Certificate 12A, 132 minutes
Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Star Trek into Darkness is the sequel to the 2009 film Star Trek which aimed to reboot the whole franchise. The film starts off with the Enterprise on a planet called Nibiru where there is a bit of a side adventure to the actual plot, although it does set up some of the conditions for the rest of the film. Interestingly the planet they were initially on, Nibiru, could be referring to either a Babylonian astronomical term or a pseudoscientific planetary object described by Zecharia Sitchin in his Earth Chronicles.
A former Star Fleet operative, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Imitation Game, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) who has a penchant for florid and grandiose speech, goes rogue and first destroys a Star Fleet facility in London before launching an attack on a gathering of some of the highest ranking officers and ship crews currently in the vicinity of Earth. Partly out of a need for revenge Jim Kirk (Chris Pine, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, This Means War) takes the Enterprise in pursuit of him in order to bring him to justice. All the main characters return as well; Spock (Zachary Quinto, Hitman: Agent 47), Uhura (Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy), Dr Bones McCoy (Karl Urban, Dredd), Chekov (Anton Yelchin, Fright Night), Scotty (Simon Pegg, Burke and Hare, The World's End) and Sulu (John Cho). Rather than external threats to the Federation, in this film they are mostly dealing with internal threats. The film is available in both 2D and 3D; the 2D version was the one seen, although you could spot a few scenes which had been specifically designed for 3D.
The same couldn't be said of the 2009 film which, as a result, resulted in me picking out those bits that were nonsensical. Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy) being able to watch the destruction of Vulcan in real time with the naked eye from another star system and the whole explosion that managed to destroy Romulus even after Spock had stopped it from happening, to name a couple of the niggles. I did read some explanations afterwards but they seemed to be just trying to cover up mistakes, rather than planning.
As a result, I approached this film with some trepidation. Fortunately, Star Trek Into Darkness is a much better film. There are references to the original series and films that fans should get, such as the new Spock saying "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" which was first quoted by the original Spock. There is a villain who long time fans should be able to recognise from what he says before he states his name, and a scene from one of the films which is clearly recognisable, although changed in how it is done.
This is a great science fiction film with a lot of action. There are numerous casualties of the various violent acts, but the violence is not of the bloody type, even that which is up close and personal. There is even humour, often involving the humourless Mr Spock. Star Trek Into Darkness is better than the first film, and should appeal to all audiences, rather than just fans of the franchise.