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Warning: Contains Spoilers
My name is Daniel Browne and I am addicted to Star Trek. I struggle to go a day without watching an episode or one of the films, particularly the ones that feature Kirk, Spock and the rest of the original series Enterprise crew.
It’s widely acknowledged that Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is the best in the movie franchise, and that is something I agree with. So I wondered how the second movie in the rebooted series of films would compare. I had high hopes and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed.
The story begins with Spock facing danger inside an erupting volcano. With a sequence that is more like the climax of a film than the beginning, it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Action, adventure and drama. Spock is rescued by Kirk and the Enterprise, which involves breaking the treasured Prime Directive (a non-interference with other cultures policy), and the consequence of that is Kirk losing command of the Enterprise and being demoted to Commander to serve as Second Officer to Captain Pike.
However, the new set up does not last long thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch, in excellent British thespian mode, as the cold, calculated and highly dangerous John Harrison, as he arranges to have a Starfleet building in London blown up. Harrison then launches an attack at Starfleet Headquarters, which results in death and destruction. This leads to Kirk regaining command of the Enterprise and setting off on a mission to destroy John Harrison.
Harrison is hiding on Kronos, the Klingon home planet, where the mission takes an action packed turn when Spock suggests that instead of killing Harrison they should capture him so that he can be brought to justice. A retrieval mission to Kronos results in a battle with some Klingons, with John Harrison eventually ‘surrendering’ to Kirk.
Once back on the Enterprise, Into Darkness revisits plots from the Star Trek vaults and adds a twist to them. Just who is John Harrison? Without giving too much away, it’s a brilliant twist. If you read any internet rumours before the film’s release you will know what I am referring to here, but I shall say no more about it.
From then on the pace is relentless. The Enterprise comes under attack from one of its own, and the ships teeters on the edge of destruction with poor Chekov struggling as the new Chief Engineer. Of course, Kirk and Co. come out on top as the film ends with the crew setting off on a five year deep space mission. There will no doubt be another sequel and I can’t wait to see what the makers come up with next.
The supporting cast are on top form, with Simon Pegg fantastic as Scotty, and Zoe Saldana’s Uhura having a welcomed larger role in the rebooted series. Although the underlying story is about Kirk, Spock and the fascinating relationship they have, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch who impresses the most, showing that he really is a fantastic actor.
That said, Into Darkness won’t impress everyone. There will be diehard fans of the original franchise who won’t be amused about the plot twist which rehashes an old storyline, but it’s a film that will please most Trekkies and continue to grow a new fanbase that were previously not into Star Trek. This Trekkie was certainly satisfied.