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Film Review: 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Opened: 9 May 2013 (UK)
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Paramount Pictures
Rating: ★★★★

Zachary Quinto in Star Trek Into Darkness

Trekkie: A devoted fan of the television series Star Trek or one of its spinoff series or films -- Urban Dictionary. 

A 'Trekkie' I am most definitely not. Having never watched any of the original series, and being completely oblivious to any of the plotlines or characters, one would wonder why I decided to step into an IMAX to watch the sequel to J.J. Abrams 2009 box office smash, which depicts the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet,  an armada of spaceships intent on keeping peace between planets in the solar system and beyond. Well the answer's simple. I was pleasantly surprised as to how enjoyable the first one was, and I've always been a fan of previous J.J. Abrams works - particularly Cloverfield (2008). Needless to say, Star Trek Into Darkness doesn't disappoint at all - it's a rock solid, superbly entertaining summer flick that should please 'Trekkies' and non-fans of the franchise too.

Alice Eve and Chris Pine in Star Trek Into Darkness

The film begins on a sparsely populated, primitive planet whose species on the verge of being wiped out, due to an imminent volcanic eruption, is rescued by Spock (Quinto). Unfortunately, in an attempt to save the Vulcan's life Captain Kirk (Pine) breaks the 'Prime Directive' by revealing the Enterprise ship to the planet's inhabitants. This blunder costs him his title as the captain, subsequently leading to his demotion, and the charge of the Enterprise being resumed by a previous admiral (Greenwood).

Shortly after, when a meeting of senior officers is disrupted by an attack from an ex Starfleet agent (Cumberbatch), who's responsible for setting off a bomb in the heart of London, Captain Kirk is forced to lead his crew into the out of bounds world of Kronos. This sets off a chain reaction of events, leaving the lives of the entire crew of the Enterprise at the mercy of a foe who will not stop at anything to get what he wants. 

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness is one hell of a ride - Abrams has crafted a film that all summer, or rather, all films should aspire to. It has dollops of action, groundbreaking effects, an engaging plot, and a witty script to boot. But the icing on the cake is that he's assembled a superb cast that pull off even the most ridiculous situations and lines with unbridled aplomb. Chris Pine is superb as Kirk, Quinto nails the nuances of Spock, Pegg brings the necessary humour to his part, and both Saldena and Eve are easy on the eye. But it is Cumberbatch who steals the film in his turn as the most charismatic villain seen on screen in a while. He's cool, calm and ruthless in equal measure and his scenes are undoubtedly the best ones in the film.

 I'm going with four stars for Star Trek Into Darkness. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at the movies, it's pure old fashioned Hollywood blockbuster material that will undoubtedly see several more sequels in the years to come. Kudos to J.J. for reviving a franchise that was on the brink of being forgotten by modern day audiences.

Theatrical Trailer: Star Trek Into Darkness

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