Viewed – 03 September 2013 Blu-ray
Although far from calling myself a Trekkie, I have enjoyed the movies and grew up with a brother who is quite passionate about them along with the various TV shows. When learning that director J J Abrams was bringing the franchise up to date with an all new, younger cast – I could understand why fans were somewhat nervous what the creator of Lost may do with their beloved saga. Rest assured though that 2009’s Star Trek was a resounding success and with a (mostly) perfect cast breathing new life into very old characters – I came away rather impressed.
This second outing had much to prove – could Abrams nail it twice in a row? The simple answer to that is … yes. We return to the crew of the Starship Enterprise who get caught up in a terrorist attack on Star Fleet and accept a mission to hunt down a rogue officer who seems responsible. Joining the likes of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg this time is British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the mysterious terrorist, who brings no shortage of sinister intensity to his role and really gives Kirk & co a run for their money.
The big-budget FX laden look of this is just gorgeous, set-design and locations all adding a wow factor (including London). Pegg has a little more to do this time around as engineer ‘Scottie’ and Quinto’s Spock is just excellent, capturing the spirit of the character as well as adding a few quirks of his own. Yet the sultry Zoe Saldana is a little side-lined, as is John Cho’s Sulu. Although not a big fan of Chris Pine, I think he is a perfect Kirk, arrogant but charming just like Shatner in his heyday, and the friendship between him and Spock is really well observed. For me the frequent nods and winks to Star Trek of old got a bit much, (“I’m a doctor, not a torpedo technician!”) bordering on satire, but were still fun. Also the script borrows a little too much from the older movies, yet still manages to make it work regardless … especially towards the end.
So a worthy sequel that in some aspects surpasses the last movie, whilst also managing to be a fine tribute to the Trek legacy as a whole. Recommended.
Verdict: 4 /5
- Simon Pegg Pranks the ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Film Cast (laughingsquid.com)
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- Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) (canadiancinephile.com)