Let’s face it - 2009’s 'Star Trek' reboot with J.J. Abrams at the helm was awesome. New fans, old fans and critics alike all thought so, but for argument's sake, let's consider that entire film exposition in relation to its follow-up, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. With the origin tale out of the way this time, we're in pure "Go" mode - or should I say, Warp Speed?
The mission statement for take two was clearly and simply, "More." There’s more action, spectacle, thrills, adventure and heart, with just enough room for maybe even a tear or two.
Our cheeky prologue begins on a distant and primitive planet where vivid falls drastically short when describing its visually stunning landscape and natives. Sparing you the electric details, the Enterprise’s mission is a success - but not without certain failures, and more importantly, rule and protocol breaking. The result: Spock is reassigned, and Captain Kirk is demoted and the Enterprise taken off him. But when a terrorist attack on a Starfleet archive occurs, it sets off a chain of events that lands Kirk back in the Captain's chair on his way to a hostile planet to bring back the culprit John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), where both parties find that revenge is the order of the day.
SWITCH: 'STAR TREK: INTRO DARKNESS' - AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
With the Good Guys versus Bad Guys scenario constantly ambiguous, the tension fades pretty quickly (assuming it was even there to begin with). The back-and-forth tennis match of Good then Bad, Bad then Good assures that you quickly quit second-guessing everyone and just sit back, shut up and watch the movie. There’s also more than a few twists, turns and winks that are handed to the audience (and Trekkies) on a platter, meaning you’d have to be Helen Keller to miss them, resulting in the punchline being delivered even before the joke - but who cares! Your brain doesn’t have a moment to process everything, with start to finish being 132 minutes of unadulterated movement and action.
There’s more action, spectacle, thrills, adventure and heart, with just enough room for maybe even a tear or two.
We’ll also forgive the slightly frustrating lack of breathing room these fantastic characters (and the direction they’re inevitably heading) deserve. With effects, jokes and a story that resonates so aptly today, it’s hard to stop and nit-pick when you’re having such a darn good time.
Don’t be fooled by the title - this pure adrenalin sci-fi fest is a blaze of stunningly fun energy that has now officially relegated the franchise from its niche audience and hand-delivered it to a new, broader audience with familiar, easily digestible and likeable actors filling out those form-fitting Starfleet skivvies.