Susan Granger's review of 'Star Trek Into Darkness'
Published 5:45 pm, Thursday, May 16, 2013
Set your thrusters on maximum for this swashbuckling
sci-fi action-adventure in IMAX 3D!
In the peril-propelled opening sequence, impetuous Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) rebels against the Federation's Prime Directive that prohibits interference with alien civilizations. It's a breach of military discipline, which is duly reported by his half-human/half-Vulcan First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto), setting them in conflict. But soon the crew -- including Zoe Saldana as Spock's love interest Lt. Uhura, Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Simon Pegg as Chief Engineer Scott, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John
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and boldly proceeding at warp speed into Klingon space in pursuit of a mysteriously malevolent, super-powered, intergalactic villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), who seems determined to destroy Starfleet.
Pine and Quinto firmly establish their bro-mance loyalty and emotional kinship, while Bruce Greenwood scores as Kirk's mentor/boss, Admiral Christopher Pike, and Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus. But it's British star Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") -- with his exotic looks, deep voice and calm, expressionless, yet demanding demeanor -- who steals the show, delivering an icily cunning, convincing, electrifying performance.
Written by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, it's produced and directed by J.J. Abrams ("Super 8"), who's efficiently rebooted Gene Roddenberry's iconic pop culture franchise into a sprawling, high-tech, high-tension spectacle, adroitly revealing one layer of deception after another with a breathless sense of pace and tempo that keeps the attention riveted.
The "Into Darkness" title is appropriate because the simplistic, characteristically upbeat, lightheartedness and quirky, bantering humor of the original series has been almost discarded in favor of sinister, convoluted global conspiracies, challenging moral ambiguities and a myriad of graphic effects and lens flare-laden set-pieces. On the other hand, die-hard Trekkers, like me, will appreciate some reminiscent surprises.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to10, "Star Trek Into Darkness" revs up to a highly entertaining, adrenaline-fueled 8, filled with feverish, fast-paced suspense and excitement. Live long and prosper!