With the 12th entry in the always popular Star Trek franchise, J.J. Abrams delivers the continuation of his 2009 reboot of the original crew. All of the marque characters return from the previous film, with two notable additions: Dr. Carol Marcus, a familiar name to fans of the original films, played by Alice Eve, and the menacing villain, John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Also returning is the notorious lens flare from the first film. This stylized visual does add a unique look while in space, though I found it a little distracting watching the film in 3D. There is one scene in which Alice Eve is delivering a very emotional bit of dialog, but I felt her performance was overshadowed by the lens flare streaking across her face for most of it.
The film starts off with the crew of the Enterprise on a remote planet trying to save a thriving young species from extinction by stopping a massive volcano from erupting. When the crew returns home, they learn of an attack on a Federation facility in London. The terrorist behind the attack is John Harrison, one of the Federation’s best and brightest minds. After a second attack that leaves someone close to Kirk dead, he seeks to track down Harrison and bring him to justice.
Kirk tracks Harrison to the one place no one wants to go; Qo'noS, the Klingon home world. Fearing the start of an all out war between the Federation and the Klingon empire, Kirk and company must devise a plan to not provoke the natives but also capture or eliminate Harrison. Using a commandeered vessel from a group of smugglers, the crew of the Enterprise flies to the abandoned area where they believe Harrison to be. After being discovered by a Klingon patrol, a fantastic action sequence begins.
When the smoke clears, Kirk takes Harrison into custody and returns back to the Enterprise. It is then revealed that the Federation has ulterior motives for wanting Harrison dead.
Wonderful performances are turned in by the cast, but it is Cumberbatch's merciless demeanor and ruthless delivery that steals the show as Harrison. Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof explore a new depth of emotion for Spock and Zachary Quinto plays it flawlessly.
With awesome visuals, superb action, and wonderful performances, Star Trek: Into Darkness is a great addition to an already remarkable franchise. Star Trek: Into Darkness will be released Friday May 17, 2013 in 3D and IMAX 3D.
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