STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)
It’s been a 4 year mission to wait for a sequel to J.J. Abrams’ awesome Star Trek reboot but, finally Star Trek Into Darkness has arrived. And while it’s not quite up to the 2009 blockbuster, it is still a really entertaining 2 hours at the movies. The film opens with Kirk (Chris Pine) disobeying Starfleet’s Prime Directive to save a primitive alien race and his Vulcan first officer, Spock (Zachary Quinto). When the Enterprise reaches Earth, instead of being handed the much coveted 5 year mission, Kirk is handed a demotion and Pike resumes command of the good ole NCC 1701. But this speed-bump in Kirk’s career doesn’t last as a mysterious rogue Starfleet agent by the name of John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) launches deadly terroristic attacks against Starfleet and it’s personnel. His actions put Kirk once again in the captain’s chair with orders to hunt this dangerous fugitive down, on the Klingon home world of Kronos to where he’s fled and eliminate him. But Kirk is not comfortable being an assassin and he and his and crew find that once they enter Klingon space and retrieve their quarry, that “John Harrison” is not who they think he is and they may be pawns in a greater conspiracy involving a Starfleet Admiral (Peter Weller) with a monstrous warship and his own agenda.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a fun and fast paced action adventure that’s only real problem is that it moves a little too fast and we’d like a little more time to allow the emotions of the events witnessed to resonate. Kirk’s demotion is a good example as he is back in command in about 10 minutes of screen time and we really don’t get a chance to appreciate this blow to the character’s career and ego. Once the plot starts to unfold, the film is all too eager to get to the explosions and fisticuffs than to give us a few minutes to properly absorb the dramatic effects of what occurs. But I would be lying if I said that what action Abrams delivers is not exciting and fun, because it is. This is especially true during an exhilarating last act which made up for some of the lack of real emotional depth earlier on. The script from Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof has it weaknesses, but ultimately I did like their twist on a familiar Trek character and how the new timeline effected his involvement in Trek history.
The cast is once again top notch and it is the interaction between characters that really helps keep this movie on target during some of the weaker bits. The combination of Abrams’ direction, the script’s character interaction and the cast, really give this film it’s strength despite all the awesome action and eye popping SPFX. All the crew return from Trek 09 and are all really good, once again, at making these classic characters their own yet, still familiar. Trek’s bad guy is played with relish by Benedict Cumberbatch, giving a strong performance as the main villain, though I just wish his character had a bit more screen time to be developed a little more, to give the character more weight and impact. It’s great to see Peter Weller back on the big screen as Admiral Marcus, the Starfleet officer whose visions of war with the Klingon Empire have caused him to act against the very things he seeks to defend. Rounding out the main cast is pretty Alice Eve, who is fine as Carol Marcus, the admiral’s daughter and future Kirk love interest. The character has little to do for the most part, but Eve does well when Miss Marcus does become important to the plot.
So in conclusion, I had a fun time watching this Trek sequel and while I wish it had a little more emotional depth in the first two acts and a little more development of some of the new characters, their is plenty of warp speed action to entertain and the film really delivers in the final act where it counts. Beam me up for Trek 3!
3 and 1/2 starships