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J.J. Abrams STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is the best-reviewed blockbuster of the year. When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will embark on the greatest manhunt in history. It will take all of their skills and teamwork to defend Earth and eliminate Khan’s threat in this “sleek, thrilling epic.” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 251
- Fresh: 218
- Rotten: 33
- Average Rating: 7.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Into Darkness is a sleek, thrilling epic that's also a triumphantly witty popcorn morality play. It's everything you could want in a Star Trek movie.
Fresh: Abrams boldly goes into Star Trek Into Darkness, and crushes it again. It's more fun and more intense, without giving less to the characters.
Fresh: It's a great deal of brash fun, and it should satisfy all those basic Trekkie cravings.
Fresh: Happily, there's a good deal of fun if you like things crashing violently into each other and out of warp-drive at regular intervals.
A Spectacular Addition to the "Star Trek" Saga!
Like just about every huge fan of "Star Trek," I couldn't wait to see "Into Darkness" when I first heard of its eventual release. J.J. Abrams had created nothing short of a modern sci-fi masterpiece with the rebooted "Star Trek" back in 2009, so seeing this film was an absolute must for me. And guess what? This latest installment manages to be just as good as, if not arguably better than, its predecessor. The story is bigger, the characters are a lot more endearing and complex, and the action here is just as mind-blowingly epic as the trailers lead you to believe. While the plotting isn't perfect, it moves along at a nice, solid pace and authentically provides some truly gripping emotion and suspense at times. Kirk and Spock's development as characters is also something the movie gets very right. Not only does the story expand upon their friendship in a respectable way, but it provides us with a better sense of their opposite personalities, as well as their personal struggles. Needless to say, Both Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto give us remarkable performances that suit their characters perfectly. The same can easily be said about everyone else in the talented cast (particularly Zoë Saldana as Uhura), but I'd be lying if I didn't say Benedict Cumberbatch practically stole the entire show as the mysterious villain John Harrison. He owns every scene he's in, and the sudden reveal about his true identity is nothing short of surprising. Of course, the action sequences are brilliantly executed, the score is powerful, and the drama is always packed with ripe amounts of emotion and tension. But that's certainly not to say this flick is without its slight flaws. One scene in particular attempts to stand out as the film's grand emotional climax, but it simply can't help but feel too familiar to a more iconic moment from a previous "Star Trek" film. But despite that one glaring issue, among a few others, "Into Darkness" still proves to be a consistently thrilling adventure from beginning to end thanks to its terrific performances, incredible visuals, and compelling - albeit imperfect - script that focuses more on character development than rock-solid narrative cohesion. In the end, I had an absolute blast with this whole movie, and I can only hope that the next sequel will be even more astounding. It seems to me like the best of this rich and fascinating franchise has only yet to come, and I truly can't wait to see where it all goes from here.
A SLEEK AND SATISFYINGLY ACTION-PACKED SEQUEL!
It's been a long four years since we were first introduced to the "newest crew" of the U.S.S. Enterprise in J.J. Abrams's hugely-acclaimed "Star Trek" reboot, but they're finally back in an all-new adventure, one that not only gradually expands upon the first film, but consistently thrills in the process. The action is bigger, the emotions are higher, and even the characters are more compelling. But what truly amounts to the success of this film is the near-perfection of its cast, who have quickly made these iconic roles their own. Not to mention the story is more action-packed and intense than the first, testing the limits of our heroes' courage and pitting them in even graver situations. And of course, it also helps that the script is both faithful and witty to the original series in a nicely nostalgic way. Needless to say, while "Into Darkness" doesn't quite boldly go where no other "Star Trek" movie has gone before, it's still a massively entertaining ride from start to finish.
