Finally after 4 years, JJ Abrams has given us a sequel to the excellent revamp of Star Trek. After taking all the key elements of the franchise (mainly from Wrath of Khan) and starting everything from scratch with in the mould of a summer blockbuster with a ton of lens flare, he made a Star Trek film that pleased fans and new comers with what is one of the best sci-fi films in recent years. The sequel does what you’d expect. It raises the stakes as Kirk (Chris Pine) takes things personally by goes after a criminal ken as John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has viciously attacked the federation. Again with most of these resent blockbusters, there isn’t much to say without spoiling the crap out of it. Service to say, there is plenty of fighting, explosions, races at warp speed and bags and bags of lens flare.
Cumberbatch is a great villein, coldly sneering in a snake-like manner as he chews the scenery, stealing every scene he’s in. However this film is still all about Kirk and Spock and Pine and Zachary Quinto are just as great together as they were last time around. Bouncing off each other as their bromance is put to the test when their personal moral values clash. Abrams proves once again that he is the perfect choice to take on Star Wars as the popcorn blockbuster director of choice. Everything from final fight with Khan (to which would reveal too much if I say any more) to the Indiana Jones style opening sequence that suggests that he maybe the next in line to take Speiburg’s shoes. Into Darkness does what all good sequels should by upping the ante with bigger and better action scenes but where as the first film, dealer with how Kirk, Spock and co come to start their relationship and adventures together, this deals with just what they truly mean to each other and at what cost.
Star Trek into Darkness is not as perfect as the first film though. Parts of the story and nods the original feel at times out of character, ill-judged or just too on the nose. Such as the use of Leonard Nimoy returning as Spock prime only exists as a bit of exposition and a chance to have Leonard Nimoy back on the screen. Some of the supporting cast feel like tagged on roles this time around. Chekov and Sulu get their own moments in the film, they still feels like a footnote here and Alice Eve playing Carol Marcus don’t get much to do sadly. However that is the problem where you have so many characters to play with, it’s very hard to give them all enough screen time. On the over hand Karl Urban gets most of the laughs with his Amongst many things that i can’t get into that would be spoilerific, this is solid entertainment. For all the many little fragments where it drops the ball like the ending that lacked a true pay off, it does most things right by paying homage to other Star Trek story lines but with a twist that matches the character arch of Kirk and Spock, and as much as Cumberbatch is the centre point of the film, it’s still their show. On a side note, more Peter Weller in films please. Thank you..