequel to such a successful reinvention of iconic characters such as the Star Trek crew takes a skillful cast of actors and a talented directorial mind to pull it off; luckily, we have all of that and more in “Star Trek Into Darkness”. While the 2009 Star Trek film set the stage for the crew to assume their memorable positions and places, in ‘Into Darkness’ the story asserts everyone into appropriate roles that help expand and develop their roles as characters.
Furthermore, the movie catapults you into a whole new world of sci-fi action, humor, witty one liners and Trek references galore for fans of the series to enjoy, which is without doubt one of the greatest charms of this film. A special congratulation should also go to Pine and Quinto who really grew in their roles as Kirk and Spock. But what of our super villain? Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic in the role of the genetically engineered super villain, and his steely, cold, robotic manner doesn’t feel emotionless; nor does it feel flat or without effort.
The movie also has all the action packed adventure required of a modern blockbuster, and the action scenes and stunning visuals crafted some incredible moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. One noticeable example involves a stunning and suspenseful catapult into deep space in which Kirk and Khan are hurtling towards a ship with nothing but dead space between them. It’s extremely well done. The movie has not been without its detractors, though, with most of the criticism levelled against ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ centering around it being more concerned about paying homage to the 1982 movie ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ than establishing its own unique identity. As far as I am concerned, while a great deal from the original Trek film can be found here, it’s a thousand times better, with not one element or aspect left unimproved.
Nevertheless, it is accepted that this movie generally divided fans into those who either loved or hated it. Personally, I really can’t find too many negative things to say about ‘Into Darkness’, and I found it to be a worthy addition to the film franchise. Watching it was a fun and entertaining experience, and I would happily give “Star Trek into Darkness” 3 stars out of 4.