The powerful team that created one of this generation’s best TV series—“Lost”—is back at the helm in the second installment of the new, re-imagined prequel of the “Star Trek” series. Sirs J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and musical genius Michael Giacchino, along with a highly talented cast and crew, prove that lightning can strike twice with “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
Refusing to rest on their laurels after the incredible success of the first “Star Trek” prequel in 2009, Abrams and team are back with a deeper, more emotionally charged sequel in which Captain Kirk and his crew are tested by a new antagonist that threatens the lives of everyone on board the USS Enterprise.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” picks up where “Star Trek” leaves off, with Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and team trying to save a red-toned planet from exploding. In the attempt to save Spock, Kirk breaks Starfleet rules by allowing the ship to be seen by a prehistoric race. This move ends up losing him the ship, as his emotional decision is viewed as poor leadership.
However, Captain Pike (Kirk’s mentor) makes Kirk his first captain in hopes of teaching him to be a better leader.
Kirk’s leadership skills are tested when he and the crew try to stop an antagonist (or is he?) named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is keen on wreaking havoc and seeking revenge.
Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that “Star Trek” Part 2 is just as, if not more, enjoyable than the previous reboot. The deeper plotline and enhanced character development, paired with the awesome IMAX 3-D imagery, should make “Star Trek Into Darkness” one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters.
Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, and Leonard Nimoy all bring serious game; however, none are a match for the force that is Benedict Cumberbatch. He quite literally steals the spotlight and is eerily fascinating to watch. (The man has a natural gift for enunciating in a way that will make your hair stand on end.)
“Into Darkness” has something for everyone. Non-Trekkies should be able to enjoy it as a standalone film, even if they’re not familiar with some of the jargon or the inside jokes.
Part of Abrams’s genius is his ability to create interesting, multidimensional stories that appeal to the human experience, and he successfully infuses solid character development and heart into what otherwise could be perceived as an action film.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Simon Pegg
Running Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes