Finally. Star Trek Into Darkness has arrived. I've been waiting four years for this film and I'm glad to say that director J.J. Abrams did not disappoint. Everything I loved about 2009's Star Trek is back, the cast, the epic special effects, and yes even the lens flares.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a fast paced thrill ride of a film that might even exhaust the average movie goer. I watch and analyze a lot of movies in my free time, as well as listen to some pretty "challenging" music and even I felt drained by the time this film ended. Abram's latest Star Trek adventure is a nonstop barrage on the senses. There are chases, explosions, fight scenes, arguments and psychological mind-fuckery occurring in just about every scene. Not to mention the vibrant colors and good old fashioned lens flares that adorn the screen almost every second.
The film finds the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise still up to their usual shenanigans until an attack on Star Fleet causes them to jet off into a dangerous covert retaliation mission. Kirk is still a wild hot head straight out of Shane Black's Lethal Weapon series, Spock is still the uptight boy scout who explodes with rage when needed, the villain (well, one of the villains at least) is still some time displaced lunatic who's angry about the loss of his family/friends. I guess in some ways, Into Darkness could be considered a rehash of the original, but everything in this film is set on a bigger scale and the overall tone of the movie is noticeably darker. That being said, there are still plenty of funny moments as well as a few heart wrenching scenes to break the routine of nonstop action overload.
The absolute highlight of the film is watching Benedict Cumberbatch smoke everyone else he's onscreen with. Cumberbatch plays one of the film's main villains and is just awesome. His character is, well I don't want to reveal too much because that would lead to spoiler land, I'll just say he's a badass evil genius who is totally ruthless and totally awesome. The way he delivers some of his lines was actually sort of frightening. I'm kind of over the whole "villain gets caught on purpose" thing that we've already seen before in The Dark Knight, The Avengers, Skyfall and is used again here...but Cumberbatch's performance was still amazing and easily the best thing about Into Darkness as a whole.