By Caitlyn Collins | May 17, 2013
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Gene Roddenberry (television series)
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller
Captain James T. Kirk and crew are back for another intergalactic adventure in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness. The film opens with Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) running through a bright red forest as they are being chased by a burgeoning species who weren’t meant to see any of the U.S.S. Enterprise crew. Spock (Zachary Quinto) in the meantime is preparing to freeze an active volcano in order to save the newly discovered planet from being completely wiped out. This is round one in a film that almost seems to be trying to answer the question, “Who is willing to risk their life more, Spock or Kirk?”
The opening sequence is action-packed and reintroduces the majority of the characters seen in the first installment of Star Trek. Kirk’s stunts also get him into trouble with Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who has no choice but to strip Kirk of his commanding position and order Kirk to re-enter the Star Fleet Academy. No one wants to see a film about that, of course, so Pike has a change of heart and appoints Kirk First Officer to Pike’s Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The scene leaves Kirk on the verge of tears, showing his vulnerable side.
All hell breaks loose when a supposed Star Fleet archive is completely obliterated. The Star Fleet elite must gather to discuss their next plan of action, precisely what the enemy wants. More blasts and explosions occur and Kirk, once again, maintains his reputation as a bad-ass. Kirk is reinstated as captain of the Enterprise by Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) and ordered to find and kill the enemy, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Harrison is hiding out in Klingon territory and the possibility of war seems eminent. Kirk and crew must decide who the real enemy is after Harrison is captured and reveals his true name, Khan.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a true summer blockbuster with the focus on big blasts and life-threatening situations, providing a little bit of everything for everyone. The dialogue is genuinely funny, particularly the exchanges between Kirk and Bones. Spock and Lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana) provide the romance element as they try to figure out their relationship. The real love fest, however, occurs between Kirk and his entire crew with comedic relief from lovable characters like Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). This installment is as much a soap opera as it is an action film, and that’s not a bad thing.
Elements of the plot are questionable, as was true in Star Trek (2009), but they are made up for by the witty dialogue. Abrams has been able to reintroduce a beloved sci-fi series and do it, as well as the iconic characters, justice. Chris Pine’s Kirk to Zachary Quinto’s Spock is highly entertaining. Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan is chillingly ruthless. His deep voice is at once inviting and sinister. Overall, the casting for this film is fantastic. We’ll just have to wait and see if it takes another four years for the next adventure.