Review: Star Trek Into Darkness / Cert: 12 / Director: J.J. Abrams / Screenplay: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman / Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban / Release Date: September 2nd
The rebooted world of Abrams’ Star Trek is now in full flow. Free of the confines of setting up this new universe, Into Darkness kicks straight off with the action and doesn’t let up.
When John Harrison (Cumberbatch) declares a one man war on Starfleet, it's up to Kirk (Pine) and his crew to follow him to the Klingon home-world and kill him – a very un-Starfleet thing to do – in revenge. Kirk decides instead to capture the fugitive and bring him home to face justice, a decision that he does not take lightly and which has serious repercussions for the Enterprise and its crew.
Most people will know the twist by now, but we won’t ruin it in case you don’t. While it was never going to be that much of a surprise, the way it's handled is testament to the writing of Orci and Kurtzman. The main players all put in a good shift, with special mention to Urban’s continuous, almost perfect rendition of McCoy. Pine’s Kirk, however, is in danger of becoming an almost one-dimensional playboy who gets to play with very big, expensive toys, though we’re sure that his character will grow with the upcoming third film.
There are some nice touches, such as the inclusion of a Tribble, the dreadnaught-class attack ship, and our first look at the new style Klingons, who are surely going to be the villains in the next film. Overall, it is the next logical step for a franchise that had seemingly run out of steam, and steadfast purists aside, there should not be anything here that alienates anyone. If anything, it should introduce a whole new generation to the stories and characters.
To many, the Star Trek universe has been impenetrable, a more cerebral science fiction saga that is an almost direct opposite to the Star Wars universe, but with Abrams – and his always present lens flare – the series has taken a much more action-packed direction. If they can destroy the planet Vulcan and put a new twist on an old, much loved character here, then all bets are off as to what happens next. Instead of disappearing into darkness, it appears the franchise has a bright future.
Extras: The Enemy of My Enemy / Ship to Ship