Running Time: 2 hours 12 minutes
From the opening scene in Star Trek Into Darkness you are put on notice that the action will come hard and fast and from every direction. Simultaneously, you see Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) chased by savages and Spock (Zachary Quinto) being dropped into the mouth of an active volcano. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are tasked with bringing a rogue member of Starfleet named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), to justice after the bombing of a Starfleet archive and a direct attack on a command center. The Enterprise is forced to enter Klingon territory in pursuit of this terrorist, where one wrong move could lead to all-out war. When a Starfleet Admiral gives the Enterprise the order to fire a giant payload of photon torpedoes at the Klingon home world in an attempt to eliminate Harrison, Kirk starts to suspect that the truth is more complicated than he has been led to believe.
J.J. Abrams has done a wonderful job of completely remaking such a familiar franchise in his own style and shaping it into something that feels very original. This movie is smart, fun and fast-paced with a number of different big action sequences that play well on the big screen (though, once again, not as impactful in 3D as I hoped). I found this to be an improvement on Star Trek because it feels like it was made with more confidence and familiarity with the cast and characters. Kirk and Spock’s relationship is more clearly defined and Chris Pine and Zachary Quintohave taken control of the characters. I could have used a little more of the rest of the crew, especially Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho) and Zoe Saldana and Alice Eve are little more than window dressing in mod squad mini-skirts.
Cumberbatch is captivating as a villain who burns with a righteous fury and a sense of purpose that makes him ruthless. The rumors of his character’s identity are true, but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t already heard about it. With his rumbling voice and natural gravitas, Cumberbatch is well suited to play a sinister figure prone to eloquent speechmaking. Aside from a few quibbles with the plot and the fact that, like most big budget movies these days, it is about 20 minutes too long, Star Trek Into Darkness is a very satisfying movie-going experience and makes you feel like the trip to the theatre is worth it. A-
I generally don't enjoy Sci-Fi movies, but I have been thrilled by J.J. Abram's vision in the reboot of the Star Trek series. Like Scott mentioned, Star Trek Into Darkness is a thrilling and relentless action movie. The movie is designed to be seen on a big screen and is a great summer movie. Although we were at the midnight show and I was exhausted, the movie was captivating and kept me engaged the entire time.
I love a great villain and Benedict Cumberbatch is sizzling in his role as John Harrison. His deliberate speech and direct gaze thrilled me in each and every scene. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are consistently strong in this movie and I appreciate the dynamic chemistry between them. My one complaint is that the female actresses are woefully under utilized and this seems to be a trend with the big blockbuster movies. Filmmakers need to recognize that woman can add to a movie and not just be eye candy. A-