Posted on May 18, 2013
J.J. Abrams genuinely surprised me with his 2009 adaptation of Star Trek. Now on a much grander scale, Star Trek Into Darkness seemed like it was going to surpass his first effort by leaps and bounds. Exploring the human element of the crew, Into Darkness shifted tones from its predecessor, showcasing a more sadistic villain and testing the will of Captain Kirk, Spock and the strength of their relationship.
With his second effort one-thing stands true, bigger isn’t always better. The first film felt fresh and exciting while Into Darkness was a handful of explosions away from a Michael Bay porn spectacular. (Which is ironic since writer Damon Lindelof jokingly considered calling the film Star Trek: Transformers 4.)
Picking up where we left off, we see Captain Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) aboard his ship, full crew on hand, Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and more all believing in their captain following their last escapade. Spock and Kirk are seemingly civilized with each other when an attack on the Federation occurs forcing a full-on manhunt for new villain John Harrison. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Harrison, a mastermind of battle, intelligent, stoic and fearless, he’s unlike anything Pine and co. have faced.
It’s no secret that Cumberbatch plays the evil Khan, thus has been the rumor for over a year. What has been a secret to audiences until it’s release was how run-of-the-mill this second installment is. Cumberbatch is a force; terrorizing Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, imposing his will on mere mortals seemingly being unstoppable. Abrams directs the film with a wishy-washy script that benefits from a few one-liners by Pegg while suffering through the boring, asinine actions of Pine.