The story picks up with Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) finding himself, as usual, breaking the rules and directly disregarding his primary objectives on an interplanetary mission. When his ally and first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) is left in a dire situation early on, Kirk bends the rules to save him and, as a result, faces the consequences by getting demoted. He's left with the awful thought of losing both the Enterprise and his position as its captain, that is, until fate intervenes when a mysterious terrorist named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) bombs a Starfleet facility. Soon enough, Kirk and the crew find themselves going up on their own against this ruthless new villain, one that proves to be much more of a powerful threat than any of them could ever imagine. Will our heroes be able to put a stop to his nefarious plans before it's too late?
What really makes this sequel work is the remarkably strong development of its characters, most of which get to show off the same personality traits that were so prominently featured in the last film. Kirk is still the mischievous ladies' man who always manages to find a way out of trouble while the always-serious Spock remains his cool-headed sidekick. Kirk is driven by impulses while Spock is grounded in logic and order. The combination is still there, but it's expanded in a way that feels natural and well-paced. It's clear that they've come to accept each other's differences, and the banter they share in almost every scene they star in is a joy to watch in itself. And while none of the other cast members receive quite as much attention as these two, they all still get to stand out in their own way. Uhura (Zoë Saldana), for one, shares a few undeniably hilarious moments with Spock (and she even gets to speak some Klingon). Even Simon Pegg, who most of us can barely remember as Scotty from the last film, is given a much bigger, more identifiable role here. As for the rest of the cast, Karl Urban provides some much-needed comic relief as Bones, John Cho delivers a dramatic but very small performance as Sulu, Anton Yelchin displays more of his funny Russian accent as Checkov, and Alice Eve makes for an unexpected but welcome addition to the crew as the mysterious Carol Marcus. Bruce Greenwood and Peter Weller are also memorable in their respective roles as Admiral Pike and Admiral Marcus (Carol's father), but it's ultimately Cumberbatch who steals the show, playing a genuinely menacing adversary to our heroes who always seems to be one step ahead of them at each turn. Even his grave, intimidating voice alone is enough to send chills down your spine. As far as the action sequences go, every one of them is more exciting, fast-paced, and intense than the last. Not to mention the gripping score by Michael Giacchino matches the tone of each individual frame almost perfectly, lens flares and all.
Despite its action-packed spectacle and commitment to character development, "Into Darkness" isn't a perfect movie. It does suffer from a few story-related problems here and there, particularly toward the end where we get an all-too familiar conclusion that quickly manages to resolve itself. It's a decent finale, and it ends the film on a nice note, but I only wish that it could've been a bit more original. Still, just because this movie has some plot holes and predictable scenes, that hardly means it's a disappointment. In fact, I'd say it's quite the opposite. "Into Darkness" is the sort of big, brainy, breathtaking-to-look-at blockbuster that works on both a visceral and emotional level. We feel for these characters, we can sympathize with all their fears and shortcomings, and that only makes a film like this all the more engaging. Sure, it may not consistently work on the same narrative level as its slightly superior predecessor, but this "Star Trek" sequel is still a rousing good time, offering up a heaping dose of interplanetary action, comedy, drama, and romance all rolled into one. At the end of the day, I'd say this was one of the most enjoyable flicks I've seen so far this year, and if you're as big a fan of the franchise as I am, you'll easily enjoy it too.
I loved the first installment of the Star Trek reboot, and I was excited to see this movie until I saw it...Dazzling special effects and frenetic, non-stop action does not a good movie make. While there were some good performances,(especially by Cumberbatch) there were just too many cliches, and too many similarities (albeit with a sampling of role reversals) to "The Wrath of Khan" (TWOK). There were many groan inducing moments during this movie, it seemed like a lazy attempt to capture the riveting storyline of TWOK by simply re-arranging and cherry-picking elements from "Space Seed" (The Original series episode) and TWOK. It was a mistake to recycle old material and forgo a story with some original ideas. Too many liberties were taken with characterization...without giving away any spoilers, let's just say these roles are not the characters you grew up with.
- Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- Released: 2013
- © 2013 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.