I'm one of those people who never saw a single Star Trek film before Abrams came on board and I never really had an interest. Speaking from this perspective, Star Trek Into Darkness makes perfect sense to me. It all comes down to the central relationship between Kirk and Spock, brilliantly played by Chris Pine and particularly Zachary Quinto. Right from the opening set piece, their contradicting personalities and priorities are to the fore and the bromance sizzles with bust ups but also a deep mutual understanding.
The supporting cast are also fun though they get little to do compared to Benedict Cumberbatch's villain. Spurting monologues like a true thespian, Cumberbatch goes for grand, strutting around with steely eyes, and excels as the terrorist threatening the crew and more. John Harrison is a fearful creation with a worthy cause and he raises the dramatic stakes incredibly going from foe to (sort-of) friend to foe again.
The action and special effects are spectacular but never overwhelm in the same way as some of the more CG assisted scenes in other summer blockbusters (namely Man of Steel). All in all Abrams has nailed the reinvention and whether he chooses to return for a third Star Trek film or not, he has set the franchise up beautifully for further adventures. Let's all cross our fingers and hope that he can he can do the same for the galaxy far far away...
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