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IN SHORT: Adequate Trek. [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence. 132 minutes]
The only spoiler we'll break down and spill is the promise made at the end of Star Trek Into Darkness that (assuming there is a Star Trek 3 in this second series of films) the Enterprise will finally begin its five year mission to boldly go where no one has gone before. . .
Not that we didn't enjoy this movie. We did But, for the most part, the Enterprise doesn't leave Earth orbit in Star Trek Into Darkness.
It does, though, spend a good deal of its run time teasing to long time Trek fans; those who have slogged through eleven previous movies or are old enough to remember two years and zillions of years of repeats of the original television series. [As much as we like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, they don't count in relation to the J.J. Abrams reboot of the franchise. The lack of deep space action makes us wonder if Mr. Abrams is holding it all back for Star Wars Episode 7. Not that we know anything but, well, inquiring minds and all that . . .]
The fact of the matter is that there isn't much we can tell you of the events of STID . . . even the anagram of the title sounds like a disease . . . that wouldn't spoil a great hunk of the movie. That being said, the screenplay honors all that has come before and provides at least a couple of chuckles for us old-timers, even as it rehashes worn stuff. Much of Star Trek version 2 number 2 resembles so much of the ST:TOS movie Star Trek II, that to say that the Enterprise isn't destroyed and that the bad guy isn't named Khan is both the truth and a lie.
It gave us a good chuckle but when push comes to shove, that's called "having your cake and eating it too," which is what got Marie Antoinette killed in the French Revolution. The events of Star Trek Into Darkness aren't enough to kill this franchise but, assuming that there is to be yet another film, version three better kick superior ass or this Trek is dead.
Star Trek Into Darkness begins with a great action sequence during which Kirk (Chris Pine) violates the Prime Directive to save the life of Science Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto). In response, a Starfleet Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) strips Kirk of hs command, putting former Enterprise Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) back in charge of the Enterprise. In addition, the Enterprise is given a a second Science Officer, Carol Wallace (Alice Eve) which is a direct affront to Spock's authority. She is also not who/what she appears to be.
Neither is one John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). When a Starfleet archive is blown to bits, with a good hunk of London as well, the Enterprise is dispatched to capture the identified terrorist -- the aforementioned Harrison, who has fled to a planet called Kronos, in Klingon space. Sending the Enterprise into Klingon space would prompt a war and, well, that would not be a good thing. So the order is given by Starfleet to use a specially designed torpedo that will infiltrate Klingon space and vaporize Harrison. Without any Federation star ship technically invading Klingon space, there is no pretext for war.
Of course that action also means executing a criminal without benefit of trial, which doesn't sit well with the moral minds of the 24th century (sic). Beyond all that . . .there's a secret surprise behind the nature of the special torpedoes which we aren't going to reveal. Let us just say that Harrison wants those torpedoes,. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) doesn't want to fire said torpedoes and that being said, there will be yet another shake up to the staff of the Starship Enterprise. One on which the entire History Yet To Be of the Galaxy will rest upon.
That is as much as we're going to tell you. As much as we enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness, the film does little to advance the series other than to position the Enterprise to (finally) begin the five year mission which essentially, brings the reboot of the entire series full circle.
But it is definitely worth the large popcorn.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Star Trek Into Darkness, he would have paid . . .
Hard core Trekkies will scream bloody murder at some of the changes.
[There are fans of Star Trek and then there are Trekkers and then there are Trekkies. If you need us to explain the difference, be glad you don't have the slightest idea what we're writing about.]
Everyone else gets a lightweight action movie that doesn't spend nearly enough time in space. Still, fun is fun.
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