The gang is indeed back together again as Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, and Karl Urban all reprise their iconic roles in Star Trek Into Darkness. Benedict Cumberbatch and Alice Eve join in on the fun this time around as the stakes are raised and the action is taken to new heights and director J.J. Abrams once again boldly goes where no one has gone before...at least when it comes to making blockbuster movies that will absolutely blow your mind.
After the crew of the starship Enterprise returns from a mission that was supposed to only involve observation of a primitive civilization, but turned into an impromptu rescue mission that broke Starfleet's all important Prime Directive, reports are filed, punishments are doled out, and our heroes are not only demoted but sent to different ships to perform their various duties. Meanwhile a threat is brewing that could rip Starfleet apart from the inside out as a mysterious figure begins committing terrorists acts and causing widespread destruction.
After an attack on Starfleet command leaves the governing body shattered and shell shocked, Kirk is ordered to gather his crew on board the Enterprise and head out to locate and eliminate this new threat. While Kirk's ultimate goal is revenge and punishment, Spock continues to remind him of Starfleet regulations that dictates the safe return of criminals so they can stand trial for their actions. With the two men at odds and threats coming from all directions, the entire crew is put to the test like never before as the fate of Starfleet itself hangs in the balance.
You know those movies that, while they have such a satisfying ending, you wish it would just go on and on? This is one of those movies. The best way I can describe what J.J. Abrams has put together here is relentless action. From the opening scene, to the point where the credits begin to roll, you barely have time to catch your breath let alone dig into your bucket of popcorn. This is true, no holds barred entertainment.
Where the first Trek movie set the tone for being more stylish, glossy, and action packed than any versions that have come before, this one takes all of that and wraps it in the most mind blowing special effects that Industrial Light and Magic has ever been able to produce.
Another plus is how, since we already took the time to get to know the principle cast in the first movie, there is no time wasted on discovering where each of them came from or what their ultimate motivations are. This allows everyone to really dive into their characters and deliver performances that are smart, totally on point, and often times flat out hilarious. Not to be outdone, the increasingly popular Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking another giant leap on the likability scale as he dives head first into his role as a villain who is stronger, faster, and smarter than everyone else he puts himself up against.
Am I happy with Star Trek Into Darkness? Absolutely. Does it have any flaws we need to talk about? Honestly, if there are any, I was having way too much fun to even begin to care. As usual, I'll leave the nit picking and criticizing to people who are much better at focusing on that stuff than I am. In the meantime I'll be heading back to the theater to watch this sci fi roller coaster ride at least a couple more times.
In case you are wondering about whether or not you should check out the 3D and IMAX 3D formats, I would say definitely go for it. The 3D is used to great effect and is well worth the extra couple bucks. As far as the 3D IMAX goes, it is important to know that Mr. Abrams did use real IMAX cameras for some of the scenes so that will be an added bonus as long as you go to the right theater, of course.