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Abrams’ trekkie franchise could live long and prosper

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 16, 2013

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Star Trek Into Darkness

(USA, 2hr 10min)

Director: JJ Abrams

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch

Genre: Science fiction

Rating: 5/5

FOUR years ago JJ Abrams took on what many thought was an impossible challenge – to breathe new life into a Star Trek franchise that had lost its way.

His re-imagining was an unqualified hit, loved by critics and fans alike, and after doing big business at the box office, a sequel was inevitable.

This time Kirk, Spock et al set their phasers to kill as they head on a revenge mission to bring down a terrorist (played by Sherlock Holmes himself Benedict Cumberbatch) after he kills hundreds of people on Earth.

However, the crew of the Enterprise soon find that things that may not all be what they seem.

My favourite Star Trek film of all time is First Contact, which saw Jean-Luc Picard tackle the Borg, but the first of the new look Trek movies ran it close.

However, Into Darkness may well have just scooped top spot as it really is a delight from start to finish.

A cracking script is supplemented by great direction and imposing visuals that stay with you long after you exit the cinema.

The film features laughs and heartbreak which are married so well on screen that it does not jar one single bit. This great mixture harps back to the Abrams’ work on television shows such as Lost and Alias, where he always struck a fine balance between a whole host of genres.

The film’s main overall strength though is its extremely impressive cast.

Chris Pine continues to grow into the role of Captain James T Kirk and in my opinion, by the end of the film, surpasses William Shatner to take full ownership of the Captain’s chair.

He is great at all things with a mix of wit, one liners, physical and verbal comedy as well as adding emotional depth to the role. It is a tour de force performance.

Zachery Quinto in the role of Spock stands toe to toe with Pine as the half human half Vulcan second in command.

People will love watching Kirk and Spock verbally spar as well as watching the character grow emotionally on screen.

Brit Cumberbatch excels as bad guy John Harrison – I will say no more for fear of spoilers.

Special mentions should also be reserved for Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as the ship’s doctor McCoy and Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Pike.

This film is the modern era’s Speilberg working at his maximum.

A fusion of great cast, script and visuals helps pull together one of the best films that you will see in 2013.

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