Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise return in the second instalment of the J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek franchise, an action-packed sci-fi adventure that leans more in the direction of “Die Hard” than “Blade Runner.”
Clocking at over two hours, the movie features non-stop action sequences, gorgeous visuals, and borderline sappy dialogue. It felt like this film was the very best they could offer without serving up anything new or ground breaking.
Don’t get me wrong, ‘the very best they could offer’ in this case was an excellent action film. Amidst of all the explosions, ships crashing into each other, and people literally flying through space, the film by in large retains the chemistry of the ensemble cast that made the 2009 film shine.
The villain of this film is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, whom I’ve only seen previously in a support role in “Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy.” The film did not do his character justice, but in an under-utilized position, Cumberbatch was still able to portray Harrison as an evil, enigmatic, and worthy opponent of Kirk’s team.
The status of the Spock and Uhura characters are also elevated in “Into Darkness,” although I’m not entirely sure of the writers’ intentions regarding their progress. Both characters have grown from rookies in the first film to experienced battle veterans who are the best in the business, but they engage in dialogue that are reminiscent of the awkwardness and over-sentimentality displayed in the Star Wars prequels (Episodes I-III for those who aren’t familiar). Although it might be illogical for long-time Trek fans, “Into Darkness” does set up possible sequels starring Spock and / or Uhura without Kirk.
“Into Darkness” is well made, but it lacks the freshness of the 2009 “Star Trek,” as well as the ‘wow’ factor. I’d recommend it because it’s a solid film, but I believe there are better alternatives out there that are either more entertaining (“Iron Man 3”) or a breath of fresh air (“Oblivion”).