Star Trek Into Darkness
dir JJ Abrams
scr Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
prd JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof
with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Noel Clarke
release UK 9.May.13, US 17.May.13
13/US Paramount 2h12
Star Trek Into Darkness
Face off: Cumberbatch and Pine

quinto saldana pegg

Fun in the darkness
JJ Abrams and his cast swap jokes about Star Trek >>

See also:
Star Trek (2009) Star Trek Beyond (2016)

R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Star Trek Into Darkness Without missing a beat, 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.

In trouble for disobeying the Prime Directive yet again, Captain Kirk (Pine) is stripped of his command, while his first officer Spock (Quinto) is assigned to another ship. Then a mysterious madman (Cumberbatch) launches a horrific attack on Starfleet, leaving Kirk and Spock to reassemble the Enterprise crew (Saldana, Urban, Pegg, Yelchin and Cho) to chase after him. But of course, there's something much bigger going on here, and as the truth starts to dawn, everyone begins to wonder who the real villains are.

While the film has a shadowy theme, the screenplay never gets very deep, or indeed as dark as the title suggests. There's oddly little actual peril on-screen. Instead, this is brightly energetic entertainment, with plenty of hilarious banter between characters even when they're at each others' 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.

As the iconic crew, the actors beautifully echo the 1960s TV series characters while adding details of their own. Each gets their moments to shine, with Pegg and Urban offering much of the comic relief and Saldana providing some gender-stereotypical emotion along with her action notes. At the centre, as it should be, is the engagingly tetchy bromance between Pine and Quinto, both of whom are excellent. And Cumberbatch creates a remarkably complex super-villain.

Abrams once again keeps the seamless effects work in check, maintaining the focus on the characters while drawing parallels with the original series and films. This personal approach to the story is strong enough to overcome the irrelevant (and sometimes distracting) 3D. Even when they're being silly or bullheaded, we care about these familiar but surprising characters. So this outrageous adventure is exciting, sometimes exhilarating and ultimately rather moving.

cert 12 themes, violence, language 1.May.13

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