Film Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

When director J.J. Abrams initially released Star Trek in 2009, it was unknown how successful the rebooted franchise would be. Even with the wrath of the ‘Trekkies’ hanging over Abrams’ head, his delivery of the reimagined pop culture monolith was nothing short of spectacular. Star Trek quickly became a critical and commercial triumph. The film earned four Oscar Nominations — winning one — and took in a tidy $385 million at the box office.With all that in mind, we now return to 2013, and the recent release of Star Trek Into Darkness.   From the outset of the film, Captain James T. Kirk (This Means War’s Chris Pine) is once again steering the USS Enterprise and its crew into immediate danger.After being sent to simply observe the planet Nibiru, Kirk launches the team into action—racing against time to stop the eruption of a volcano and save a civilization. But when the life of First Officer and resident half-vulcan Spock (HeroesZachary Quinto) is put into peril, Kirk moves impulsively and without thought for the rest of his crew. This irresponsibility leaves him demoted and removed from the USS Enterprise.While this happens, rogue Starfleet agent John Harrison (Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch) begins terrorizing top-secret sectors of Starfleet. Kirk and his crew are soon reassembled to spearhead the manhunt against the shadowy and superhuman Harrison. But is everything really as it appears on the Starship Enterprise?Firstly, the opening sequence of this film is an absolute standout—beautiful, dynamic and enthralling. However, this film is not doomed in the slightest by its explosive beginning. Star Trek Into Darkness still provides enough action and wit throughout to keep the audience fully entertained. What really strikes as impressive, however, is the dynamic that exists between the entire cast. Pine, Quinto and Avatar’s Zoe Saldana provide a solid foundation for a film which relies heavily on the talents of its actors. Simon Pegg’s character Scotty gifts the film with many of its laugh-out-loud moments. But you slowly get the feeling these bursts might be a little few and far between.As is often the case with sequels, Star Trek Into Darkness is truly the villain’s film. Cumberbatch is both menacing and theatrical without becoming cartoonish—constructing a villain who may just have an ounce more humanity than your usual antagonist.While not quite reaching the heights of the first film, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is a worthy addition to a franchise which will no doubt continue to ‘live long and prosper’.Star Trek Into Darkness is now showing in Australian cinemas.by Ashleigh McMillan

May 17th 2013
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