Star Trek Into Darkness
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoë Saldana, Alice Eve. Sci-fi adventure. Written by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof. Directed by J. J. Abrams

FILM SYNOPSIS: After the crew of the Enterprise finds an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Breaking with protocol, Kirk goes against orders to save Spock, which causes the cocky Captain to lose command of the Enterprise. It seems Kirk still has lessons in humility to learn. Or, Starfleet has yet to learn that you must give Kirk a great deal of leeway. But when an act of terror (seems mankind is doomed to acts of terrorism even in the 26th Century), Kirk is quickly reinstated. And we are off on an action-CGI-filled space adventure.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This new installment helps address issues and themes some Trekkies were hoping would appear in the 2009 reboot. What’s more, it further adds to the dimension of the franchise, by introducing a couple of new characters and by further developing familiar ones.

From opening shot to finale, Star Trek Into Darkness is much like an episodic Saturday morning cliff-hanging serial. For sure, it pays homage to the TV show concept, but the Paramount production is glossy with today’s special effects and the studio’s apparent limitless financial support. It may please both camps – the true Trekkie and today’s action junkie who prefers the action-oriented approach to storytelling.

The 3D IMAX format addition gives the whole production an epic feel, complete with the vastness of space. But director J. J. Abrams also manages to incorporate an intimacy between the series’ iconic characters. Alas, the MTV quick style editing and the often shaky camera serve only to remind those of us who preferred substance over style that this era’s cinema gimmickry is still being fostered by today’s filmmakers. Indeed, the film becomes most effective when the filmmaker allows the action to slow down and the camera operator momentarily proves that he doesn’t suffer from Saint Vitus disease.

The Star Trek film franchise is not about boldly going where no man has gone. It’s jazzed up, but overly familiar. It’s entertainment, pure and simple. You want sci-fi profundity? You’ll have to go back to before this crew was first cancelled by their most formidable nemesis, NBC.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Paramount

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Around six obscenities, mostly the s-word and as many minor expletives – damns and hells.
Profanity: I caught none!
Violence: From head to toe, this is one mighty action piece, keeping its laser fights, martial arts battles, explosions and various forms of destruction just within the PG-13 range.
Sexual Intercourse: One scene has Captain Kirk waking in the morning before taking command of his ship, with two girls also sharing his sheets; both are beings from another world and have tails; you can do your own joke.
Nudity: None; three women are seen very briefly in their underwear.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Brief drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 132 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens on Up

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