Without missing a beat, writer/director J.J. Abrams continues with his reimagined ‘Star Trek’ universe, offering satisfying nods to the past and a fresh surge forward. And this crew of terrific characters continues to make this an extraordinary sci-fi saga. Cleverly, each one has an important role to play in this episode, and the result is thrilling.
The film picks up a short time after the conclusion of the 2009 entry. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are trying to save a primitive society from an erupting volcano. In the process, Spock (Zachary Quinto) becomes trapped and Kirk must violate the Federation’s prime directive to save him. This results in the Enterprise being given back to Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and Kirk being demoted to First Officer.
While the film has a shadowy theme, the screenplay never gets very deep, or as dark as the title suggests. There’s oddly little actual danger on-screen. Instead, this is brightly energetic entertainment, with plenty of hilarious banter between characters even when they’re at each other’s throats. New faces include Admiral Marcus (Weller), who’s overseeing this vital mission and seems to have knowledge of suspiciously powerful weaponry, and his daughter Carol (Eve), who sneaks onto the Enterprise crew to spice things up.
The action is quite spectacular, yet at times seems too much. It could use a few minutes to let the audience breathe before bombarding them again with all the explosions and fast moving scenes. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is a summer movie in the best sense, and I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not familiar with the history, you don’t need to know it to enjoy this. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness opens at the Beacon Theatre this Friday.