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Star Trek Into Darkness: Boldly Going Where Few Sequels Have Gone Before.

When J J Abrams decided to take the reins of the Star Trek reboot, he knew that he was going to have to deal with Trekkies, whose passion for the franchise can be rivaled only by the fans of Manchester United and the Indian Cricket Team. He took a risky approach by turning the franchise around on its head by changing the entire plot line altogether and was quite successful too, with the first installment of the reboot earning both critical and commercial acclaim. Therefore, when he announced the sequel, the biggest question was whether it would match up to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, which happens to be the most popular Star Trek movie of all time.

The movie begins with the crew of the USS Enterprise right in the middle of rescuing a primitive planet from being wiped out from a volcanic eruption and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) as always comes up with a highly risky strategy that results in the near death of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the breaking of the Prime Directive (Where there can be no interference in the internal development of any alien civilization). After being demoted to First Officer by Captain Pike, Kirk, Spock and the entire crew of the Enterprise end up in the middle of a very deadly conspiracy being orchestrated by the psychotic John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) that they may not come out of alive.

Star Trek into Darkness ReviewWhile most movie franchises have been suitably chastised for moving away from their original tone of story to adopt a more audience-friendly style, JJ Abrams takes a huge risk by going deeper into old school Star Trek territory here with a story and plot development that hard core Trekkies would absolutely appreciate. In fact, the latter half of the movie, including a pivotal scene in the middle and the entire pre-climax are a hat tip to one of the most beloved sequences of the original series. This approach however may serve to alienate the more casual watchers who probably regard this movie as an action-adventure movie set in space.

Alice Eve in Bikni from Star Trek Into DarknessChris Pine who in the first part tried making the part of Captain Kirk his own appears to be channeling William Shatner in the sequel, the mannerisms, the way of speaking and even the facial expressions. Zachary Quinto handles the complex role of Spock with absolute finesse, a special mention must be made of the scene with him, Uhura and Kirk in a shuttle headed to Klingon. Benedict Cumberbatch is deliciously evil as the maniacal Harrison, even though his character may remind you of Javier Bardem’s Silva from Skyfall. The rest of the cast (Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, Anton Yelchin) do their job pretty adequately with Simon Pegg standing out as always with his impeccable comic timing.

It is quite pleasurable to see J J Abrams focus more on the story and character development rather than letting the movie be yet another effects-heavy run of the mill summer blockbuster (Yes, I am looking at you Iron Man 3). Fans of the original series will be quite pleased with the way the sequel has been handled. But, even the casual movie watcher may find something to enjoy here.

By: Vikram Bondal
Posted: May 10, 2013, 7:21 pm


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