Star Trek Into Darkness (JJ Abrams, 2013)

What's it about? Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise are called into action when mysterious terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) goes bananas and kills a load of people. What's he up to?


Is it any good? Enjoyable, but deeply flawed. I like to think that when JJ Abrams turned up to ask Damon Lindelof to help write this, Lindelof protested, 'Dammit JJ, I'm a doctor, not a screenwriter!'. And, as you might expect from the writer of Prometheus and Lost, there's a lot about this new film that doesn't really make sense, with lapses in logic that Mr Spock would be aghast at. That said, in an effort to distract you from the ropey storytelling, Abrams pushes things along at a ferocious pace, delivering several action-packed and VERY LOUD set-pieces with impressive special effects. The frantic pace means the cast get minimal down time to inject some heart and emotion into proceedings, before they are rocked by the next MASSIVE EXPLOSION, but Quinto (emotion) and Pegg (jokes) do good work in the quieter moments, whilst Cumberbatch glowers and growls agreeably as the villainous Harrison. It's all entertaining enough if, like Captain Kirk, you pay little attention to what's going on and don't engage your brain too much. But as the movie progresses there's a rather disappointing sense of deja vu for anyone familiar with the Star Trek back catalogue. After doing such good work in the first film to reboot the franchise and smartly decoupling it from the previous films, it appears this latest reincarnation can't really think for itself after all - so much for boldly going where no-one has gone before. Looks like the needs for the money outweighed the needs for the new.

I don't trust you. What do others think? It's gone down okay with critics and audiences, but as with all these things, it's fun to check out the fanboy reaction for the real beef. Here's the entire internet argument about it summarized for you.

Enthusiastic Trekkie: BEST FILM EVA! Action! Explosions! A girl in her pants! Yeah!
Morose 'True' Trekkie: A soulless betrayal of everything Star Trek stands for. Flashy images, glib one-liners and a fast-paced story cover up a complete lack of meaningful character interaction and moral or philosophical ambiguity.
Enthusiastic Trekkie: Stick your Shatner up yer hole and fuck off, Grandad!
Morose 'True' Trekkie: No, you fuck off.

*Repeat ad nauseum until the new Superman film comes out*

Anything else I should know? Think I'm being a bit mean about the illogical plot, Captain? It could have been worse - take a look at this deconstruction of the first film entitled "Everything Wrong With Star Trek (2009) In 5 Minutes Or Less". And you thought I was picky.
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What does the Fonz think? Star Trek Into Familiar Territory


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