Coming off of the 2009 film that reinvigorated a tired film franchise, J.J. Abrams, once again joined by the entire cast from the first Star Trek, journey into much darker territory. The title, Into Darkness is as much about doing the right thing as opposed to doing what’s commanded of you as is the tone of the film itself. The second entry into this new universe of Star Trek has all the thrills, humor and action of its predecessor, but it also has an added punch of emotional heart, that but for a few places, was missing in the original. Added to that is a tone more serious, and a reminder in this new universe that history can be rewritten and choices that are made can have serious consequences. This is a critical plot point that’s brought up a few times in the film that leads into a great payoff towards its last act.
There isn’t much I can say about specifics without giving away serious amounts of the story. What I can say is that Benedict Cumberbatch is great as the foil to the Enterprise crew as John Harrison, the mysterious villain who sets things in motion. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana have completely settled into their roles as Kirk, Spock, and Uhura respectively, with Quinto giving the movie a surprising amount of emotional depth considering he’s the one character who lacks the most emotion. Earlier I listed my list of must see movies for the summer with Star Trek: Into Darkness, being #1 on that list. I placed it at the top with the hopes that would live up to the expectations and the groundwork that the 2009 film laid for me and many other fans of Trek. I’m happy to say that not only did this film live up to those expectations, it warped passed them with the gracefulness of a constitution class starship. Star Trek: Into Darkness, not having to be burdened with introductions to familiar characters and worlds, takes right off from the beginning. It’s fast and unrelenting in its storytelling and makes a smooth transition from film one to film two, and I think will be one of the best films of the summer. Old School Trek fans who may have felt let down from the first film will find something much more familiar with this one, and its to them I say to give this film a chance, they will be glad they did.