Close calls, big action, laughs and even the foxy Zoe Saldana speaking Klingon-any Trekkie’s fantasy- give “Star Trek: Into Darkness” the classic Starship Enterprise excitement to please both the original and a new generation of fans.
Director J.J. Abrams (“Super 8”, “Mission Impossible 3”) creates a visually stunning 3D galactic adventure in this enjoyable sequel to 2009’s Star Trek remake.
Abrams has managed to gain control of most of the power-nerd market, directing both the Star Trek remakes as well as the new “Star Wars Episode 7”. His “Star” monopoly is sure to bring in the big bucks, but has caused many Trek and Wars fans alike to fret over whether the legend of lens flare will ruin the fundamental schism between the completely separate epics.
But ease up fellow fanboys, for this franchise is in good hands.
But I digress, in his flashy addition to the Star Trek saga, the 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn is brought to life with enough twists to make it fresh. The young, charming Captain Kirk played by Chris Pine (“Unstoppable”) teams up with the robotic Spock, played by Zachary Quinto to take down the most dangerous enemy the Star Fleet has ever encountered, , Kahn (Benedict Cumberbatch), all while trying to prevent an intergalactic war.
Cumberbatch (“War Horse”) plays this elitist diabolical villain beautifully. Another noteworthy performance was had by actor Simon Pegg (“Hot Fuzz”) who played Scotty, the loveably quirky Enterprise engineer.
As Kirk struggles to become the captain that he was born to be, he finds himself torn between his thirst for revenge and keeping his crew safe. He must rely on his crew and his friends to survive the Enterprise’s biggest mission yet.
The fans of the originals can enjoy the familiar rigidity of Spock, Dr. McCoy’s never-ending sarcasm, Kahn’s ruthlessness, and Kirk’s flirtatious wit. While the new fans, like myself, can enjoy an unseen story line with superb special effects.
Even with everything the movie had going for it, at times Into Darkness seemed more like an after school special than a space thrill ride. Between monologues about friendship and the oh so cheesy two hands pressed up against opposite sides of a window giving each other the “live long and prosper” hand sign the movie did appear trite at times.
But that is one of Star Trek’s greatest attributes. Each galactic alien adventure has a theme that makes it more relatable to us humans on earth, and perhaps this cheesy exterior is just Abram’s take on a Star Trek take home-lesson.
If you consider yourself a Trekkie, a sucker for some good old fashioned space excitement or even just someone who appreciates special effects and 3D, go see Star Trek: Into Darkness. Abrams, revival of one of television’s greatest legacies won’t disappoint.
3 stars out of 4. MPAA rating PG-13. Running time 132 minutes.