You can love this one whether you have been to a Star Trek convention in your lifetime or not, and I have, so don’t judge me! I am embracing my inner Trekkie.
As Star Trek Into Darkness begins, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is leading a tenuous mission on the planet Nibiru. The crew is trying to extinguish a volcano that threatens to destroy the entire, undeveloped civilization, but Kirk makes a huge sacrifice, which leads to him violating several Star Fleet protocols, including a major violation of The Prime Directive (in normal speak, it’s the rule that says, don’t interfere with other civilizations who cannot comprehend the fact that you are cruising around the cosmos in a huge space ship with all sorts of cool toys, gadgets and weapons).
Thinking he has done something pretty awesome, Kirk is ready to get promoted, but, instead, finds himself demoted. However, this is all short lived as horrible terrorist acts are carried out on Star Fleet facilities. A mysterious officer, Commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), is responsible, and he quickly flees to Kronos, the home planet of a warrior race, THE KLINGONS!
Star Fleet wants Harrison dead, and when you need someone to kick some booty, you turn to James T. Kirk.
Can Kirk and the crew fly into Klingon territory, blow Harrison to bits and avoid a confrontation with the Klingons that will lead to what some think is an inevitable war?
How long will it be until Kirk starts to realize something just ain’t right about this mission?
All hail director J.J. Abrams! It turns out he hit gold with the first re-imagined Star Trek film, and hit gold again with this one.
Along with writers Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, they, again, create a film that is full of the best action of the summer to thrill and tantalize anyone who never heard of the Vulcan mind meld, while also incorporating elements, themes, dialogue, stories and more from the original Star Trek universe that make a lifelong fan like me salivate, even if things have been twisted around a little bit. But, it’s the twists that bring the long time fans some surprises.
In short, Star Trek Into Darkness is just an amazing movie from any angle you examine it.
The action is mindblowing. The comedy is hilarious. The camaraderie among the crew is the stuff every Hollywood writer, producer and actor prays will evolve when they take on a project.
We already knew Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, John Cho as Sulu, Zoe Saldana as Uhura and Simon Pegg as Scotty could deliver everything we want from these characters and this movie, but Cumberbatch is an amazing revelation.
Sure, we know he’s a great actor, so revelation might be the wrong word to use, but WOW! He gives the character such a creepy, commanding voice that sounds like it is coming from the bowels of Hell, and fills Harrison with an eerie calm and control that is chilling. He defines the man as some psychopath, but also finds moments to show there could be more to this character, his motivations and his personality. It’s the complexity we have come to expect from great movies and great characters.
The plot gets a bit overly complicated at times, but I was excited to see the writing team came up with some moment for each member of the crew (and cast) to shine. It makes the fans realize this is a team that cares about each other and all play a vital role in the success of the mission. That’s why we root for all of them, except maybe Chekov (who quickly has become the Wesley Crusher of this gang).
Star Trek Into Darkness is the highlight of the summer.
Star Trek Into Darkness is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence