Star Trek: Into Darkness, the latest film by the incredible JJ Abrams, opened in the US this past May. I got around to it last night, finally, and was not disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised with its 2009 predecessor, which turned me into a minor Trekkie, but was worried Into Darkness would suffer from the sophomore curse. That was certainly not the case.
The film picks up not long from where the first ended. Captain James T. Kirk and his crew on the U.S.S. Enterprise are surveying an alien planet. Upon finding out that the planet’s active volcano is close to decimating the primitive local population, Spock detonates a cold fusion device that freezes the volcano and nearly costs him his life. Captain Kirk breaks protocol to save his friend, whereby allowing the Enterprise to be visible to the inhabitants–a decision Spock disagrees with. Back on Earth, Starfleet has been alerted to Kirk’s decision through Spock, causing Kirk to lose command of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, a former Starfleet officer named John Harrison blows up a Starfleet secret installation before attacking a meeting among all the senior officers, killing Admiral Christopher Pike. Admiral Marcus sends the newly reinstated Captain Kirk, his crew, and 72 torpedoes after Harrison with orders to kill on site. Once in Klingon territory, where Harrison is hiding, Kirk decides to take him prison and bring him back to Earth the stand trial. Once they interview their captive, though, Kirk and Spock realize they have been lied to. Harrison is really Khan, a 300 year old super soldier who has been frozen for centuries and reawakened by Marcus. He discloses both that Marcus wants an epic war, and that the 72 torpedoes contain the bodies of Kahn’s “family”: more super soldiers. It does not take long for Marcus to find the Enterprise, though, and demand Khan and the threaten the destruction of Kirk and his entire crew. Through the aid of Khan, they manage to prevent said destruction, although they do discover that Kahn is no ally after all.
Into Darkness is definitely a non-stop action summer blockbuster type of film. While a climax was built, there were a number of mini climactic moments along the way. I loved the bromance between Kirk and Spock, as well as the “who can you trust” twists and turns. As ever, Captain Kirk is a complete badass, and Spock is played to perfection by Zachary Quinto. Because my only experience with Star Trek lies with the past two Abrams-helmed films, I don’t have much to compare the films with. They do, however, entertain me, and I’m into the mythology that is developing. I don’t really have any complaints, but the movie was missing….something. It just wasn’t mind-blowing, although I have no concrete reason why. Either way, I’m looking forward to the next one!