' Star Trek Into Darkness'
3 stars = Good
The second entry in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek 2.0" series plunges moviegoers into a visually stunning 23rd century and spends ample time on bro bonding between the brash James T. Kirk and the reticent half-Vulcan known as Spock.
The dizzying pace recalls another second movie in a popular series, "The Empire Strikes Back." In the rare moments when the action does slow, Chris Pine's Kirk faces down a menace to life as we will know it in 2259 and gains insights into his self-destructive nature.
He's a bad boy, young Kirk. He beds green aliens with pointy tails and thumbs his nose at authority, and, yet, he's been given a starship and asked to lead the crew that saved Earth in the 2009 movie that rebooted the series.
The conflict comes when Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) becomes a victim of a terrorist who turns out to be one of Starfleet's own. The nemesis is John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a lean, mean human weapon with a huge and perhaps justified chip on his shoulder.
Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Anton Yelchin as Chekhov and Simon Pegg as Scotty nail the spirit of the actors who created the roles back in the day, and Zachary Quinto has made this conflicted version of young Spock his own, a half-alien fighting his emotions but not always succeeding.
This is slick filmmaking by a smart director, among the reasons he has been tapped to bring "Star Wars" back to the big screen.
Extras include the featurettes "Creating the Red Planet," "Attack on Starfleet," "The Klingon Home World," "The Enemy of My Enemy" and "Ship to Ship."
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