Star Trek: Into Darkness
“STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS,” Rated PG-13 — Big, loud and in 3-D (3-D/IMAX at some theaters), “Star Trek Into Darkness” offers teens a jolt of fun and parents and grandparents many nostalgic pleasures. One could wish the villain — though his roots lie in the 1960s TV series and the 1980s movies — weren’t cast as a terrorist. That’s a tired trope for today. But despite this, director J.J. Abrams and his perfectly cast actors infuse youth, irreverence and physical daring into this rebooted “Star Trek” world. Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Uban as Bones, Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Chekov embody the original characters while making them new. The year is 2259. The film opens on the planet, Nibiru, where Spock nearly perishes trying to stop a volcanic eruption from destroying the primitive civilization there. Capt. Kirk violates protocol, risking the Enterprise and its crew to save him. Spock, true to his Vulcan half, reports the incident. Adm. Pike (Bruce Greenwood) strips Kirk of his command. However, a huge explosive attack on Star Fleet headquarters in London intervenes. A former Star Fleet officer, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), has gone rogue. Star Fleet high command meets to discuss how to stop him and comes under lethal attack. Kirk, promoted back to captain on the orders of hawkish Adm. Marcus (Peter Weller), arms the Enterprise with nuclear torpedoes (a violation of Star Fleet’s do-no-harm philosophy), and follows Harrison to a Klingon planet called Kronos. Once there, the crew clash with the enemy Klingons, and suddenly Harrison is on their side. Then again, he may be a super-genetically-enhanced, age-old Star Fleet nemesis dating back to the old TV show.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The mayhem includes many space explosions and spaceship dogfights, but also features close-up gun and phaser exchanges and skull-cracking fisticuffs. Characters use mild profanity and also drink. Kirk, known for his womanizing ways, turns up in bed briefly with two space-alien women with tails. Characters die in more emotional and slightly bloodier ways than you might expect in a “Star Trek” film.