We start this journey at the apex of an already-in-progress mission where Spock (Zachary Quinto) cites the Prime Directive a few times in the first couple minutes. Once again Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is about to deviate from it by saving a pre-industrial civilization, unfortunately by revealing the U.S.S. Enterprise to them, leaving the baffled primitives throwing spears at the starship.
When the crew of the Enterprise returns to Earth they find that Starfleet is being attacked from the inside. The crew is tasked to stop the culprit, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former high-ranking insider with revenge on his mind. In addition, Kirk finds out that his actions on the previous mission have pretty severe consequences that set up much of the drama that unfolds from that point of the movie on.
John Harrison is very much the GQ super-villain of this movie. Good hair, good clothes, piercing stare and super human strength to defeat a slew of hostile Klingons single handedly, nicely throwing in an interesting plot twist that handily sets up a possible alternate reality.
In the first film of the rebooted series, we saw the relationship between Kirk and Spock run the gamut from adversarial to fledgling friendship. In Into Darkness, they seem to have settled into what the world has come to know from the original series; full-on Bromance.
In the first film, the other members of the crew; Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg) Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) all seemed to be caricatures of the original cast. In Into Darkness, some of them got their moments and some of them remain doomed to fall into the background. Bones has a few of his trademarked one-liners. Sulu made everyone in the audience want to sit in his lap with a well played moment in the captain’s chair. Scotty is all about the fast wit. Checkov is still very determined, but looks like he’s 12 (and sadly, he all but disappears in the middle of the movie). Don’t hide Checkov, we like you! And finally Uhura seems to be focusing on her relationship with Spock. I threw my hand up in frustration at this in the first act, but then decided that it wasn’t worth my energy to fight the romance between two amazingly hot Startfleet officers. Samich? Yes, please!
J.J. Abrams is really good at sci-fi and action. Star Trek Into Darkness starts at full speed and only pauses, briefly, to make dramatic points… then off again it goes, with break-neck speed, into action. The film looked amazing with bright colors, good effects, intense fight scenes; ships and people hurling through space and all underpinned with a good dramatic soundtrack. It’s a Star Trek movie… They are never going to be Gone With the Wind or The Color Purple… Go! Enjoy! Relax, it’s fun!