Director J.J. Abrams and his team of writers have done us all a kindness in re-inventing a tired and stale series and making it palatable for anyone who's never seen or cared about it.
"Star Trek Into Darkness" isn't quite as good as the 2009 reboot, but it is another excellent addition to the series with each actor in the ensemble perfectly cast and absolutely owning the roles made iconic decades ago. The standouts are Chris Pine's Kirk and Zachary Quinto's Spock - each creating something new but familiar. And this time they have a much more interesting foe to match wits with - a terrorist played by the outstanding Benedict Cumberbatch.
Admittedly, there are holes in the plot big enough to fly the Enterprise through, but Abrams' direction is so confident and the script so charming, clever and quick that most of them are forgiven. But as a Trek fan, there's one scene that irritated me to no end because of its connection to another movie.
Yes, indeed, mistakes were made but I do love that Abrams and company have stuck with what originally made the "Star Trek" series great - right down to the message. This is a deeply political film that uses science fiction to comment on things like the War on Terror, unmanned drone attacks, and executions without trial. But it's been ever thus with "Star Trek," even back in the 60s.
More than anything, this is a terrifically exciting, stylish and fun summer movie. The IMAX 3D is impressive, the thundering score drives the action, and in the end, Abrams leaves me wanting the next movie to get here at warp speed.
EPPLER'S RATING: * * * *
Out of five stars