|Kirk and Spock witness the wrath of Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch)|
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013). Director: J. J. Abrams.
Violating the prime directive to save Spock's life on a primitive world, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) finds himself demoted. But when a terrorist named Harrison, who turns out to be super-being Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), attacks the Federation, Kirk finds himself in command once again, and heading toward the Klingon home world, Kronos, to kill him. But what's inside those photon torpedoes that have been put on board the Enterprise? And whose side is Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) really on? It all leads to deadly battles both on Kronos, in warp space, and on Earth. Whatever its flaws, Star Trek Into Darkness is a big improvement over Abrams' initial reboot of the Star Trek franchise, with a better storyline and more exciting action sequences. The actors seem a little more comfortable in their roles, although Pine will never seem like James Kirk the way William Shatner did. Zachary Quinto is fine as Spock; Zoe Saldana is given more to do as his lover, Lt. Uhura; Karl Urban is an okay Bones; and Simon Pegg [Mission Impossible -- Ghost Protocol] seems to be channeling his inner Pee Wee Herman as Scotty. Weller and the unlikely-named Cumberbatch give the most dynamic performances. Alice Eve is a new character, Carol, a science officer and daughter of Admiral Marcus. Leonard Nimoy shows up briefly as the older Spock.
Verdict: Entertaining, fast-paced and frequently exciting. ***.