Star Trek into Darkness 3.0 stars

Director J.J. Abrams at his most J.J. Abrams-y. A lens flare light show. A Spielberg homage (the opening is taken straight from Raiders of the Lost Ark). Deft nostalgia-mining coupled with equally deft placement of the extracted gems in the crown of his new creation (a Tribble plays a key role!) And finally, a series mostly coherent action sequences, clean execution at the level of character, and a feeling of old-fashioned Hollywood entertainment. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is now in charge of his beloved starship Enterprise, but his cocksure attitude gets him in trouble. First officer Spock's (Zachary Quinto) strict moral reasoning, once seen as a stumbling block, assumes the role of crucial counterbalance in the fight against one-man WMD John Harrison (an impassive and ominous Benedict Cumberbatch). Of course, the thing about WMDs is, there's always someone who wants to use one. With Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood. 2013.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Letter to the Editor May 17, 2013 @ 10:20 a.m.

Just attended the special advance preview screening in San Diego last night of "Star Trek: Into Darkness." As a committed lifelong Trekkie who's seen every original episode and film far more times than I care to admit (has it been that many?) I have to confess that walking into the theater, I had my concerns that it would be difficult for J.J. Abrams to find a way to not only top himself beyond his last installment, but to locate a portal through which he could narrowly escape from the alternative universe in which he has now firmly ensconced one of history's most beloved, cherished film franchises, without coming across as being repetitive, pedantic, or simply off point.

As difficult as it is for me to confess it, within minutes of settling in to my chair to see where Abrams would take this cinematic enterprise next, I managed to relax. But only for a moment. This movie not only had more action, adventure, suspense, spills, thrills, chills (literally), twists, turns, substance, humor, pathos, humanity, and heart than Star Trek's last largely unexpected outing, but still managed to stay true to the theme, vision, spirit and inspirational underpinnings of the Great Bird of the Galaxy who invented it.

It would be defeatist to remain stuck in the neutral zone on this one. If you're looking for more refreshingly unanticipated insights into the origins of how Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty, and even several characters whom you thought were merely tangential to this crew's experiential and emotional evolution managed to navigate their way through crisis after crisis early in their careers to finally become the fully fleshed, close-knit, space-faring family we've come to love, all while successfully colliding with their present rebooted incarnations that have supernovaed and curved the space around it from within the perpetually-crackling mind of J.J. Abram, this movie will answer some of those questions while begging others and leaving you wanting more.

A visual and action-packed tour-de-force E ticket photon torpedo ride on transwarp drive from the opening sequence to the final planet-popping credits, "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is bound to leave you feeling breathless and satisfied, all while musing it would probably be best to set another star date to see it again with a friend. See it in 3-D as I did so that those friends won't chide you later for regretting that you made a poor command decision at their expense. Live Long And Prosper. Kirk out.

Neal Sperling, National Space Society, ISDC 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The opinions expressed in the above film review do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the National Space Society, the San Diego Space Society, or even Starfleet Command. But let's face it. Anyone who disagrees with me on the above is either flat out wrong, or simply an agent provocateur acting covertly to prop up the interests of the Klingon Empire. And you know how I feel about Klingons. I never met one I ever liked. And I never will."

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