<Review by: Farzad Mistry>
Directed by JJ Abrams. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve, Peter Weller
This film is the sequel to the successful 2009 Star Trek film that was designed to be a reboot of the original Star Trek show created by Gene Roddenberry. Though the Star Trek franchise is one of the oldest and most successful Sci-fi franchises it’s popularity had started to wane in the early 2000s.
The last few movies were rather disappointing and even fans were losing interest. All this changed in 2009 when the new movie was released. It was a fun, fast paced, witty, sci-fi action adventure that fans and non-fans loved. I had seen the 2009 film with a few of my friends who were not fans of the franchise when they went in the theatre but they definitely were when they came out.
When I saw the official trailers of Star Trek: Into Darkness I wasn’t really sure if this film would be as good as the last one. In most cases you can tell how good a film is from its trailer but not in this case. This film is so much better than its trailer suggests. The trailer almost misdirects and confuses you into thinking things about the storyline that aren’t really true.
Let’s start with the basic plot; a terrorist named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks a Starfleet building in London and a conference of senior Starfleet commanders in San Francisco and then escapes to a hostile enemy planet. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are naturally ordered to find and kill him. However, Kirk being his usual maverick self decides on doing things his own way. This of course leads to a dangerous mission on a hostile alien planet and the discovery of a conspiracy.
The Captain and his crew must face their most formidable enemy yet and save the world. There are some spectacularly heart-stopping action sequences using the kind of top-notch special effects that we have all come to expect especially after the brilliantly slick first Star Trek film.
Now I know all this sounds like it has been done a million times before but trust me the storyline is more complex and interesting than it sounds.
Besides the touch of intrigue and mystery in the story there also seems to be an effort to give more depth to some of the main characters and the relationships between them. Most notably Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) inability to bend the rules in emergency situations causing a strain on his friendship with Kirk. On the other hand, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock’s relationship troubles add a bit of humor to the script with one particularly funny lover’s spat in the midst of a dangerous mission.
I am deliberately not giving away too much of the plot in this review because that would ruin the experience.
Rest assured that there are great twists in the movie that will make more and more sense as the plot unfolds. Fans will love all references to the classic series as well as a few surprise guests in the film. But even if you are not a fan and haven’t seen a single Star Trek show or movie you will probably like this one. It has something for everyone: humour, action, drama and intrigue, making it a very well rounded and enjoyable film.
The best action film so far this year and definitely one of the best I have seen in a long time. Star Trek Into Darkness is a very worthy successor to the 2009 film with a more interesting and complex plot making it a more enjoyable and action-packed ride. I have never seen a theatre audience applaud as much in any other film.
PS: Check out our preceding Trailer Review complete with prediction and analyses of who the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness will turn out to be. Of course, we know the truth. Now you boldly go and find out!