Star Trek Into Darkness keeps with the practice established in the 2009 Star Trek of remixing things from previous Star Trek films and television shows many long time Trek fans will remember while still being accessible to new fans of the franchise. It continues to hit that balance action, drama, and comedy, a recipe for any fun summer blockbuster. The story is simple enough. Former Starfleet commander John Harrison has a vendetta against Starfleet and commits a series of attacks. It is up to the Enterprise to find what the true motivations of this mystery man are and to stop him. The plot is fun and has some great action set pieces, taking us from the primitive planet of Nibiru to the Klingon homeworld of Kronos to the vastness of deep space. However, the plot does have a tendency to become a bit scattered but does a decent job of getting things back together by the end. It’s not the most highbrow sci-fi but it is very fun.
The cast is great. Chris Pine shines as Kirk. There is more to Pine’s Kirk than confidence and swagger, there’s also a sense of longing for a family and a need to protect that family no matter what costs. Zachary Quinto once again delivers a great performance as Spock, a man torn between what he thinks he should do and what he knows he must do. However it’s Benedict Cumberbatch that steals the show. Where Nero from the 2009 movie was raving lunatic, Harrison is the worst kind of menacing. The kind of intimidating force that doesn’t need to yell and scream, whose mere presence is enough to give pause. He’s the type of threat that can manipulate you mentally as well as destroy you physically. One of the problems with having a big cast however is that some characters get left out of most of the fun. Except for Simon Pegg, the rest of the cast feels a bit underwritten. They are given things to do but not too much. Still, this Trek had an emphasis on family and this cast pulled that off great.
Take Star Trek Into Darkness for what it is, a fun sci-fi action adventure, and you won’t be disappointed.
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