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Star Trek Into Darkness (3D) (DQ)


Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood

Director: J J Abrams

Perhaps a touch behind the first film in the revitalised Star Trek series in terms of excitement and sheer quality, this is still one impressive and very, very expensive-looking beast of a movie.

The opening, though it does bear relevance to the ensuing plot, is like the mini-adventures we used to see at the beginning of James Bond films, with Kirk (Pine), against orders, rescuing Spock (Quinto) from a primitive alien planet, even as the latter renders inert the massive volcano there. This goes down like a lead balloon with the Starfleet commander (a much-aged Weller of RoboCop fame) who takes the Enterprise away from Kirk and gives command to his mentor (Greenwood).

The latter has so much to do in the opening reel that it's obvious he's doomed. Which event duly takes place during an attack by renegade Starfleet man John Harrison (Cumberbatch) who turns out to be none other than Khan, whose wrath was coincidentally felt in the second episode of the original feature series.

Cumberbatch is a strong villain while Pine and Quinto, though not perhaps contenders for plum roles elsewhere, have some nice exchanges as Kirk and his Vulcan second-in-command, and Eve makes a piquant newcomer to the crew.

Pine, Quinto and Urban (as Bones), in fact, all cleverly channel the creators of their characters, one of whom, Leonard Nimoy, makes a cameo appearance here. Quinto and Saldana (as Uhura) also share a rather unconvincing romance with which neither player seems entirely at ease.

The action sequences are familiar and scarcely stir the blood, even though director Abrams marshals them well without disguising an occasional lack of credibility. What seems like half the crew of the Enterprise, for example, gets blasted into space in the course of the action, but nobody seems to miss them much. Trekkies won't be disappointed though, even if the best of this high velocity new series is hopefully still to come.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 07 May 2013