STAR TREK – INTO DARKNESS
With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Leonard Nimoy
Written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof (based on the TV series by Gene Roddenberry)
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Abrams' first reboot of these classic sci-fi characters was a very impressive one, breathing new life into what was originally a mere late-'60s two season camp TV series that grew into a phenomenon (in fact, I've been flicking through channels as I'm writing this, and landed on an episode of the original series with Klingon actor Michael Ansara, who died at age 91 in August 2013).
If you know the original motion picture sequel with Shatner and Nimoy, you'll have an idea who this new formidable villain is. While cataclysmic disaster is afoot, that sense of humour built in with the now legendary original hammed characterization of Shatner has not been neglected, with Simon Pegg's portrayal of Scotty adding some more. But the overall seriousness of the story and huge special FX landscape, and sometimes emotional core, overshadows any moments of silliness.
Even though the 3D was done in post-production, it was effectively executed as opposed to far too many movies doing it without really utilizing it.
Like the Batman re-invention, these new Star Trek movies resurrected a franchise that seemed to lose its way, and here overshadows almost all of its early incarnations and many mediocre spin-offs (except for the deliciously kitch original TV show, of course).
5 / A
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished