Directed by JJ Abrams
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana
After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
It has to be said, my knowledge of 60's TV Star Trek is rudimentary at best and leaves a lot to be desired. Nonetheless, in comparison to the previous films of the franchise; this is one surpasses the previous offerings (naming no names, Star Trek Nemesis...)
Abrams consistently trades off vengeance versus justice and instinct against logic in a very smart way. A comedic tiff becomes a reflection on fear and it's utility - and this happens in a non jarring way. It's his ability to amalgamate comedy, drama and heart pumping action with ease that makes Star Trek Into Darkness so entertaining.
From the opening scene, we're thrown into the action during the climax of an exploration of a stunning scarlet planet with a spewing volcano. It becomes clear that Abram's is aiming to maximise the fun and not alienate new comers with too many back references to Star Trek of past. Sure there are fabulous cracks that the Star Trek veterans will enjoy, but for the most part this film requires no prior knowledge. Despite being futuristic, the themes are thoughtful and relevant to the society we live in. Which by no means should be a predicate of an action movie, but The Dark Knight Rises has shown that this can add level of credibility to a film.
Cinematically beautiful, Abram's captures all the high-tech, futuristic exterior and interior shots with clinical precision but at the same time the world he has created feels inhabitable and warm.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays and looks like a convincing leather clad villain. He struts around the Enterprise with an air of ambiguity that is chilling in the same way that Silva was menacing in Sky Fall. Chris Pine is flawless as Captain Kirk and shows great humility whilst still being the slick and cool ladies man that we expect. Star Trek Into Darkness is fun, entertaining and exhilarating. So many franchises these days lack heart and substance but Star Trek is bursting with it in ample abundance.