Captain James T. Kirk (Pine) is at it again - and this time, his actions have caused some serious issues. The consequences of his most recent mission have resulted in the confiscation of his ship and the relegation of his status as captain. That soon becomes the least of his worries, however, as Starfleet comes under attack from one of its own: John Harrison (Cumberbatch), a renegade who takes it upon himself to single-handedly launch a deadly assault on Starfleet's London headquarters. With Harrison's intentions remaining largely unclear, Kirk and his right-hand man, Lieutenant Spock (Quinto) reunite to hunt down the treasonous fugitive and bring him to justice - a task that proves to be remarkably easier said than done.
The Story: J.J. Abrams and company continue to make the world fall in love with Star Trek. One of this movie's greatest strengths is character development. The best thing about the Abrams Star Trek reboot is that the story appeals to a much broader audience than just lifelong Trekkies. The sequel is considerably more emotional than its predecessor, which will really help even the newest of Star Trek fans form a deep bond with the legendary crew of the Starship Enterprise. Additionally, "Into Darkness" introduces several other alien races, including the iconic Klingons, which fans of "The Next Generation" should enjoy.
The Acting: The budding bromance between Kirk and Spock carries this film. Pine and Quinto are money in the bank and their on-screen chemistry is a joy to watch. Despite his character's amazingly-generic name and his less-than-intimidating looks, Benedict Cumberbatch also provides a show-stopping performance as the villainous John Harrison. Karl Urban gives some great dialogue as "Bones" and the rest of the Enterprise crew (Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg) fills out an all-star cast.
The Genre: From start to finish, "Into Darkness" is what a Star Trek film should be. Beginning with its white-knuckle opening scene and ending with enough dramatic twists and turns to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, the Star Trek sequel raises the bar for the science fiction genre.
As if there were still any lingering doubts that J.J. Abrams was for real with this Star Trek reboot, look no further. "Into Darkness" is not just a great sci-fi flick, it's a flat-out amazing movie, regardless of genre. The story is simple enough for even the simplest of minds to understand, the acting is tremendous, and its standard-setting drama makes "Into Darkness" an utter delight and the front-runner for Movie of the Year. What's more, you long-time fans of the Star Trek film franchise will nearly have a stroke at some of the Easter eggs embedded in the film. Your decades of fandom will more than repay themselves during a couple parts of the movie. Add in a ton of jaw-dropping bonus features and you've got yourself one heck of a Blu-ray. If you haven't seen this movie, see it. If you have seen it, buy it. Now. It's one you'll want to watch over and over again. You may also be interested in: "Star Trek" (2009), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982), "Galaxy Quest" (1999).
Blu-ray bonus features:
- Audio in: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, English Descriptive Audio
- Subtitles in: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
- "Creating the Red Planet": An on-location look at the creation and development of the film's action-packed opening sequence.
- "Attack on Starfleet": Stunt choreography and set design for the attack on the Starfleet conference room.
- "The Klingon Home World": J.J. Abrams and crew talk about the inclusion of the Klingons and show some behind-the-scenes footage, including the labor-intensive make-up design.
- "The Enemy of My Enemy": Benedict Cumberbatch, villain extraordinaire - and why Trekkies will either love him or hate him.
- "Ship to Ship": Pre-visualization for the stunning scene where Kirk space-jumps from one ship to another.
- "Brawl by the Bay": Bringing the fight to our own backyard. Take a gander at Spock's epic fight scene.
- "Continuing the Mission": A brief explanation of J.J. Abrams' public service project for returned American veterans.
- "The Mission Continues": Another cool look at post-9/11 veterans and the service they are rendering in association with the Star Trek team.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Directed by: JJ Abrams
Running time: 132 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for "intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence," some mild profanity, and some sensuality, including a brief instance of an inter-species relationship.
Costars Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood
Blu-ray release date: September 10, 2013
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