Ever since the release of “Star Trek” in 2009 the franchise as a concept has voyaged far beyond the realms of Sci-Fi and into the safe territory of space opera.
Star Trek Into Darkness, the much awaited sequel starts from where “Star Trek” left off as the writers (Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman) dexterously use the element of “Time Travel” to explain the story of the same characters – from the earlier franchise – but only at a younger age.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” finds James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) deposed as Captain of the Starship Enterprise by the Starfleet after a routine exploratory expedition takes a turn for the worse. His demotion though doesn’t last long and he soon finds himself leading the crew of the Enterprise with Spock (Zachary Quinto) at his side on a manhunt for a perpetrator, rogue Starfleet agent named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Harrison is on a one-man mission to destroy Starfleet which takes the crew of the Enterprise across the Federation and deep into Klingon territory. The movie also sheds light on some dark secrets that could bring the universe to the brink of war.
In many ways the sequel is an upgrade upon its predecessor by upping the ante and taking outer space and taking ambitious effects sequences from the previous installment to the next level add to that the intense spaceship battles and fantastic stunts.
The rock-solid cast is impressive yet again and do a remarkable job of performing the balancing act of recalling iconic characters from the original series, whilst adding their own stamp to them.
Though one character who manages to stand out from the events unfolding around him is that of John Harrison. Benedict Cumberbatch commands attention every moment he is on screen. While straight-faced in profile and devoid of emotions – at first – John Harrison is truculently fierce and proves to be more than a match for the Enterprise. In fact in the run up to the big reveal of – a classic character from the original series – Cumberbatch portrays, he manages to provide the new Star Trek Universe with a rather memorable villain. Something which would have given this revamped franchise an identity of its own.
The movie though suffers from some technical issues as the 3-D effects create a blur whenever the camera captures the detailed environment.
J.J. Abrams movie is a welcomed throwback to the Gene Roddenberry years, when Sci-Fi films played with questions of science, ideals or philosophy. With Themes of international terrorism, master race and teamwork being expressed using to loud action sequences and colorful visual effects.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” manages to create an effects-driven Summer Blockbuster which advances the storyline. Most importantly it leaves the audience looking forward to exploring unchartered territories of space with the Enterprise and boldly going where no man has gone before.