REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness takes you literally into "space, the final frontier" with great attention to detail and plenty of technological marvels.

Starfleet officer-turned-terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) has detonated the fleet. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads the manhunt for the one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Now, let's highlight surprise break-out characters, roles that you've been dying to see or see again, or simply put, the stand-out people who make Star Trek Into Darkness such a delectable mix of fun, drama, action and suspense.

Simon Pegg as Scotty seems to be enjoying himself more in the 12th installment of Star Trek. It was refreshing to see Star Trek's resident chief engineer out of his element: getting resolutely drunk with his non-speaking alien sidekick, running around and getting some of the action for a change, playing the hero instead of being relegated to the sidelines, and basically showing us how geeks can definitely have more fun than mere mortals.

When he chides Captain Kirk, "one day, one day I've been gone from the Enterprise, and this is what you've done with it," you'll find yourself siding with Scotty. And when Kirk asks Scotty much later on how the ship is doing, he remarks like only he can, "purring like a kitten, Captain. She's ready for a long journey."

Zachary Quinto's First Officer Spock is given plenty of opportunities to shine in this film. His character's growth is so compelling that if you have never been a Spock fan, you might be after watching this sci-fi flick.

He starts by constantly pointing out the duality of his double nature (he is half-human, half-Vulcan) which means he is a stickler for rules and regulations on the Vulcan side, to the point that it becomes a bone of contention between him and Captain Kirk. When he constantly questions why Kirk broke the rules for him, he was simply being Vulcan in that he could not grasp human compassion and kindness. But when he does the unexpected and does something risky, his line "I went back for you because you are my friend," explains it all.

When Kirk asks for his help to become emotionless (as this is something Spock claims to do), Spock shows his vulnerable side and admits, "I do not know but now I'm scared." Seeing Spock go through so much transition in one movie and showing us his human side endeared us all the more to him.

Also, watch for an interesting exchange between Spock and Spock Prime, portrayed in a cameo role by the original Spock himself: Leonard Nimoy.

When characters like helmsman Lieutenant Sulu and navigator Ensign Chekov (played by John Cho and Anton Yelchin, respectively) get to shine during their limited screen time, you know that you have a great movie that uses its ensemble cast well.

Perhaps it's J.J. Abrams style (remember his now-defunct TV series Lost), but he has the knack for highlighting supporting cast members and giving them just the right amount of room to grow and expand as characters, allowing viewers to look forward to the next installment and see how these characters will fare.

Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the chief medical officer played by Karl Urban, also proved that he has more to offer as this installment saw him delivering most of the snarky lines.

When it was finally revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing Commander John Harrison during the promo period of Star Trek Into Darkness, it got a lot of people excited especially with how the actor would play out this landmark villain role. Benedict lends just the right amount of sinister, wolf-in-sheep's-clothing coupled with wronged-man-on-a-mission flavor to Harrison's character, lulling even Kirk into believing he is a good guy underneath it all.

Villains can pick up some pointers from Benedict's portrayal on how to exude the right mix of charisma, pride, and cunning manipulation.

Chris Pine as Captain James Kirk, commanding officer of the starship Enterprise, continues his role with his trademark acting-before-thinking heroic tendencies, stubborn pride and disregard for rules and regulations.

This installment sees Kirk taking more responsibility, dealing with the loss of a father figure, recovering more quickly from betrayal from unexpected sources, and learning to be accountable for his actions.

Ending the movie with a new mission is a sure way to get people all fired up for the next installment in this trilogy.

While this review is by no means comprehensive, it's simply meant to whet your appetite enough to see the movie for yourself. Star Trek Into Darkness is a definite summer must-watch and is definitely worth the IMAX 3D or 3D pricetag.






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