DVD Release Date: September 10, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: May 16, 2013
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence
Genre: Action
Run Time: 132 min.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Peter Weller, Alice Eve

Four summers ago, J.J. Abrams directed a successful reboot of the Star Trek franchise. With new actors as younger versions of the well-known cast of the original TV show and feature films, the new flick grossed more than $250 million in North America and more than $125 million overseas.

Although that earlier film was a smash, Eric Bana’s role as villain wasn’t compelling. Indeed, much of the film’s enjoyment came in hearing familiar lines from the Star Trek crew uttered from the mouths of the characters’ much younger selves. The film, with its revenge-driven storyline, also lacked a profound message—something the TV series regularly attempted to deliver, albeit it to mixed results.

The main question about Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams’ next chapter in the rebooted Star Trek franchise, is whether he has addressed the weaknesses of the earlier film while building on its strengths—strong action set pieces and humorous interaction among the crew of the USS Enterprise.

CrosswalkMovies.com: Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Review from crosswalkmovies on GodTube.

The results are mixed. The new film’s great strength is its villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (TV’s Sherlock), and a maturing cast that is growing into its familiar roles. But the action this time is less coherent and more drawn out, and the film’s emotional content is rather cold. Characters cry, joke and even die without generating much emotional response from the viewer.

The film’s opening piece is a chaotic rescue attempt of Spock (Zachary Quinto), who has dropped from an Enterprise shuttle into a live volcano on a distant planet from whose inhabitants Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine, People Like Us) has just escaped. The rest of the crew—including Uhura (Zoe Saldana, Avatar), Scotty (Simon Pegg, Hot Fuzz), Bones (Karl Urban, Dredd), Sulu (John Cho, Identity Thief) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin, From Up On Poppy Hill)—tries desperately to save Spock before the volcano blows.